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Aviation Procurement


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.

Upcoming events

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Past events

Wednesday 17 May 2023
2:00pm Private
2:30pm Public
Aviation Procurement - Oral evidence 17 May 2023
  • James Cartlidge MP, Minister for Defence Procurement
  • Vice Admiral Rick Thompson (Director General Air at Ministry of Defence)
  • Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Knighton KCB (Chief of the Air Staff Designate at Ministry of Defence)
Room 16, Palace of Westminster
Wednesday 22 March 2023
10:00am Private
10:30am Public
Aviation Procurement - Oral evidence 22 March 2023
  • Andy Netherwood - Squadron Leader (Rtd)
  • Captain Royal Navy (Rtd) Dan Stembridge (Chair, Air & Space Power Group at Royal Aeronautical Society at Royal Aeronautical Society)
  • Lieutenant General USAF (Rtd) David Deptula (Dean at Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies)
Room 16, Palace of Westminster
Tuesday 29 November 2022
10:00am Private
10:30am Public
Aviation Procurement - Oral evidence 29 November 2022
  • Ian Muldowney (Chief Operating Officer at BAE Systems Air)
  • Sir Kevin Leeson (Director of Military Affairs at Airbus UK)
  • Anna Keeling (Vice President and Managing Director at Boeing Defence UK)
  • Paul Livingston (Vice President and Chief Executive UK at Lockheed Martin)
Room 16, Palace of Westminster
Tuesday 28 June 2022
2:00pm Private
2:30pm Public
Aviation Procurement - Oral evidence 28 June 2022
  • Dr Sophy Antrobus (Research Fellow, Freeman Air and Space Institute at Kings College London)
  • Justin Bronk (Senior Research Fellow for Airpower and Technology at Royal United Services Institute (RUSI))
The Wilson Room, Portcullis House

Contact us

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  • Phone: 020 7219 3113/6168 (general enquiries) | 020 7219 2996 (media enquiries)
  • Address: Defence Committee, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA