To ask the Secretary of State for Defence
(1) when he expects the Military Airworthiness Authority to give the first RC-135 Airseeker its release to service;
(2) what additional cost to the public purse was incurred as a result of the first RC-135 Airseeker being ready for delivery before the RAF could accept it.
Release to Service (RTS) is not the responsibility of the Military Aviation Authority; overall responsibility for RTS rests with the Ministry of Defence. We are currently on track towards securing formal airworthiness approval, as required by UK military aircraft airworthiness regulations, for Airseeker to enter service later this year.
The first RC-135 aircraft was delivered ahead of schedule and has been accepted by the Ministry of Defence. Early delivery has not incurred any additional cost, and the RAF is currently deriving beneficial use ahead of receiving approval to fly.