Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2017-19 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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UIN

Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
(North Durham)
Asked on: 24 July 2019
Ministry of Defence
Hercules Aircraft: Bangladesh
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment she has made of the UK's airlift capability since the sale of five UK-surplus Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules transport aircraft to Bangladesh.
A
Answered by: Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Answered on: 03 September 2019

The five aircraft sold to Bangladesh were surplus and awaiting disposal. Therefore, this sale has had no impact on the Air Transport fleet.

We have retained 14 C-130J aircraft, and A400M also provides an Air Transport role.

Q
(Rayleigh and Wickford)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 17 July 2019
Ministry of Defence
Future Large Aircraft
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether restrictions have been imposed on the type of stores that are carried by the A400M as a result of vibration problems with that aircraft.
A
Answered by: Stuart Andrew
Answered on: 22 July 2019

A400M routinely carries ordnance, munitions and explosives in support of the UK's Defence commitments including in the broader Middle East. The type of stores that can be carried have been cleared through a qualification process in line with operational priorities, and there are no restrictions specific to A400M due to vibration.

Q
(Rayleigh and Wickford)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 17 July 2019
Ministry of Defence
Future Large Aircraft
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the cost to the public purse is of the programme of work being undertaken by Airbus to increase the (a) serviceability and (b) reliability of the RAF's A400m aircraft fleet.
A
Answered by: Stuart Andrew
Answered on: 22 July 2019

There is no single activity or programme to address aircraft serviceability. All aircraft are operated and maintained in accordance with the Air System Document Set, which includes the Operator's Maintenance Plan. This defines the servicing schedules and their periodicity based primarily on usage. With regard to reliability, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 1 July 2019 to Question 269009.

269009 - Future Large Aircraft (Word Document, 22.39 KB)
Q
(Lanark and Hamilton East)
Asked on: 03 July 2019
Ministry of Defence
Military Aircraft
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent assessment she has made of trends in the number of aircraft in the RAF fleet.
A
Answered by: Stuart Andrew
Answered on: 11 July 2019

Assessments of trends in the number of aircraft in the RAF fleet is undertaken in the annual National Statistics publication: UK Armed Forces Equipment and Formations.

The Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015 invested in the Royal Air Force to deliver Joint Force 2025. The RAF will grow in size and capability with a larger and more capable frontline, delivering the technology required for the Next Generation Air Force.

F-35 Lightning is now operational, and the Typhoon force has already grown by one squadron, with a further to stand up this year. A broad range of new training aircraft, more aligned to the operational fleet, have also been delivered for the Military Flying Training System. The first P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol aircraft will shortly undertake its first flight. We have also committed to purchase Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft and Protector Remotely Piloted Air Systems. The addition of A400M Atlas, concurrent to the drawdown of the C130J Hercules, has also provided increasing lift capacity, working alongside our C17 strategic transport fleet.

Q
(Rayleigh and Wickford)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 02 July 2019
Ministry of Defence
Future Large Aircraft
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if she will publish the (a) problems with the (i) engines and (ii) gearbox of the A400M aircraft and (b) extent of the work required to address those problems.
A
Answered by: Stuart Andrew
Answered on: 08 July 2019

The A400M's engine, the TP-400, is provided by EuroProp International, a subcontractor to Airbus. Problems have been seen on combustion chambers on early versions of the TP-400 degrading at a faster rate than expected; these are currently being replaced with an improved design. The engine's propeller gearbox has also experienced some issues due to faulty components; these are being replaced with new and redesigned parts. This work will be undertaken during periods of planned maintenance to avoid further impacting availability and is expected to be completed by mid-2020. There is no cost to the Ministry of Defence as it is covered by contractual warranties.

Q
(Rayleigh and Wickford)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 02 July 2019
Ministry of Defence
Future Large Aircraft
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what decisions were taken at the recent NATO Ministerial meeting on the Airbus A400m aircraft.
A
Answered by: Stuart Andrew
Answered on: 08 July 2019

At the A400M Ministerial meeting on 28 June 2019, a decision was made to progress negotiations with the engine manufacturer on the future support solution for the TP-400 engine, with a view to significantly reducing support costs. Ministers directed that Airbus Defence and Space, as the prime contractor, should participate in those negotiations.

Agreement was also reached to sign a six-nation aircraft support contract to provide common support services and spares to supplement national arrangements and a decision was taken that the A400M Programme Division of OCCAR would relocate from its current base in Toulouse to Madrid in 2022 to enable closer working between the sponsor, prime contractor and subcontractor.

Q
(Rayleigh and Wickford)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 02 July 2019
Ministry of Defence
Future Large Aircraft
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the circumstances were of any crashes involving A400M aircraft.
A
Answered by: Stuart Andrew
Answered on: 08 July 2019

There has been one crash of an industry-operated A400M, on 9 May 2015. The aircraft was on a test flight, having just completed production in Seville. The crash was investigated by the Spanish Air Accident Investigation Authority, who attributed the cause of the accident to how the engine software had been loaded. A fleetwide software change has since been implemented to prevent the possibility of a reoccurrence.

