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Air Force: Military Aircraft

Defence written question – answered on 18th June 2009.

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

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many RAF aircraft are in service; and what the (a) target and (b) actual number of each type of RAF aircraft fit for purpose is.

Photo of Quentin Davies Quentin Davies Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Equipment and Support)

Information on the numbers of aircraft in service and fit for purpose (FFP) is given in the following table. Target figures are not used for all aircraft types and are included only where appropriate. The figures shown are a snapshot of the position on 31 May 2009.

Aircraft type In service fleet Target FFP Actual FFP
BAe 146 2 1 1
BAe 125 6 3 3
C-17 6 5 3
Dominie 9 7
Harrier 74 46
Hawk Tl 129 88
Hawk T2 8 6
Hercules CI30K 14 7 7
Hercules CI30J 24 15 14
Nimrod MR2 11 8 6
Nimrod R1 3 1 1
Sea King (SARF) 25 17 10
Sentinel 5 4 3
Sentry 7 5 4
Tornado F3 62 28
Tornado GR4 138 89
TriStar 9 6 4
Tucano 95 55
Typhoon 56 37
VC10 16 12 9
Vigilant 64 64
Viking 82 82

'In service' has been taken to mean the effective fleet, which covers all aircraft barring those which are redundant, declared as surplus or awaiting disposal. Serviceable aircraft available to the front line commands for operational and training purposes are termed fit for purpose (FFP). Aircraft which are undergoing major servicing or routine maintenance are within the depth fleet and are therefore not relevant to this question.

Additionally, in the process of answering this question an error in the TriStar 'in-service' fleet number has been identified in the written answer I provided to you on 23 April 2009, Hansard, column 812W. The answer I provided stated that there were eight TriStars 'in-service' but the correct answer should have stated there were nine. This error occurred as one aircraft has been undergoing a major cockpit upgrade and was mistakenly not included in the 'in-service' fleet number.

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