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Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps the Government have taken to protect war graves of the HMS Repulse and HMS Prince of Wales; what further action is planned; what co-operation is taking place between the Governments of Malaysia and Singapore and the United Kingdom on this matter; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Moonie: As I informed the House on 1 November 2000, Official Report, columns 243-50WH, my officials in both Malaysia and Singapore have made representations to officials within the respective governments. Both Malaysian and Singapore Navies have
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been asked to keep my officials informed of reports of intrusive diving or salvage and to inform us of any untoward activity in the area of the wrecks.
Furthermore, I am mindful that although designation of HMS Repulse and HMS Prince of Wales may not present the degree of protection that is sought for these vessels, that designation would provide evidence of the wrecks' status and this Government's commitment to honour its war dead. For this reason I have asked my officials to look again at detailing what designation will entail and what it will provide and whether this can be linked effectively to ensure better protection. I will write to the hon. Member when this work is complete.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what percentage of the total cost (a) his Department, (b) BAE Systems RO Defence, and (c) the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency will pay to fund the study to assess future naval fire-support requirements for the Royal Navy; and if he will make a statement; 
Dr. Moonie: Although some preliminary MOD funded studies are being conducted, we have yet to define a programme to assess future naval fire support requirements. A number of studies will be necessary ranging from operational analysis to technology research. Until this is done, it is not possible to estimate the scope or cost of the work. One study is about to start to examine the technical options for naval variants of the 155 mm artillery gun, one potential approach to meeting our requirement, and this has a 50/50 funding split between MOD and BAE Systems.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what estimate he has made of the cost of development and subsequent production of the 155 mm naval gun; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) what (a) cost and (b) performance advantages the 155 mm naval gun to be deployed on the type 45 destroyer will have over the mk 8 mod 1 gun now deployed; and if he will make a statement; 
(4) how the development programme for construction of the 155 mm naval gun will ensure it is capable of unloading 20 rounds per minute; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Moonie: The Type 45 Destroyer is being designed to allow the incremental incorporation of additional capabilities through life, to meet changing defence needs and to take advantage of technological developments. Some work is currently underway to consider what additional capabilities (including, potentially, enhanced
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naval fire support) we may need in the future but until it has been completed it would be inappropriate to prejudge its outcome. It is not therefore possible to estimate the value for money of a 155 mm gun or other potential solutions for Naval Fire Support for the Type 45.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress he has made in developing the new extended-range guided munitions for use in land-based 155 mm artillery; what has been the cost to date of the development and production of ERGMs for the (a) land-based and (b) naval 155 mm gun; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Moonie: The Extended Range Guided Munitions programme is a specific US Naval project in which my Department has no direct involvement. The nearest UK equivalent programme is the Low Cost Guided Munition (LCGM) Research Programme. This is a research programme to develop new technologies and assess their application to land and maritime systems.
Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what action his Department took to upgrade the Port of Gibraltar from category Z to category X for servicing nuclear submarines; and if he will make a statement. 
To undertake the specific repair to the reactor coolant system of HMS Tireless, the Z berth in Gibraltar has been enhanced to the standard necessary to obtain approval from the regulatory authority to undertake the repair.
This included enhancing the management organisation in Gibraltar and providing the additional equipment needed for the repair. This equipment will be removed when the repair is completed. The temporary enhancement to the Z berth occupied by HMS Tireless does not involve structural work and there are no changes required to the existing emergency planning arrangements.
Mr. Spellar [holding answer 2 November 2000]: Joint Flying Regulations have been in place for some time for all Service aircrew, including those in the Joint Helicopter Command although each of the three services retain individual regulations specific to their aircraft type and role. A review of regulations applying to military flying operations is currently under way and this work is due to be completed by January 2003. Other work, in parallel to the study, is being carried out to identify the areas where joint regulations need to be expanded.
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for each service how many of those are flying beyond the 500-hour deep-servicing requirement; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Spellar [holding answer 2 November 2000]: On 26 October, the Army had 39 fully serviceable Lynx aircraft in units. As at 24 October, the Royal Navy had 17 Lynx aircraft allocated to current operational duty and a further 21 aircraft are carrying out training and support activity and could be made available for operations although at penalty to their primary activity. The RAF does not have any Lynx helicopters.
'Deep' scheduled maintenance for Army Lynx aircraft is every 800 and 2,400 flying hours. The Royal Navy does not carry out block maintenance. Scheduled maintenance of Royal Navy Lynx aircraft is carried out on a rolling calendar basis throughout the life of the aircraft. Currently no Lynx aircraft is operating beyond authorised maintenance limits.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the relative contribution to the outcome of the conflict in Kosovo of (a) air power and (b) other factors. 
Mr. Spellar: The success of the air operations, although a critical element, is unlikely to have been the sole reason why Milosevic eventually agreed to the international community's demands. Although it is certain to have had a substantial effect, we believe that it was the cumulative effects of international pressure on all fronts, diplomatic, economic (trade and financial) and military, that achieved the aims of the international community.
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which British companies were asked to tender for the vehicle for the Theatre Wide Area Communications System; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Moonie: Our procurement strategy has been to seek a prime contractor for the entire Theatre Wide Area Communications Network for the Joint Rapid Reaction Force. The two competing companies (Nortel Networks Global Professional Services (Defence) and Thomson Racal Defence) for the prime contract were invited to propose the most suitable means, including communications equipments and vehicles, to meet the capability requirement. My Department has therefore not sought any tenders directly for vehicles to meet this requirement.
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the expected cost is for of the (a) Theatre Wide Area Communications System and (b) the vehicle to be used for the system; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Moonie: In the absence of the selection of a preferred contractor and finalisation of negotiations, a firm figure is not available, but we expect the cost of the Theatre Wide Area Communications Network manufacture contract, including vehicles and the first three years support, to be around £120 million.
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Dr. Moonie: The Bucher-Guyer Duro vehicle is not currently used by British forces. I understand a total of some 3,500 of these vehicles are in service with the armed forces of Belgium, Switzerland and Malaysia.
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the Bucher-Guyer Duro vehicle for use with the Theatre Wide Area Communications System; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Moonie: Against the overall capability sought for the Theatre Wide Area Communications Network (TWACN) for the Joint Rapid Reaction Force the Bucher-Guyer Duro vehicle has been proposed as the most suitable vehicle by both companies competing for the prime contract. Assessment continues of both companies' offers for TWACN, including the vehicles, against the capability sought.
Dr. Moonie: The requirement sought from industry was in the form of the capability required for the entire Theatre Wide Area Communications Network (TWACN) for the Joint Rapid Reaction Force (JRRF). In broad terms this included a requirement for a vehicle capable of being deployed, including by air, and used in accordance with the needs of the JRRF. The detailed requirements applicable to the vehicle are classified and I am withholding them under paragraph 1a of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.
Dr. Moonie: The Bucher-Guyer Duro has been subjected to date to a range of tests including airportability; human factors integration; Theatre Wide Area Communications Network box body fit and integration with the Duro chassis; and, initial recovery assessment. We have received copies of reliability trials reports from both the Swiss Ministry of Defence and from Germany, plus a technical evaluation report from the Czech Republic. UK type approval from the Vehicle Certification Agency has been confirmed.
Dr. Moonie: We expect to place the prime contract for the entire Theatre Wide Area Communications Network for the Joint Rapid Reaction Force by the end of December 2000, subject to the satisfactory outcome of final contract negotiations with the preferred contractor, a decision on which is expected to be taken around the middle of November.
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