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Reserve Forces and Cadets Associations

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the new locations and structures of the Reserve Forces and Cadets Associations; and if he will make a statement. [121939]

Mr. Spellar: Details of the locations of the Reserve Forces' and Cadets' Associations (previously called Territorial Auxiliary and Volunteer Reserve Associations) are as follows:

Council of Reserve Forces' and Cadets; Associations
Duke of York's Headquarters, Chelsea, London SW3 4SG.
Highland Association
Seathwood, 365 Perth Road, Dundee, DD2 1LX
Councils forming the Association: Highland, Moray, Aberdeenshire, City of Aberdeen, Perthshire and Kinross, Angus, City of Dundee, Argull and Bute, stirling, Fife, Falkirk, West Dunbartonshire, East Dunbartonshire, parts of north Lanarkshire and the Islands area of Orkney, Shetland and Western Isles.
Lowland Association
Lowland House, 60 Avenuepark Street, Glasgow G20 8LW
Councils forming the Association: The Scottish borders, Dumfries and Galloway, East Lothian, City of Edinburgh, Midlothian, West Lothian, South Lanarkshire, North Lanarkshire (that formerly comprised of Monklands and Motherwell districts) East Ayrshire, North Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, Renfrewshire, City of Glasgow and that part of Argull and Bute Council comprising the Island of Bute.
North of England Association
53 Old Elvet, Durham DH1 3JJ
Counties forming the Association: Northumberland, Durham, Tyne and Wear and the Boroughs of Hartlepool; Stockton; Middlesborough; Redcar and Cleveland.
Yorkshire and the Humber Association
20 St. George's Place, York Y024 1DS
Counties forming the Association: North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, East Riding of Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire.
North West of England and Isle of Man Association
Alexandra Court, 28 Alexandra Court, Liverpool L17 8YE
Counties forming the Association: Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside and the Isle of Man.
Wales Association
Centre Block, Maindy Barracks, Cardiff CF4 3YE.
Counties forming the Association: The Counties of Wales.
West Midland Association
Tennal Grange, Tennal Road, Harborne, Birmingham B32 2HX
Counties forming the Association: Hereford and Worcester, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and West Midland Metropolitan.
East Midlands Association
6 Clifton Terrace, Derby Road, Nottingham NG7 1LZ
Counties forming the Association: Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland.

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Wessex Association
2 Beaufort Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 2JS
Counties/Unitary Authorities forming the Association: Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire.
Eastern Wessex Association
30 Carlton Place, Southampton SO15 2DX
Counties forming the Association: Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Dorset, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Oxfordshire and Channel Islands.
East Anglia Association
"Springfield Tyrells", 250 Springfield Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM2 6BU
Counties forming the Association: Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and those parts of the counties of Essex and Hertfordshire which do not form part of the Greater London Boundaries.
Greater London Association
Duke of York's Headquarters, Chelsea, London SW3 4RY
Area forming the Association: The Association boundaries conform with the Metropolitan Police boundaries and include the City of London, the boundaries of London and Middlesex and parts of Kent, Surrey, Essex and Hertfordshire.
South East Association
Sandling Place, Sandling Lane, Maidstone ME14 2NJ
Counties forming the Association: Kent and Surrey excluding those parts of these Counties within the Metropolitan Police District, East Sussex and West Sussex.
Northern Ireland Association
25 Windsor Park, Belfast BT9 6FR
Counties forming the Association: The six Counties of Ulster.

On 1 September, the Eastern Wessex and South East Associations will amalgamate and reform as the South East Association. The new Association will be based in Aldershot. At the same time, responsibility for reserve forces and cadets in Dorset will pass to the Wessex Association.

Membership of each RFCA is prescribed by means of a Scheme of Association, which is renewable every five years. Details of the Associations' responsibilities are contained in the Reserve Forces' and Cadets' Associations' Regulations, which were laid before the House on 23 March and a copy of the Regulations is available in the Library of the House.

Merlin Operators

Mr. Duncan Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many Merlin operators have been accepted into service; [121606]

Mr. Spellar [holding answer 11 May 2000]: There are two Merlin programmes, namely the Merlin Mk1 Anti-Submarine Warfare Helicopter and the Merlin Mk3 Support Helicopter.

To date 12 Merlin Mk1s have been accepted into service, but no Mk3s.

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The following further Merlin deliveries into service are anticipated in the periods in the question (figures are shown cumulatively):

(a) Five Mk1 and seven Mk3 within six months;
(b) 12 Mk1 and 11 Mk3 within 12 months;
(c) 18 Mk1 and 16 Mk3 within 18 months;
(d) 29 Mk1 and 22 Mk3 within 24 months.

Lynx Helicopters

Mr. DuncanSmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many of the Lynx helicopters that have been grounded due to serious technical faults will be back in service within (a) six months, (b) 12 months, (c) 18 months and (d) 24 months. [121602]

Mr. Spellar [holding answer 11 May 2000]: A number of steps are already being taken to increase the number of main rotor heads available for our Lynx helicopters, including bringing forward heads unaffected by fatigue problems from other airframes in routine maintenance, and improving repair and overhaul times. These will generate a steady improvement in Lynx availability with full fleet recovery being achieved after the delivery of new rotor heads in 18 months to two years. There are sufficient Lynx helicopters already available to meet all primary operational tasks.

Mr. Duncan Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many of the remaining Lynx helicopters have been converted to Mark 8 standard. [121600]

Mr. Spellar [holding answer 11 May 2000]: 31 Mark 3 Lynx helicopters have been converted to Mark 8 standard, six are currently undergoing conversion at the Defence Aviation Repair Agency. We are currently examining whether to convert the final 12 Mark 3s as originally planned in light of the remaining fatigue life of the aircraft.

Fisher Patrol Squadron

Mr. Duncan Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to order a new class of ships for the Fisher Patrol Squadron. [121609]

Mr. Spellar [holding answer 11 May 2000]: The Department's agreement with the Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food for the provision of Fishery Protection services is kept under periodic review. As part of the normal planning process, the ordering of replacements for those vessels currently used in the Fishery Protection role will be considered as the vessels reach the end of their lives.

Frigates and Minehunters

Mr. Duncan Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost per annum is of operating (a) Type 23 frigates, (b) Type 22 frigates, (c) SSNs, (d) Hunt Class minehunters and (e) Sandown Class minehunters. [121608]

Mr. Spellar [holding answer 11 May 2000]: The actual cost per annum of operation (a) Type 23 frigates, (b) Type 22 frigates, (c) SSNs, (d) Hunt Class minehunters and (e) Sandown Class minehunters will vary considerably dependent on the tasking/maintenance undertaken. Indicative annual costs, including manpower, fuel and stores only, would be in the region of £16 million for a

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Type 23 and a Type 22 frigate, £11 million for an SSN, £3 million for a Hunt Class minehunter and £2 million for a Sandown Class minehunter.

Aircraft Information Systems

Mr. Duncan Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the target dates for the completion of the information systems for Sea Kings are; and if they will be met; [121604]

Mr. Spellar [holding answer 11 May 2000]: The Mission System Upgrade for the Sea King Airborne Early Warning helicopters includes the installation of the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS). This programme is on target to meet the predicted in service date of late 2001.

It is expected that all Sea Harriers FA2 aircraft will be equipped with JTIDs by 2005 as planned.

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