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Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what were the maximum permitted speeds and minimum permitted altitudes for Royal Air Force Vulcan aircraft, prior to their withdrawal from the strike/attack role, during low-level sorties while deployed to Nellis air force base, Nevada, for Red Flag exercises.
Mr. Hanley : Although records of heights and speeds flown by RAF Vulcan aircraft overseas are not available, inquiries indicate that the maximum permitted speed of 350 knots and minimum height of 300ft, which applied in the United Kingdom low-flying system, were also observed by Vulcan aircrew participating in red flag exercises ; where appropriate aircraft would, however, have been authorised to fly down to 100ft to allow them to take full advantage of the weather conditions and facilities offered by these exercises.
Mr. Hanley : A recording of the noise generated by the Hawk aircraft at 150ft was taken during Exercise Luce Belle on the basis that the minimum authorised altitude for the aircraft is 100ft above ground level as explained in my answer of 20 January, Official Report , column 819 , to the hon. Member.
Mr. Hanley : The numbers of sorties flown by aircraft of foreign air forces in the United Kingdom low-flying system in each month since September 1993 to December 1993, the most recent month for which figures are available, were as follows :
|October |November|December ------------------------------------------------------------- Netherlands |- |- |- France |- |2 |- Italy |- |8 |- Denmark |- |- |3 United States of America |- |- |- Germany |- |- |- Belgium |- |- |- Canada |- |- |- Spain |- |- |- Portugal |2 |- |- Turkey |- |- |- |-- |-- |-- Total |2 |10 |3
Mr. Hanley : The numbers of low-flying sorties by aircraft type carried out in the United Kingdom for the period July 1993 to December 1993, the most recent month for which figures are available, were as follows :
Aircraft Type |July |August |September |October |November |December ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Buccaneer |100 |139 |115 |137 |74 |54 Harrier |733 |406 |388 |543 |486 |471 Hawk |1,793 |1,400 |1,474 |1,101 |1,137 |486 Jaguar |625 |505 |444 |617 |301 |390 Jet Provost |76 |69 |50 |43 |- |- Tornado |2,045 |1,953 |1,893 |1,958 |1,504 |1,280 Tucano |871 |939 |801 |636 |468 |380 F-15 |235 |325 |352 |178 |279 |288 F-111 |266 |205 |130 |62 |34 |5 Other Aircraft (including helicopters) |4,887 |3,712 |4,871 |3,613 |3,984 |2,315 |------- |------- |------- |------- |------- |------- Total |11,631 |9,653 |10,518 |8,888 |8,267 |5,669
The figures in the table do not include the number of sorties flown within LFA 10 as the information is not yet available.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information was available to his Department on the frequency of night low flying over the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland when the decision was made not to include those areas in the system of numbered night low-flying areas ; and if he will make a statement on the means used (a) to deconflict aircraft flying at low level at night over these areas and (b) to identify the aircraft involved in the event of a public complaint about military low flying at night over these areas.
Mr. Hanley : Information available to my Department indicates that only a small amount of night low flying is carried out in these areas, the majority of which is conducted during exercises. Deconflicting arrangements are made during the planning and briefing for such exercises. No complaints about night low flying over these areas have been received in the last five years.
Low flying |Numbers of area |complaints |or inquiries --------------------------------------- 1 |278 2 |836 3 |19 4 |368 5 |516 6 |374 7 |556 8 |232 9 |69 10 |14 11 |388 12 |230 13 |25 14 |459 16 |583 17 |531 18 |205
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the current minimum annual number of low-level flying hours required for combat ready Tornado GR1 pilots to maintain their currency to fly at 250ft ; and
Column 354what is the specified period of time beyond which pilots who have not flown at 250ft are required to carry out requalification.
Mr. Hanley : A Tornado GR1 pilot is required to complete a minimum of 80 low level sorties during annual training. Each low level sortie must include a minimum of 20 minutes of low flying at 250ft. There is no specified period of time beyond which re-qualification becomes necessary. However, if a combat ready pilot is unable to fly at low level for a period of time his squadron will implement a programme of workdown training prior to authorising him to resume unrestricted low flying at 250ft.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which document contains the regulation requiring that fixed low-flying routes are (a) used as little as possible and (b) replaced are regular intervals ; and what maximum interval between such replacements is stipulated.
Mr. Hanley : The regulation requiring fixed routes to be used as little as possible and to be replaced at regular intervals is contained in the United Kingdom military low flying handbook. The stipulation is that fixed routes must be replaced at least twice a year.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what were the maximum permitted speeds and minimum permitted altitudes for Royal Air Force Vulcan aircraft, prior to their withdrawal from the strike/attack role, while conducting low-level training from Goose Bay, Canada ; and if any such training was conducted outside fixed low level training routes.
Mr. Hanley : Although records of heights and speeds flown by RAF Vulcan aircraft overseas are not available, inquiries indicate that the maximum permitted speeds of 350 knots and the minimum height of 300ft, which applied to the United Kingdom low flying system, were also observed at Goose bay, apart from rare occasions when Vulcans were permitted to fly down to 100ft in preparation for red flag exercises. None of these sorties would have taken place outside fixed low-level training routes.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if the operating authorities of low flying areas 2P, 3, 9 and 10 are permitted to allow fast jet aircraft to enter their low flying area when helicopters are also operating in the area at low level.
