HC Deb 02 November 1998 vol 318 c351W
Mr. Hancock

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many RAF aircraft of each type have been used to provide spare parts for other aircraft in each of the last three years. [56051]

Mr. Doug Henderson

This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

"Cannibalisation" of aircraft for parts is a recognised procedure practised by air forces around the world. If an aircraft is undergoing maintenance and is not available for flight, parts may be taken from it to keep other aircraft serviceable, thereby ensuring that the maximum number of aircraft are available with the minimum number awaiting spares deliveries. Stringent procedures are in place to ensure that cannibalisation does not adversely affect air worthiness.