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Helicopters: Training

Volume 498: debated on Monday 2 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Chinook heavy lift helicopters are retained in a training role by the Royal Air Force (a) in the UK and (b) overseas. (295210)

As at 29 October, the Ministry of Defence possesses 46 Chinook helicopters. Of these, 28 are in the Forward Fleet which is used for both operational purposes and for training. I cannot break this figure down as to do so would, or would be likely to, prejudice the operational security of our armed forces.

However, I can confirm that all Chinooks routinely used for training are based at RAF Odiham. There are no Chinooks retained overseas for training purposes, although they may from time to time take part in overseas training exercises. Of the remaining 18 Chinooks, 10 are currently undergoing Depth Maintenance and eight are being converted into a Support Helicopter role.