§ Mr. Allason
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the ratio of support and maintenance technicians for helicopters in support of the Army between those operated by the Royal Air Force and the Army air corps. 
§ Mr. Soames
The Army air corps has an aircraft establishment of 260 helicopters, with 43 reserves. These receive first and second-line technical support from 1,022 aircraft engineering officers and men, and 293 contractors' personnel. The Royal Air Force has an aircraft establishment of 138 support helicopters, with 35 reserves. These are supported by 1,708 aircraft engineers, and 230 contractors' personnel. Third-line support of these helicopters is provided under tri-service arrangements. It would be misleading to draw a direct comparison between these two sets of figures. The technical complexity of the helicopters involved is very different, as are the levels of maintenance carried out at the second line by the two services.