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21 Oct 2005 : Column 1227W—continued

Avian Influenza

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has made for the deployment of personnel to the prison estate in the case of an avian influenza epidemic. [19207]

Mr. Ingram: None.


Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost of the Eurofighter was in terms of (a) unit cost, (b) support costs and (c) operating costs for (i) 2003, (ii) 2004 and (iii) 2005. [17653]

Mr. Ingram: Unit Production Costs (UPC) for Typhoon are published in the Ministry of Defence Major Projects Report (MPR). The UPCs as at 31 March 2003 (MPR 2003) and 31 March 2004 (MPR 04) were £56.8 million and £49.1 million respectively. The Typhoon UPC for 2005 will be published in MPR 2005 shortly.
21 Oct 2005 : Column 1228W

Support costs for the Typhoon programme cover the provision of facilities and equipment used to support and maintain the aircraft fleet. Expenditure in financial years 2003–04 and 2004–05 was £190 million and £223 million respectively.

Typhoon operating costs relate to Typhoons in service with the RAF and are increasing with the number of aircraft entering into service. Expenditure in financial years 2003–04 and 2004–05 was some £33 million and £38 million respectively.

European Airlift Transport

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the UK will join the European Airlift Transport Co-ordination Cell. [19438]

Mr. Ingram: The UK Ministry of Defence has been a member of a European Airlift organisation since its inception in 2001. It is currently called the European Airlift Centre (EAC). A number of changes are being proposed by various member nations. The UK's position is to re-inforce the effectiveness of the co-ordination function and to add in the co-ordination of other modes of transportation.


Mr. Scott: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many AH-64 Apache helicopters have been delivered to the British Army. [18390]

Mr. Ingram: 67 Apache AH MK1 helicopters have been delivered to the Ministry of Defence for use by the British Army.

Mr. Scott: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many crews have been trained to operate the AH-64 Apache helicopters. [18392]

Mr. Ingram: The Apache Attack Helicopter (AH) is crewed by two pilots. As at 31 October 2005 some 105 AH-trained pilots are expected to have been assigned to 9 Regt AAC, the School of Army Aviation, the Air Manoeuvres Training and Advisory Team and other organisations within the Army Air Corps.

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the level of serviceability of the helicopter fleet. [16710]

Mr. Ingram: The number of helicopters available for use to support a planned force readiness is defined as the number of aircraft that are held in the Unit Operating Fleet (UOF) on Squadrons and flights, and those that are held in storage.

Serviceability is a metric applied to helicopters allocated to the front line as part of the UOF. For the purposes of MOD reporting, a "serviceable" aircraft is defined as one that is used, is capable of being used or could be made ready for a period of two hours flying within a planned flying programme. An aggregated serviceability target level is agreed annually with the Front Line Commands. The target takes account of the expected availability of spares, maintenance personnel and the scheduled maintenance activity.
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During the year, aircraft from these fleets may be deployed on operations. The aim is always to exceed the serviceability target for those aircraft, and spares and personnel are prioritised to do so. However, focus on the deployed fleet can mean that the "whole fleet" serviceability target cannot be met.

Serviceability for the operational fleet over the period June-August 2005 has been excellent: the serviceability of Merlin Mk 3 on Op Telic has been over 80 per cent.; the Lynx Mk3 onboard warships has averaged 82 per cent. and the Lynx 7/9 over 70 per cent. This is precisely what our policies are designed to achieve.

Serviceability achievements against the whole year targets for MOD fleets during the period April-June 2005–06 are shown in the following table:
Helicopter typeUnit operating fleet(1)Target serviceabilityAchieved serviceability
Apache AH MK 14070(2)64
Chinook Mk 2/2a2770(3)60
Lynx Mk 7/97566(4)59
Lynx Mk 3/8476666
Merlin Mk 12160(5)45
Merlin Mk 3155557
Puma Mk 1277070
Gazelle Mk 1737077
Sea King Mk3/3a1778(6)73
Sea King Mk 4/6c2970(7)61
Sea King Mk 5/6/72365(8)60

(1) Number of aircraft at 1st Line, held by the Squadrons of FLC.
(2) Unit serviceability gradually increases according to length of time operating Apache. 70 per cent. serviceability target will only become applicable to the whole fleet when 4 Regt. AAC is in third year of operating the aircraft. This is due in 2008.
(3) Reduced due to focus on deployment and drawdown of aircraft from operations.
(4) Effects of Fitting of Urgent Operational Requirements (UOR's) and modifications.
(5) Increase in maintenance and replacement of tail rotor components.
(6) Sea King 3/3a Search and Rescue (SAR) helicopters have a 100 per cent. serviceability target, while standby and training aircraft have lower targets which affects the statistics. SAR tasking is always met.
(7) Trials and embodiment of UORs have affected levels.
(8) Levels constrained by the availability of repair staff.

Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many helicopters are in service in the (a) Army, (b) Royal Navy and (c) Royal Air Force, broken down by make and model. [18220]

Mr. Ingram: The following table sets out the numbers of aircraft of each type held by the Ministry of Defence and shows the service that operates them, as at 31 July 2005. The fleet sizes quoted cover those aircraft expected to be flown. The fleet size does not include some aircraft that could return to the fleet, but are currently classified as un-repairable or redundant.
Helicopter typeServiceFleet size
Lynx Mk 3RN31
Lynx Mk 7RN5
Lynx Mk 8RN34
Merlin Mk 1RN42
Sea King Mk 4RN37
Sea King Mk 5RN16
Sea King Mk 6RN5
Sea King Mk 6cRN5
Sea King Mk 7RN11
Agusta A109Army4
Apache AH MK 1Army67
Gazelle Mk 1Army107
Lynx Mk 7Army77
Lynx Mk 9Army22
Puma Mk 1RAF38
Chinook Mk 2/2aRAF40
Merlin Mk 3RAF22
Sea King Mk 3RAF19
Sea King Mk 3 aRAF6

21 Oct 2005 : Column 1230W

In addition to the aircraft above, the Department contracts for commercially owned helicopters and the following table shows them broken down by service as at 31 July 2005.
Helicopter typeServiceFleet size
Bell 212Army7
Bell 412RAF15
Twin SquirrelRAF3

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many UK military helicopters have been involved in (a) relief operations and (b) other supporting roles in the earthquake zone in northern Pakistan and Kashmir; [20033]

(2) how many UK military helicopters were based in Afghanistan on 9 October, broken down by type. [20032]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 20 October 2005]: There were no UK military helicopters based in Afghanistan on 9 October 2005.

DfID are the lead Department for co-ordinating the national relief effort in the earthquake zone. No UK military helicopters are currently involved. At DfID's request, however, the MOD intend to deploy three heavy lift CH-47 Chinook Helicopters, with accompanying personnel, for a four week period to support the Pakistan relief effort. A small military team travelled to Islamabad on 19 October 2005 to facilitate the deployment of these aircraft.

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