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Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his estimate is of the number of personnel in the (a) Army, (b) Navy and (c) Air Force for each year from 1975 to 2001 and for 2002 to 2004 (planned); and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: Estimates of the number of regular personnel by individual service for each year from 1975 to 2001 are shown in the table:
The figures for 1976 to 1980 have been rounded because precise data are not available.
Current estimates of the number of personnel planned for 2002 to 2004 for the Navy, Army and Air Force are shown in the table:
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Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) on what occasions injured service men have been evacuated from Kosovo in the last month; 
(2) what delays have taken place when providing air transport to evacuate service casualties from Kosovo in the last month; 
(3) what transfers of service men evacuated from Kosovo have taken place between Birmingham hospitals in the last month; and if he will make a statement giving reasons for the transfers. 
Mr. Ingram: Eight service personnel were aeromedically evacuated from Kosovo to the UK in November. The return of three patients to the UN on 6 November took around four hours longer than originally scheduled, due to the distance some members of the Critical Care Team had to travel to reach RAF Lyneham, the subsequent requirement to undertake a crew change in Italy, and the failure of airfield lights there. We would normally expect aeromedical evacuation from Kosovo to take around 24 hours. On this occasion it took around 26 hours.
Seven of the eight patients went to the Centre for Defence Medicine. Six were admitted to the University Hospital Birmingham NHS Trust and one was admitted to City Hospital, Birmingham. None of these were transferred from one Birmingham hospital to another. However, one of them was subsequently transferred to a hospital in Scotland for rehabilitative care closer to his family.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) tanks, (b) fixed wing aircraft and (c) military personnel are serving in (i) Germany and (ii) other European Union countries; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: There are currently 216 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks in Germany, and none in other European Union countries (excluding the United Kingdom).
There have been no fixed wing aircraft based in Germany since September 2001.
There are 17,350 military personnel serving in Germany and 1,400 serving in other European Union countries (excluding the UK) at 1 September 2001.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his estimate is of the proportion of the United Kingdom army serving overseas as at 31 December in each of the past 10 years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: The following represents the proportion of UK trained Army personnel (excluding Gurkhas and Full-time Reserve Service) serving overseas as at 31 December in each of the previous 10 years:
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|As at 31 December||Proportion serving overseas|
(28) The figures for years 1991 and 1992 are as at 1 April as these were the only data available from Defence Analytical Services Agency
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assets owned by (a) his Department and (b) the armed forces have been sold over the last three years; which of these assets were registered in the National Asset Register; what the sale proceeds were from these assets; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Moonie: Information on significant asset disposals in Financial Years 199899 and 19992000 is contained in the Ministry of Defence section (Section 7) of the National Asset Register (NAR) published by the Treasury in July 2001. The NAR provides information by Top Level Budget Holder and Agency Chief Executive, and a copy has been placed in the Library of the House.
Detailed information on disposals in 200001 is not yet held centrally but I will write to the hon. Member when the information becomes available.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent action he has taken to reduce the number of civilian employees of his Department and of the armed forces; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Moonie: I assume the hon. Member is referring to civilian employees of the Department whether working in direct support of the armed forces or elsewhere in the Ministry of Defence. As explained in the Strategic Defence Review White Paper (Cm 3999), changes in civilian personnel numbers result from the drive for greater effectiveness and better value for money. Para 30 section 2.1 of the UK Defence Statistics 2001 contains details of the changes and copies have been placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to order (a) the Eurofighter and (b) heavy lift transport aircraft; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Moonie: In respect of Eurofighter, the order for the first tranche of aircraft, including 55 for the United Kingdom, was placed in 1998. The contracts for the second and final tranches are expected to be placed during 2003 and 2007, respectively.
On A400M, the UK, together with other nations, signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the Paris Air Show in June 2001 covering the development and production phase
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of the A400M military transport aircraft. Negotiation of the associated commercial contract is almost complete and the aim is to sign it by the end of this year.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the need to renew and refit Lynx helicopters; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: Our assessment of renewing or refitting the Army Lynx helicopters has shown that it could not provide the capability required. The Battlefield Light Utility Helicopter project is intended to replace the capability provided by the Lynx Marks 7 and 9. It is planned to enter service from the middle of this decade. Plans announced in the Strategic Defence Review to convert 10 Naval Lynx Mk3 helicopters to Mk8 standard have been put on hold pending the outcome of studies into a potential alternative, a Surface Combatant Maritime Rotorcraft capability.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Apache helicopters he has ordered; and what plans he has to increase this order. 
Dr. Moonie: We have 67 WAH-62 Apache helicopters on order. We have no plans to increase this order.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many helicopters are in service in the (a) Army, (b) Navy and (c) Air Force; if he will break these down by number and type; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: The numbers of helicopters in service in the Army, Navy and Air Force as at 26 November, broken down by number and type are shown in the table.
|Helicopter||Actual operating fleet||Sustainment fleet(29)||Disposal(30)||Comments|
|Sea King AEW Mk2/7||10||3||0|||
|Sea King HU Mk5||10||5||2|||
|Sea King ASW Mk6||18||0||26(31)|||
|Lynx HAS Mk3||31||7||0|||
|Lynx HAS Mk8||22||14||0|||
|Sea King Mk4||33||4||0||JHC Asset|
|Bell 212||3||0||0||JHC Asset|
|A 109||3||1||0||JHC Asset|
|Apache AH Mk1||10||8||0||JHC Asset|
|Sea King Mk3||19||0||0|||
|Sea King Mk3a||6||0||0|||
|Merlin Mk3||6||1||0||JHC Asset|
|Wessex HC2||8||2||0||JHC Asset|
|Chinook Mk3||0||4||0||JHC Asset|
|Chinook Mk2/2a||28||12||0||JHC Asset|
(29) The sustainment fleet includes helicopters undergoing scheduled base maintenance, those that are in development and those held in reserve.
(30) Helicopters awaiting disposal.
(31) This figure reflects the airframes awaiting disposal following the introduction of the Merlin aircraft.
(32) Includes nine aircraft that are School of Army Aviation assets.
5 Dec 2001 : Column: 352W
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