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Nuclear Depth Bombs

Mr. Nellist : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what increase there has been since 1980 in the number of Royal Naval helicopters capable of dropping nuclear depth bombs ; what plans are in existence or under consideration to increase this capability ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Neubert : The number of helicopters capable of dropping nuclear depth bombs has remained broadly constant since 1980. Our plans in this area, as in all others, are kept under regular review.

NATO (Report)

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he has received a copy of the report "New Directions for NATO : Adapting the Atlantic Alliance to the Needs of the 1990s" by the Institute for Resource and Security Studies and the Institute for Peace and International Security.

Mr. Neubert : Yes.

BAOR (Security)

Mr. O'Neill : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many service personnel are involved in the maintenance of security at the British Army of the Rhine base at Osnabruck.

Mr. Neubert : A range of measures, including the use of service personnel, is taken to maintain security at the base but, for security reasons, I am not prepared to disclose details.

Mr. O'Neill : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many service personnel are involved in the maintenance of security at British Army of the Rhine bases.

Mr. Neubert : For security reasons it is not our policy to divulge such details.

Mr. O'Neill : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information he has about the reported bombing of Quebec barracks at the British Army of the Rhine base at Osnabruck ; and if he will make a statement.


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Mr. Neubert : At 0130 hours on 19 June 1989 an explosion took place at Quebec barracks at Osnabruck. The attack involved five high explosive devices, only one of which exploded. Shortly before the explosion, an unidentified intruder was challenged by a German civilian employee. The intruder was armed and a shot was fired. The German civilian was then struck in the face by the intruder, sustaining minor injuries. As a result of the shot being fired, the occupants of a nearby accommodation block were roused, the alarm was raised and several suspected devices were discovered outside the accommodation block. The building was successfully evacuated before one of the devices exploded. There were no casualties. Police inquiries are in progress in Germany and elsewhere.

It is worth noting that, like the failed attack on Clive barracks at Tern hill on 20 February this year, the terrorists' intention of causing significant casualties was thwarted by the vigilance and prompt action of on-duty personnel. In the case of Quebec barracks I would like to pay tribute to the action of the German employee who, though unarmed, challenged the intruder.

Mr. O'Neill : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what was the annual expenditure on physical security arrangements for British Army of the Rhine bases in each of the last five years ; (2) what was the annual expenditure on physical security at the British Army of the Rhine base at Osnabruck for each of the last five years.

Mr. Neubert : It would require disproportionate cost and effort to identify such figures.

Mr. O'Neill : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the last co-ordinated test and evaluation of security at the Osnabruck British Army of the Rhine base was carried out.

Mr. Neubert : A co-ordinated test and evaluation of security at Quebec barracks was last carried out on 9 June 1989.

Mr. O'Neill : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether any civilian workers at British Army of the Rhine bases have any involvement in the maintenance of security at those bases.

Mr. Neubert : For security reasons it is not our policy to disclose this information.

Blind Take-off Manoeuvres

Mr. Nellist : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the purpose of the practice of blind take-off manoeuvres ; how frequently this manoeuvre is carried out by (a) RAF aircraft based in the United Kingdom and (b) United States Air Force aircraft based in the United Kingdom ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Neubert : Take-off manoeuvres by aircraft of the Royal Air Force or the United States Air Force stationed in this country are not carried out "blind".


 

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