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Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the value of the British Army next generation anti-armour weapon contract is; when the tender closing date is; when the contract start and completion dates are; and if he will make a statement; 
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when MBT-Law UK's British Next Generation anti-armour weapon will be ready for service; what the projected cost of this contract is; and if he will make a statement. 
15 Oct 2001 : Column: 947W
Dr. Moonie: MBT-LAW is one of the competitors to meet the Next Generation Light anti-armour weapon (NLAW) requirement. The preferred bidder will be announced next year, and a contract let shortly afterwards. We currently anticipate this system being ready for service in 200607. The final cost of the NLAW contract is subject to negotiation but it is expected to be in the order of £400 million.
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many soldiers have (a) died and (b) been injured as a result of firearms discharged on army property since the IRA ceasefire; on what dates; what the results were of (i) internal investigations and (ii) coroner's inquests in each case; where other soldiers were involved, what disciplinary measures were taken; where papers were passed to the Director of Public Prosecutions, how long he took to reach a decision on prosecution and what the result was. 
In 1995 there were three deaths which occurred on 21 June, 13 September and 25 September. The Coroner's verdict was that each soldier died as a result of a gunshot wound to the head. One injury occurred on 26 December. It is not normal practice to comment on the result of internal investigations or any resultant disciplinary action as this is a personal matter for the parties involved. However, I can confirm that one other soldier was involved in this injury and the matter was resolved under military jurisdiction. No papers were passed to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
In 1996 one death occurred on 20 July. The Coroner's verdict stated that the death was consistent with a bullet wound to the chest. There were no injuries in that year. It is not normal practice to comment on the result of internal investigations. No papers were passed to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
15 Oct 2001 : Column: 948W
There was one death in 1997 which occurred on 3 September. The verdict of the Coroner was that death was consistent with a bullet wound to the chest. There were also two injuries that year. These occurred on 9 and 16 August. It is not normal practice to comment on the result of internal investigations or any resultant disciplinary action as this is a personal matter for the parties involved. However, I can confirm that two soldiers were questioned regarding the incident on 9 August under military jurisdiction. No papers were passed to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
In 1999 there were no injuries but one death occurred on 23 November. The circumstances surrounding the death have yet to be heard in the Coroner's Court. It is not normal practice to comment on the result of internal investigations. No papers were passed to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Up until 31 September 2001 two deaths were recorded. These were on 25 January and 30 July. The circumstances surrounding the first death is under consideration by the Director of Public Prosecutions and both deaths are awaiting a Coroner's Inquest. It is not normal practice to comment on the result of internal investigations. There were no injuries during that period.
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will publish, for every year since the first paramilitary ceasefires for which it is possible (a) figures on the frequency and duration of (i) military and (ii) other helicopter flights, (b) the number of civilian complaints and amount of compensation paid during this period in relation to such flights and (c) the steps taken to scale down military presence according to perceived terrorist threat; and if he will set out the means by which he informs himself of the nature and purpose of each helicopter flight and monitors the progressive reduction of flights. 
Mr. Ingram: As Minister for the Armed Forces I can reply only on military aircraft. Records of individual military flights in the Province are not maintained but are recorded in flying hours and are shown in the table:
|1 April 1994 to 31 March 1995||31,289|
|1 April 1995 to 31 March 1996||27,827|
|1 April 1996 to 31 March 1997||28,088|
|1 April 1997 to 31 March 1998||28,772|
|1 April 1998 to 31 March 1999||24,620|
|1 April 1999 to 31 March 2000||24,734|
|1 April 2000 to 31 March 2001||25,717|
|1 April 2001 to 31 August 2001||11,324|
|Dates||Compensation paid (£)|
|1 April 1994 to 31 March 1995||6,365,380|
|1 April 1995 to 31 March 1996||1,726,693|
|1 April 1996 to 31 March 1997||645,260|
|1 April 1997 to 31 March 1998||903,350|
|1 April 1998 to 31 March 1999||880,040|
|1 April 1999 to 31 March 2000||1,005,648|
|1 April 2000 to 31 March 2001||922,671|
|1 April 2001 to 31 August 2001||216,404|
15 Oct 2001 : Column: 949W
|1 January 1997 to 31 December 1997||(48)647|
|1 January 1998 to 31 December 1998||511|
|1 January 1999 to 31 December 1999||439|
|1 January 2000 to 31 December 2000||553|
|1 January 2001 to 31 August 2001||288|
(48) This figure differs from that which was given on 3 November 1998, Official Report, column 442W. It has become clear that, due to the wide variety of agencies dealing with helicopter complaints, there was an element of duplication in the figures provided earlier. The number of complaints has been revised to take account of this.
Since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement a number of steps have been taken to scale down the level of helicopter activity. Since March 1999 Chinook and Sea King helicopters have been rear based on the Mainland. The operational profile has been altered to minimise intrusion, which includes operating at greater altitudes to reduce noise and modifying approach paths to avoid built-up area where topography and weather conditions permit. Also no helicopters are flown between 2300 hours and 0600 hours, except when operationally essential.
The General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland keeps the use of helicopters constantly under review and steps are taken, where possible, to reduce the helicopter profile. However, this is dependent on the security situation and the threat posed by terrorists. As can be seen from the table on flying hours there has been an increase in the year 1 April 2000 to 31 March 2001 which can be attributed to the increased terrorist threat from Dissident Republicans.
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