Defence Committee Press Notice

Session 2008-09, 12 March 2009



The Defence Committee is today announcing a new inquiry into Helicopter capability, during which it will examine key issues pertaining to the UK Armed Forces’ use of helicopters in operations at home and abroad.

The Committee will consider the full range of helicopter capabilities that the Armed Forces possess now and expect to have in the future. It will look into the decisions which have either been, or need to be, taken by the Ministry of Defence in relation to the future of the fleet in the short and medium term.

The Committee will take evidence on the roles being played by current helicopter deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, as it maintains an operational focus to its programme of work.

As well as having the physical assets available, the concept of helicopter capability depends upon human assets: having enough pilots trained to fly and ground crew to maintain, and if necessary, repair the aircraft.

The Committee would welcome written evidence from interested parties on the following subjects:

• Current and future size and structure of the helicopter fleet

• Current procurement and maintenance projects

• The role played by helicopters on current operations

• The support structure underpinning helicopter operations

The Committee would welcome written evidence to this inquiry by Friday 3 April 2009. The Committee expects to hold oral evidence sessions at the House of Commons in May. Witnesses will be announced in due course, but are expected to include representatives from industry, the MoD and Armed Forces.


The Committee was nominated on 13 July 2005. The Defence Committee is appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure, administration, and policy of the Ministry of Defence and its associated public bodies.


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