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Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence is currently engaged in discussions with National Air Traffic Services about the future provision of military area radar support services. No decision has yet been made about whether it will conduct military area radar operations from the new Scottish centre.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the cost to his Department to service current pension commitments in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if the bidding companies for the Warship Support Modernisation Project have been allowed to amend their bids since the closing date following subsequent discussions with Warship Support Agency officials. 
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Mr. Ingram: Proposals were received in September 2001 from the Dockyard companies for potential partnering arrangements at each of the Naval Bases as part of the Warship Support Modernisation Initiative. Since then, the normal process of post-tender clarification, negotiation and assessment has been taking place. This has involved discussions by officials with representatives from each of the companies. As a result of these discussions, the proposals have been amended in places to clarify matters that had not been fully explained and to reflect the latest state of play in these negotiations.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if the trade unions' alternative proposals for the Warship Support Modernisation Project demonstrate value for money; if value for money will be the sole criterion for the final decision; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: Officials in the Ministry of Defence are currently assessing the alternative proposals from the MOD trade unions for warship support modernisation, alongside the in-house efficiency proposals from the Naval Base Management and the proposals from the Dockyard companies. All options are currently being compared for value for money, together with their technical, commercial and Human Resource implications.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will make a statement on the circumstances in which naval personnel can be used by a private company to provide a profit-making service to the Royal Navy; 
Mr. Ingram: If partnering is the agreed way forward, a number of naval personnel will be seconded to work with the companies, chiefly in the area of engineering support. They will remain available for standard military duties, training and for other ad hoc military or emergency tasks. The use of these personnel will be charged to the companies on an annualised hours basis, whereby the companies will pay for the available working time of those personnel at local commercial rates. All naval personnel employed within the partnering arrangements will continue to be subject to the essential terms and conditions of service which apply to all Royal Naval personnel irrespective of where they serve.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) All Terrain Mobility Platforms, (b) Hagglund BV 206, (c) Truck Utility Light/Medium, (d) Battlefield ambulances, (e) Truck Utility Medium, (f) Drops, (g) Truck Cargo 8 Tonne 4 x 4, (h) Truck Cargo 16 Tonne 8 x 4, (i) Foden GS 6 x 6 Recovery Vehicles, (j) Tank Transporter Unipower Commander and (k) Centurion Beach Armoured recovery vehicles are operational. 
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Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) offensive fighters, (b) defensive fighters, (c) heavy bombers and (d) transporters were operational in (i) October and (ii) November 2001. 
Mr. Ingram: The number of aircraft of the types specified, in the RAF's Operating Fleet, as at 1 October and 1 November 2001, is detailed in the table. The Actual Operating Fleet comprises all aircraft which are fully operational or in 1st and 2nd line maintenance. Dedicated training aircraft of the aircraft models comprising the answer, have been excluded.
|Number of aircraft|
|Aircraft type||1 October 2001||1 November 2001|
Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many fully-trained navigators would be required by the RAF if it was fully recruited; how many are available; what steps he is taking to improve training facilities for navigators; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: The requirement for trained navigators in the Royal Air Force on 1 December 2001 was 973. The trained strength was 1,176. However, the figures mask a deficit of 83 at junior officer level.
The Military Flying Training System project is planned to provide the updated facilities required to train the navigators of the future. Other measures introduced over recent years to improve the training output include the introduction of new and redesigned training modules to ensure the syllabus continues to reflect the training needs, and the provision of extra flying training for students where necessary.
Dr. Moonie: The Ministry of Defence regularly uses the services provided by the Government Actuary's Department. These services include receiving actuarial advice in respect of the armed forces pension scheme, advice regarding continuing pension provision for civilian staff transferred to a new employer under the TUPE regulations and also specific advice on casework involving both Service and Civilian staff pensions.
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Tim Loughton: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer for what reason the firm of solicitors acting for the Inland Revenue in respect of the RSI Compensation Scheme are also acting for the PCS Union representing employees claiming compensation. 
Mr. Andrew Smith: The solicitors who act for the PCS Union, representing staff who use the Inland Revenue's RSI Compensation Scheme, do not also act for the Inland Revenue. As with all litigation involving the Inland Revenue, the Solicitor to the Commissioners of the Inland Revenue acts on the Department's behalf in respect of the scheme.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish the correspondence between the Inland Revenue and Solicitors Russell, Jones and Walker, in respect of the RSI Compensation Scheme. 
Mr. Andrew Smith: It would be inappropriate to publish the correspondence between the Inland Revenue and the solicitors acting for the PCS Union in respect of the RSI Compensation Scheme, in accordance with Exemptions 4 (law enforcement and legal proceedings) and 12 (Privacy of an individual) of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many cases of RSI have been settled since the announcement of the Compensation Scheme for employees of the Inland Revenue in 1996; and how many are outstanding. 
Mr. Andrew Smith: The Inland Revenue's RSI Compensation Scheme was set up on 20 December 1995. Since then, 638 claims have been submitted under the scheme. Of these, the remaining 243 claims are still being processed.
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