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Mr. Ingram: The numbers of submarines in service in the Royal Navy, inclusive of vessels which are operational, at extended readiness, or in refit and repair, for this year and in each of the past 25 years is as follows:
Figures are as 1 April in each year
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Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) aircraft carriers, (b) cruisers, (c) destroyers, (d) frigates and (e) mine-sweepers have been in operation with the Royal Navy in each of the last 25 years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: The numbers of (a) aircraft carriers, (b) cruisers, (c) destroyers, (d) frigates and (e) mine- sweepers that have been in operation with the Royal Navy, for this year and in each of the past 25 years is as follows:
|Aircraft carriers(35)||Cruisers||Destroyers||Frigates||Mine Counter measures vessels(36)|
(35) Aircraft Carriers include Commando Carriers and the Landing Platform Helicopter.
(36) Mine Counter measures vessels incorporates Minesweepers and Minehunters.
Ships 'in operation' include those that were operational or engaged in preparing for service, trials or training as at 1 April in each year, but does not include ships in refit or those held at extended readiness.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent estimate he has made of the defence budget as a share of UK gross domestic product; and how this compares with other (a) European Union and (b) NATO countries; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: The defence budget share of gross domestic product for financial year 200001 was 2.5 per cent. From data supplied by nations, we estimate the NATO average to be around 2.2 per cent. for a comparable period. Although there are no equivalent EU data, we believe the average was around 1.8 per cent.
5 Dec 2001 : Column: 357W
Dr. Moonie: We are not currently planning to order a new tank for the Army. Deliveries of the Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (CR2) have only recently been completed. The CR2 provides an excellent capability, ensuring that British forces will continue to be properly equipped to conduct high intensity warfare for many years to come. However, as one would expect, research and evaluation into its potential successor is taking place now. It is too early to properly identity the type of vehicle that will eventually replace the CR2.
Mr. Ingram: I refer the hon. Member to the answer that I gave on 28 November 2001, Official Report, columns 91314W to the hon. Member for New Forest, West (Mr. Swayne), regarding the number of armoured vehicles currently in service. It is not possible to state how many have been operational during the last 20 years as this information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he plans to make a submission to Her Majesty's Treasury on his Department's expenditure plans for the next comprehensive spending review; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hoon: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 25 June 2001, Official Report, columns 3839W to my hon. Friend the Member for Preseli Pembrokeshire (Mrs. Lawrence), which set out the Government's priorities and broad timetable for the spending review 2002.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will make a statement on the guidelines which his Department issues in relation to low flying by (a) helicopters and (b) fixed wing aircraft in UK airspace. 
Dr. Moonie: Routine low flying by fixed wing aircraft takes place between 2,000 feet and 250 feet Minimum Separation Distance and for helicopters from 500 feet Minimum Separation Distance down to ground level. Guidelines for all military aviators on the conduct of flying in the UK Low Flying System are contained in departmental regulations and are reinforced on training courses and supplemented as appropriate by briefings. Information is also promulgated through Notices to Airmen enabling aircrew to plan and execute sorties that reflect the daily situation in the UK Low Flying System. General information is available to the public on the website www.lowflying.mod.uk and in a leaflet entitled "Military Low Flying an Essential Skill", that may be obtained on request from the following address:
Ministry of Defence
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Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his estimate is of the percentage share accounted for by procurement costs as a portion of the total budget of his Department for (a) each of the past 10 years and (b) the next three years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his estimate is of spending on defence procurement for the (a) Army, (b) Navy and (c) Air Force for each of the years from 198081 to 200102. 
Dr. Moonie: Figures for Ministry of Defence spending on defence equipment for the years 198081 to 199091 are contained within the respective "Volume 2 of the Statement on the Defence Estimates". From 199192 they have been included in the "UK Defence Statistics". Copies are held in the Library of the House.
The data in these documents are broadly split by typeie whether it is air, land, sea or 'other' equipment for the years where this information is available. The 'other' category refers to equipment not specific to a particular environment. This division (air, land, sea and other) does not necessarily match the particular end destination of the equipment (ie RAF, Army and Navy). For example, not all aerospace equipment is used by the RAF.
From 19992000, the division of equipment expenditure into air, land, sea and other is not available due to changes in the Departments accounting procedures and a move to Tri-Service based procurement.
Dr. Moonie: The Comptroller and Auditor General published his report on the Ministry of Defence Major Projects Report 2001 (MPR 2001) on 23 November. This report contains details of the top 20 projects that have passed the main investment decision based on forecast future spend and a copy is available in the Library of the House.
Merlin HM Mk1 Maritime Helicopter
Nimrod Maritime Reconnaissance and Attack Mk4
Astute Class Submarine
Spearfish Heavyweight Torpedo
Conventionally Armed Stand-Off Missile
Tornado Mid-Life Update
5 Dec 2001 : Column: 359W
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