Q
(Rayleigh and Wickford)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 25 June 2019
Ministry of Defence
Future Large Aircraft
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 24 June to Question 266855 on Future Large Aircraft, what the cost to the public purse is of the anticipated work programme to improve the reliability of the A400M; what the planned length of time is for the completion of that programme; what the key features are of that programme; and whether that work programme will take place at RAF Brize Norton.
A
Answered by: Stuart Andrew
Answered on: 01 July 2019

There is no additional cost to the public purse of the work programme to improve the reliability of the A400M, which is funded by industry. This is planned to conclude by the third quarter of 2020 and will comprise work to upgrade the engines, gearboxes and the Bleed Air Leak Detection System. A separate package of work will provide an avionics update. The work is being undertaken both at RAF Brize Norton and Airbus facilities in Spain (Seville and Getafe).

Q
(Rayleigh and Wickford)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 25 June 2019
Ministry of Defence
Future Large Aircraft
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what requirements for troops to parachute from the A400M were included in the original specification for that aircraft; whether the A400M has been cleared to deliver that capability; on how many occasions the A400M has delivered that capability; and what assessment she has made of potential technical issues that would prevent the parachuting of troops from the A400M.
A
Answered by: Stuart Andrew
Answered on: 01 July 2019

The original A400M specification included the requirements to dispatch troops via static line at low and high altitude and freefall from high altitude from both the rear parachute side doors and cargo ramp. Trials have demonstrated that A400M can safely dispatch parachutists via the cargo ramp and using a single side door. At this time that capability has not been used by the UK. Airbus have demonstrated a technical solution to the well-publicised technical challenges of dispatching parachutists simultaneously from both side doors, which is under-going evaluation through the ongoing contracted Airbus development programme.

Q
(Rayleigh and Wickford)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 25 June 2019
Ministry of Defence
Future Large Aircraft
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many A400M aircraft have been (a) ordered by and (b) delivered to (i) the RAF, (ii) the Luftwaffe, (iii) the Spanish Air Force, (d) the Italian Air Force and (e) other nations air forces.
A
Answered by: Stuart Andrew
Answered on: 01 July 2019

A total of 174 A400M aircraft have been ordered to date, the breakdown of aircraft ordered and delivered is as follows:

Aircraft

Ordered

Delivered (as of June 2019)

RAF1

22

20

German Luftwaffe1

53

30

Spanish Air force1

27

4

Italian Air Force

0

0

French Air Force1

50

15

Turkish Air Force1

10

8

Belgian Air Component1

8

0

Malaysian Air Force2

4

4

Italy is not a participant in the A400M Programme.

Notes:

1 - A400M Partner Nation

2 - Export Customer

Q
(Rayleigh and Wickford)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 19 June 2019
Ministry of Defence
Future Large Aircraft
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the cost of the programme to improve the airworthiness of the RAF's A400M fleet; and whether any of that cost is being being borne by (a) the RAF, (b) Airbus and (c) a combination of the two.
A
Answered by: Stuart Andrew
Answered on: 24 June 2019

The A400M aircraft is fully compliant with all UK safety and airworthiness standards. A modification programme is under way to improve the reliability of aircraft systems to increase availability. This programme of work is fully funded by Airbus and their subcontractors under the terms of the contract.

Q
Asked by Lord Boateng
Asked on: 21 March 2019
Department for International Development
Southern Africa: Storms
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to the deployment of the British Armed Forces to provide engineering and logistical advice and support to the region affected by Cyclone Idai; and whether they have received any requests for such assistance.
A
Answered by: Lord Bates
Answered on: 01 April 2019

The UK Government has deployed an RAF A400M Atlas aircraft to deliver up to 20 tonnes of UK aid supplies in support of the cyclone response in Mozambique. DFID, as the lead UK department is working closely with the Ministry of Defence and continues to keep additional options for UK assistance under review.

Q
(Rayleigh and Wickford)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 04 February 2019
Ministry of Defence
Future Large Aircraft: Procurement
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many A400M aircraft have been ordered for the Royal Air Force in total; how many of those aircraft have (a) been delivered and (b) yet to be delivered; and what estimate he has made of the (i) procurement cost of all A400Ms ordered and (ii) lifetime cost of one A400M programme.
A
Answered by: Stuart Andrew
Answered on: 07 February 2019

Twenty two A400M aircraft have been ordered for the Royal Air Force and of these, 20 have been delivered with two remaining. The forecast procurement cost for these aircraft is £2.6 billion, and the whole life support cost for the fleet is currently forecast to be approximately £6.7 billion, up to the A400M's planned out-of-service date.

