§ Mr. Trotter
asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many Argosy aircraft remain in the RAF; how many of these were recently rebuilt and at what cost; and what use has been, and is to be, made of them.
§ Mr. John
Nine Argosies remain in use in the RAF for the calibration of navigation and airfield approach aids. The number so employed will shortly be reduced to six.
Twenty-two Argosies have been sold to date.
Work had started on four of the 14 Argosies scheduled for conversion for rear-crew training prior to cancellation of the project. Three of these are included in the 22 already sold. The one which remains, together with three other Argosy airframes, is being used for ground instruction.
The total cost incurred on the conversion programme was £1.9 million, some of which was attributable to research and development. The sales, together with the substantial overall savings to the defence budget on the cancellation of the project, more than offset this expenditure.