To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Harrier jump jet pilots are serving in Her Majesty's Armed Forces; and, of those, how many are trained to fly at night, trained to take off and land on an aircraft carrier, and trained to fly at night and take off and land on an aircraft carrier. [HL2322]
On 1 March 2010, there were 146 Royal Navy and RAF pilots trained to fly Harrier aircraft. In addition, three Royal Navy pilots are currently deployed with the US Marine Corps flying the US version of the Harrier. Of the 146 pilots, 65 are currently qualified to fly Harriers but this number could be increased through refresher training. Of the pilots currently qualified, 34 are qualified for night flying, 47 are qualified to take off and land on an aircraft carrier and 11 are qualified to take off and land on an aircraft carrier at night. The numbers of pilots in these categories are increasing as Joint Harrier Force regenerates its wider capability following its return from deployment in Afghanistan.