Q
(Rayleigh and Wickford)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 04 February 2019
Ministry of Defence
Military Aircraft
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the latest Royal Air Force serviceability statistics are for the (a) C-130J Hercules, (b) C-17 Globemaster, (c) A400M Atlas and (d) CH-47 Chinook.
A
Answered by: Stuart Andrew
Answered on: 07 February 2019

The number of C-130J Hercules, C-17 Globemaster and Atlas A400M aircraft and Chinook helicopters in the Forward and Sustainment Fleets at 1 February 2019 is given in the table below.

Type

Forward Fleet

Sustainment Fleet

Total

C-130J Hercules

12

4

16

C-17 Globemaster

7

1

8

Atlas A400M

12

8

20

Chinook

41

19

60

The Forward Fleet comprises serviceable and short term unserviceable aircraft. Typically, the short term unserviceable aircraft are undergoing minor works, forward maintenance or other unforeseen rectification or technical inspection that can arise on a day-to-day basis. The sustainment fleet includes aircraft airframes undergoing upgrade or maintenance or being held in storage. The number of aircraft available varies day-to-day, according to normal flight management activities.

Q
Asked by Lord Moonie
Asked on: 10 October 2018
Ministry of Defence
Future Large Aircraft
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many A400M aircraft which were originally intended for the German Luftwaffe have been or will be accepted into RAF service; and what were the cost savings to the UK.
A
Answered by: Earl Howe
Answered on: 24 October 2018

The RAF has not received any A400M aircraft originally intended for service in the German Luftwaffe. As part of the normal programme planning process, a former German production slot for an unbuilt aircraft has been exchanged for a UK production slot, but there are no cost savings associated with this change.

Asked on: 21 May 2018
Ministry of Defence
Future Large Aircraft
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many A400M Atlas aircraft they intend to buy for the Royal Air Force.
A
Answered by: Earl Howe
Answered on: 04 June 2018

The Ministry of Defence has ordered 22 A400M aircraft, of which 19 have been delivered to date. The 20th aircraft is due to be handed over shortly, and the final delivery is expected in 2022.

Q
Asked on: 21 February 2018
Ministry of Defence
Future Large Aircraft
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the current estimated cost of the A400 Atlas aircraft programme; how many of the aircraft have been delivered to the RAF so far; how many are operational; and when they expect deliveries to be complete.
A
Answered by: Earl Howe
Answered on: 27 February 2018

The forecast UK acquisition cost of the A400M Atlas transport aircraft programme is £2.6 billion. The current UK fleet size is 18 aircraft and of these, 15 are operational while three are at a facility in Spain being modified to bring them up to the latest capability standard. 22 A400M aircraft have been ordered by the UK and the final delivery is expected in 2022.

Q
(Romford)
Asked on: 23 November 2017
Ministry of Defence
EU Defence Policy
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will publish the UK programmes providing support for the development of the European Defence Technology Industrial Base.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 04 December 2017
Holding answer received on 01 December 2017

As the largest defence spender in Europe, there are a number of UK programmes that support the development of the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB). These include our ongoing investment in Typhoon; the UK-French Maritime Mine Counter-Measure programme; the UK-French Future Anti-Surface Guided Weapon (Heavy) (SeaVenom); the 'METEOR' missile; the A400M; Tornado aircraft; and the UK procurement of the 'AJAX' armoured fighting vehicle.

The UK remains an irreplaceable component of European defence capability and is a key industrial partner in European cooperative development programmes. The UK also holds membership of two non-EU intergovernmental agencies; the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation and the Letter of Intent Treaty nations framework which promote the strengthening of the EDTIB.

Q
(North Durham)
Asked on: 19 July 2017
Ministry of Defence
Military Aircraft
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the whole-lifetime cost of operating RAF (a) Hercules and (b) A400M fleets.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 06 September 2017

The Infrastructure and Projects Authority Annual Report on Major Projects 2016-2017 gives a Whole Life Cost total baseline for A400M Atlas as £3,614.94 million for 22 aircraft.

For Hercules, the information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. This is due to their length of service.

Q
(North Durham)
Asked on: 12 July 2017
Ministry of Defence
Hercules Aircraft
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the planned out of service dates are for the RAF's (a) Hercules C1/C3 (K) and (b) Hercules C4/C5 (J) variants; and what plans his Department has to procure a replacement for those aircraft's specialist capability.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 21 July 2017

The Hercules C-130K model (CMk 1 and Mk3) retired from service on 31 December 2012.The Hercules C-130J CMk4 are scheduled to retire from RAF service on 31 March 2035. The Hercules C-130J CMk5 has begun an approved drawdown plan, and the final aircraft will leave service in 2019.We are procuring the A400M to assume the roles performed by all variants of the Hercules C-130J aircraft.

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