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Afghanistan: Apache Helicopters

Volume 685: debated on Wednesday 25 October 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What the spare parts availability shortfall rate is for Apache helicopter units in Afghanistan; and [HL7419]

What impact current Apache helicopter deployments to Afghanistan have had on (a) flying hours; (b) spare parts availability; (c) weapons system availability; and (d) air fleet availability for other theatres of operation on Apache units in the United Kingdom; and [HL7420]

Whether any reviews of the Apache budget for the financial year beginning April 2006 have taken place in light of operational commitments to Afghanistan; and [HL7421]

What are the flying hours for the six Apache aircraft deployed to Afghanistan. [HL7422]

There is no shortfall of spare parts for Apache helicopters in Afghanistan. The current Apache helicopter deployment to Afghanistan is our top priority. Over the timescale of the current operational deployment to Afghanistan, there has been a 4 per cent reduction in UK flying days due to the unavailability of spare parts. There has been no effect on the availability of weapons systems for UK training and there is no requirement for Apache to be available for other theatres of operation.

The budget for Apache for the financial year beginning April 2006 has been increased by £9.1 million, and an additional £1 million has been committed on urgent operational requirements. I am not releasing information on the flying hours for the eight Apache aircraft deployed to Afghanistan as to do so would prejudice the security of our Armed Forces.