HC Deb 12 February 2004 vol 417 c1632W
Mr. Amess

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Challenger II tanks are currently operational. [152606]

Mr. Ingram

As at January 2004, 58 per cent. of our Challenger II Main Battle Tanks available for operations were classed as 'Fit'. Equipment is deemed to be 'Fit' if it meets the inspection criteria stated in the relevant Army Equipment Support Publication Inspections Standards for all operational and peacetime legal and safety requirements. Many of the tanks classified as not 'Fit' require only minor work in terms of spares or labour to rectify the problem, and many of these would be able to undertake their prescribed role in an operational environment.