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Mr. Caton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library information about the percentage of all ammunition fired by the British Army in training that does not detonate. 
Mr. Ingram: The document that contains statistical data on performance failures is classified and therefore withheld in accordance with Exemption 1 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.
Mr. Ingram: The facilities at the Altcar training camp play an important role in meeting the training needs of the Regular forces, reserves, and cadets from all three services. The Ministry of Defence is considering proposals for the modernisation of the facilities at the camp, specifically the upgrading of targetry and associated range control features.
Mr. Jack: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what target the Training Group Defence Agency set for into productive service multi-engine pilots for 2001; and how many went into service in 200001. 
Mr. Jack: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what effect the lack of RAF flying personnel staying on past the 38/16 point will have on the supply of pilots for multi-engine aircraft in each year up to 2012. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 10 July 2001]: The number of pilots trained to fly multi-engine aircraft who leave the RAF at the age 38/16 years of service point is small. Last year 16 pilots (1.9 per cent. of trained strength on 1 April 2000) left the service at that point and although a small increase is forecast over the next five to six years, the rate is expected to return to current levels by 200708.
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|Requirement||Forecast strength||Forecast surplus/ shortfall|
Addressing pilot shortfalls is a key priority for the Government and RAF and a number of initiatives are being undertaken to address this problem. These include the introduction of an in-service degree scheme to attract aircrew at a younger age, fully manning the RAF training systems, and the introduction of targeted financial incentives and the Linkup scheme to help improve retention. A comprehensive review of aircrew retention measures across the armed forces is also being undertaken and will report later this year, hopefully in time to influence the Armed Forces Pay Review Body's deliberations for their 2002 report.
Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence to which military unit the STANOC Centre is attached; for what reason it was transferred from HQ Director Royal Artillery; what the annual cost or saving resulting from the move is; and how many personnel were employed in the centre in (a) 2000 and (b) 2001. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 10 July 2001]: The Surveillance, Target Acquisition, Night Observation and Counter-surveillance (STANOC) centre is currently part of the Royal Artillery Trials and Development Unit, which is an element of Headquarters Director Royal Artillery based at Larkhill in Wiltshire. As a result of the General Staff Review and a further study into Army Trials and Development Units, it has been decided that the STANOC centre's outputs would most effectively be provided in the future by disaggregating its prime responsibilities to the Land Warfare Training Centre (LWTC) and Infantry Trials and Development Unit (ITDU), both of which are based at Warminster. The current annual cost of the STANOC centre is £242,878. The provision of new infrastructure at Warminster is currently estimated at £65,000. Six military personnel were employed at the STANOC centre in 2000, and from 1 September 2001 three of these posts will be transferred to the LWTC and ITDU at Warminster and the remaining three posts will be redeployed elsewhere in the Field Army. Therefore, there will be no overall saving to the defence budget.
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Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the availability of tritium for Britain's military defence programme following the accident at the Chapelcross reactor Number 3 this month. 
Mr. Hoon: We continue to discuss missile defence and related issues regularly with the United States. We have consistently made it clear that we share US concerns about the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, and that we will continue to work together to tackle the potential threat with a comprehensive strategy. And we welcome the fact that they are consulting with Allies, Russia and others on this important issue. But it is ultimately a matter for the US Administration to decide what sort of missile defences they will seek to deploy. They have not yet done so, and nor have they made any request for the use of facilities in the UK for missile defence purposes.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library copies of communications from the Medical Research Council to his Department outlining the reasons why they believed an epidemiological study of the Porton Down volunteers is feasible. 
Dr. Moonie: There are no such communications. The feasibility of an epidemiological study was discussed formally at a meeting on 5 April 2001. Notes of that meeting are contained in the briefing pack for research teams wishing to undertake the study. A copy of the pack has been placed in the Library of the House.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library (1) a copy of the information pack which is being sent to academic researchers who submit an expression of interest in carrying out an epidemiological study of service volunteers who took part in experiments at the Chemical Defence Establishment, Porton Down; 
Dr. Vis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if his Department invites bidders to offer liquidated damages as a standard percentage of their tendered price with a standard time limit on their application; and how he
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ensures that contractors do not include the value of potential liquidated damages payments in their tendered prices; 
(3) what procedures his Department follows to establish the level of likely damage on which to base liquidated damages indemnities; and to establish an upper limit of liquidated damages in each case. 
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