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House of Commons Hansard
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Military Aircraft: Helicopters
11 March 2010
Volume 507
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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) required and (b) actual number of pilots was for (i) Apache, (ii) Chinook and (iii) Merlin helicopters on the latest date for which figures are available. [320005]

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The information requested is shown in the following table:

Aircraft type

Required strength

Actual strength

Apache

100

88

Chinook

124

118

Merlin Mk 1

60

50

Merlin Mk 3

80

71

All our operational commitments for these helicopters are being met.

Required and actual strengths will both naturally vary with time due to many factors including: operational requirements, the introduction of newly trained crew on completion of training courses at set times during the year, the number of trained personnel assigned to non-flying duties (as part of the necessary broader career development), injuries, and service leavers.

In addition, the RAF is going through a high level of change with aircraft drawing down, going through structure change, forming new squadrons or bringing new aircraft into service. Therefore, crew figures are fluctuating continually.