Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Military Aircraft: Helicopters

Defence written question – answered on 21st May 2008.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Liam Fox Liam Fox Shadow Secretary of State for Defence

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many and what percentage of the helicopter fleet is (a) in service, (b) in the forward fleet and (c) fit for purpose, broken down by (i) service and (ii) helicopter type.

Photo of Bob Ainsworth Bob Ainsworth The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

The number and type of helicopters used by the Royal Navy, Army Air Corps and Royal Air Force which are in the Forward fleet and considered fit for purpose are detailed in the following table. Forward fleet aircraft are those that are available to the front-line command for operational and training purposes (i.e. those not in depth maintenance). Aircraft defined as fit for purpose are those considered capable of carrying out their planned missions on a given date.

Helicopter type In service (total fleet) Average number of aircraft in Forward fleet Percentage of total fleet in Forward fleet Average number of aircraft fit for purpose (FFP) FFP as a percentage of total fleet FFP percentage of Forward fleet
Royal Navy
Sea King Mk 4/6c 42 31 74 15 36 48
Lynx Mk 3/8 63 42 67 29 46 69
Merlin Mk 1 38 24 63 20 53 83
Sea King Mk 5 15 11 73 7 47 64
Sea King Mk 7 13 9 69 7 54 78
Army Air Corps
Apache AH Mk 1 67 51 76 24 36 47
Lynx Mk 7/9 96 54 56 31 32 57
Gazelle Mk 1 67 45 67 n/a n/a n/a
Augusta A109 4 4 100 4 100 100
Royal Air Force
Chinook Mk 2/2a 40 29 73 19 48 66
Puma Mk 1 38 23 61 16 42 70
Merlin Mk 3/3a 27 17 63 10 37 59
SAR Sea King Mk 3/3a* 25 17 68 12 48 71

The figures shown are the average for the month of April 2008 (with the exception of the search and rescue Sea King Mk 3/3a data, which cover March 2008 due to technical problems). The number of helicopters fit for purpose will vary from day to day due, primarily, to routine maintenance requirements. Operational capability is measured in terms of flying hours rather than the number of airframes available.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes1 person thinks so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.