Armed Forces: Helicopters

House of Lords written question – answered at on 5 January 2010.

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Photo of Lord Ashcroft Lord Ashcroft Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Army will be equipped with suitable helicopters for its conflict operations.

Photo of Baroness Taylor of Bolton Baroness Taylor of Bolton Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Defence and Security) (also in the Ministry of Defence), Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence) (International Defence and Security) (also in Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

The Army is currently equipped with suitable helicopters for its conflict operations. These include Apache, for delivery of the find and attack function, and Lynx Mk7 and Mk9, which operate primarily in a battlefield reconnaissance role. We are upgrading Lynx Mk9 with powerful new engines to allow them to operate in Afghanistan all-year round.

Beyond this, in addition to the helicopter capabilities provided by the Army Air Corps, the Army is supported by RAF Chinook, Merlin and the Navy's Sea King Mk4 helicopters which deliver vital lift capacity in the battlefield domain. Over the next 10 years, the Ministry of Defence intends to invest some £6 billion in its helicopter capability, including procurement of the new Lynx Wildcat, which we confirmed in December last year.

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