§ Mr. Colvin
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for how many weeks since her entry into service Royal Fleet Auxiliary Argus has been available for the purpose for which she was procured; for how many weeks per year it was intended that she should be available; what alternative means of helicopter training have been made available; when RFA Argus is due out of refit; what helicopter training will be available until then; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Hanley
Since RFA Argus became fully operational in March 1989, she has been available for operational duties for 142 weeks. She would normally be available for her peacetime role as an aviation training 173W ship for approximately 36 weeks per year, but due to operational deployments to the Gulf and the Adriatic, she has only been available for this task for a total of 83 weeks since 1989. When she is unavailable, shipborne helicopter aircrew training is provided by alternative RFA vessels. RFA Argus will be in refit until October 1993. During this period shipborne aviation training will be provided by RFA Olmeda and RFA Olna.