To ask the Secretary of State for Defence
(1) when he expects the training facilities for Apache helicopter pilots to be available;
(2) for what reasons training equipment is not available to train Apache helicopter pilots;
(3) when he expects there to be sufficient trained helicopter pilots available to enable the helicopters at RAF Shawbury to be put into front line service.
Training facilities for Apache helicopter pilots are already available and being utilised. The Army expects to achieve Initial Operating Capability in August 2004 and a task force capability based on nine Regiment Army Air Corps during spring 2005. The numbers of aircraft in storage will diminish progressively from mid 2004 through to autumn 2005.