The Committee has decided to inquire into aviation procurement across the Armed Forces and will undertake two distinct but connected inquiries. The first will focus on the strategic context, existing contracts and capabilities, and the impact of planned reductions to the fleet, and will consider in particular:
Will the proposals set out in the Integrated Review and Defence Command Paper deliver the aviation capabilities (fixed-wing and rotary), combat mass and interoperability required of UK Armed Forces, particularly in light of the changed security situation in Europe?
What is the rationale behind, and what are the implications of, planned reductions to the existing fleet, including:
Combat air, with the early retirement of Tranche 1 Typhoons and the apparent scaling-back of commitments to purchase additional F35-B fighter aircraft.
Fleet mobility, with regard to the early retirement of the C-130J Hercules, and the removal of the Puma and older Chinook helicopters from service.
Airborne early warning and control, with the early retirement of the E-3D Sentry and the decision to reduce the number of E – 7A Wedgetails entering service from 5 to 3.
Will the uplifted contracts for both rotary and fixed wing Military Flying Training effectively and rapidly resolve capacity issues?
Written evidence on the above issues is now invited and should be submitted by Friday 6 May 2022.
A follow-on inquiry will examine proposals for future capabilities, including the Future Combat Air System and new medium-lift helicopter. It will consider whether the MoD has the requisite structures and expertise to robustly manage these significant investment programmes, and how it should seek to support a sustainable and thriving domestic aviation sector. Further details, including arrangements for submitting evidence on these topics, will be published at a later date.
This inquiry is no longer accepting evidence
The deadline for submissions was Friday 6 May 2022.