Mr. Hanley : Yes, the co-ordinating authorities of low-flying areas 2P, 3, 9 and 10 may, at their discretion, authorise fixed wing aircraft to enter the areas when helicopters are operating at low level.
Mr. Hanley : The number of low-flying movements carried out in the United Kingdom low flying system in 1993 was 262,973. These figures do not include the number of movements flown within the newly created low-flying area 10. Statistics for this area are not yet available.
Year |Hercules |Helicopters ------------------------------------------------ 1993 |2,242 |41,493
These figures do not include the number of sorties flown within low-flying area 10 as this information is not yet available.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what consideration has been given to restricting the low flying avoidance area status of gliding sites on weekdays to those locations whose operators have been advised by his Department of specific weekday activity.
Mr. Hanley : The Civil Aviation Authority provide the location and operating times of all glider sites to the headquarters, military air traffic operations. Sites operating on a weekday are granted avoidance status on the basis of the information provided.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the current minimum annual number of flying hours required for combat-ready Tornado GR1 pilots to maintain their currency to fly using terrain- following radar in instrument meteorological conditions (a) in daylight and (b) at night ; what is the specified period of time beyond which a qualification to fly in these conditions lapses ; and what changes have taken place in these requirements since 1989.
Mr. Hanley : A combat ready Tornado GR1 pilot is required to complete a minimum of eight hours automatic terrain following radar--TFR-- flying per year. No distinction is made between TFR flying in instrument meteorological conditions--IMC--by day or night. IMC TFR currency lapses if no qualifying sortie has been flown in the last 30 days. Once a pilot's TFR currency has lapsed he is required to complete a single 20 minute TFR sortie in visual meteorological conditions--VMC--prior to recommencing IMC training. Since 1989 the currency requirement for IMC TFR flying has reduced from 60 days to 30 days.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the date, location, aircraft type involved, altitude and joint airmiss working group determination of risk category and cause, for each air miss involving a military aircraft in 1993.
Mr. Hanley : I will arrange for a copy of the list of all airmiss reports involving military aircraft in 1993, and which have been investigated to date by the joint airmiss working group, to be placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a copy of the joint airmiss working group report on the air miss between an RAF Tornado and a Jet Ranger helicopter over Caithness on 8 April 1992.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement in respect of the disturbance caused by troops from the 22 Royal Engineers and the 1 Battalion Irish Guards in Salisbury.
No civilians were involved in the incident, no serious injuries were sustained and there was no damage to property.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what were the results of the investigations carried out in respect of the suspected sabotage on HMS Birmingham ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the (a) budgeted and (b) actual expenditure by his Department on (1) internal and (2) overseas travel by the Secretary of State in 1992-93 after 11 April 1992 and so far in 1993-94.
From our records, the costs of his internal and overseas travel from 11 April 1992 to 31 January 1994 can be assessed as follows :
|Internal|Overseas |£ |£ -------------------------------------------------------- 1992-93 (from 11 April 1992) |37,146 |222,464 1993-94 (to date) |43,365 |187,153
Figures are approximate and cover the costs of Royal Air Force and civil flights. The internal' column includes some flights to Europe which it has not possible to identify separately in the time available.
Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what ministerial visits have been made by representatives of his Department, over each of the last three years to (a) Indonesia, (b) Jordan, (c) Oman, (d) Nigeria, (e) Ecuador, (f) Malaysia and (g) India ; and what was their main purpose in each case.
Secretary of State--1991, 1993
Under-Secretary of State (Armed Forces)--1991
Secretary of State--1992, 1994
Minister (Defence Procurement)--1991, 1992, 1993
Minister (Defence Procurement)--1992
Secretary of State--1991, 1993
Minister (Defence Procurement)--1991
Under-Secretary of State--1992, 1993
Under-Secretary of State (Armed Forces)--1991
Under-Secretary of State--1993
Ministerial visits are generally made to maintain and improve our defence relations with the host country. In each case a broad range of issues was discussed.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the dates and places visited by HMSBritannia during its 1993 Mediterranean, Gulf and Indian ocean tour ; which United Kingdom companies used the tour to promote their wares ; what was the total cost of the tour ; and what percentage of this cost was met by the companies.
Malta--24 September-1 October
Souda Bay--3 October
Column 358Piraeus--11-14 October
Abu Dhabi--10-12 November
Souda Bay--2 December
Opportunities were taken to promote British business during the vists to Istanbul and Bombay. At Istanbul the following companies attended, under the auspices of British invisibles :
Barclays de Zoete Wedd
Barings International Finance
Barings Security Ltd
Clyde and Co
Coopers and Lybrand
Hill Samuel Bank
Kleinwort Benson PLC
McKenna and Co
SG Warburg and Co Ltd
SG Warburg Group PLC
At Bombay, the royal yacht hosted 95 British companies ; I shall place a copy of the list of these companies in the Library of the House.
We do not maintain information on the costs of individual tours. Companies are required to pay additional costs associated with the hospitality afforded them.