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Mr. Ingram [holding answer 11 January 2002]: Following is a list of Royal Navy ships which have been deployed for periods exceeding five months in each of the past four years. It is standard practice to deploy ships for six month periods.
|Ship||From||To||Reason for deployment||Period of deployment (months)|
|Invincible||2 September 1997||26 March 1998||USA/Gulf||6|
|Monmouth||5 September 1997||1 March 1998||Op. Palliser||6|
|Newcastle||17 November 1997||10 July 1998||Atlantic Patrol Task (north)||8|
|Coventry||1 January 1998||5 June 1998||Armilla||6|
|Manchester||12 January 1998||9 July 1998||Standing Naval Force Atlantic||6|
|Montrose||12 January 1998||6 August 1998||Atlantic Patrol Task (south)||7|
|Cornwall||16 February 1998||14 August 1998||Op. Resilient||6|
|York||5 March 1998||23 October 1998||Armilla||7|
|Grafton||14 April 1998||21 December 1998||Armilla||8|
|Edinburgh||27 April 1998||26 November 1998||Atlantic Patrol Task (south)||7|
|Lancaster||15 June 1998||25 November 1998||Standing Naval Force Atlantic||5|
|Sheffield||17 June 1998||18 December 1998||Atlantic Patrol Task (north)||6|
|Sutherland||4 September 1998||26 March 1999||Atlantic Patrol Task (south)||6|
|Cumberland||8 September 1998||13 May 1999||Armilla||8|
|Norfolk||5 January 1999||17 June 1999||Standing Naval Force Atlantic||5|
|Newcastle||9 January 1999||27 May 1999||Armilla||5|
|Marlborough||12 January 1999||1 July 1999||Atlantic Patrol Task (north)||6|
|Iron Duke||15 January 1999||27 July 1999||Standing Naval Force Mediterranean||6|
|Westminster||26 January 1999||12 July 1999||Atlantic Patrol Task (south)||6|
|Glasgow||1 March 1999||11 November 1999||Five Powers Defence Agreement||8|
|Birmingham||3 May 1999||11 November 1999||Armilla||6|
|Northumberland||7 June 1999||7 December 1999||Atlantic Patrol Task (North)||6|
|Exeter||13 September 1999||10 March 2000||Armilla||6|
|Somerset||13 September 1999||8 March 2000||Atlantic Patrol Task (south)||6|
|Campbeltown||7 January 2000||27 July 2000||Standing Naval Force Atlantic||6|
|Montrose||10 January 2000||28 July 2000||Standing Naval Force Mediterranean||6|
|Illustrious||15 January 2000||14 June 2000||Gulf||5|
|Monmouth||18 January 2000||27 July 2000||Armilla||6|
|Manchester||31 January 2000||21 July 2000||Atlantic Patrol Task (north)||6|
|Southampton||11 February 2000||18 August 2000||Armilla||6|
|Newcastle||2 May 2000||23 November 2000||Five Powers Defence Agreement||6|
|Argyll||8 May 2000||10 November 2000||Atlantic Patrol Task (south)||6|
|Marlborough||27 May 2000||3 November 2000||Armilla||6|
|York||31 August 2000||18 December 2000||Standing Naval Force Mediterranean||5|
|Iron Duke||16 September 2000||23 February 2001||Atlantic Patrol Task (south)||5|
|Cumberland||18 September 2000||21 March 2001||Armilla||6|
|Lancaster||22 January 2001||26 July 2001||Armilla||6|
|Glasgow||5 February 2001||3 August 2001||Atlantic Patrol Task (south)||6|
|Sheffield||8 February 2001||9 August||Atlantic Patrol Task (north)||6|
|Gloucester||19 March 2001||19 October 2001||Five Powers Defence Agreement||7|
|Edinburgh||15 May 2001||16 November 2001||Atlantic Patrol Task (south)||6|
|Northumberland||4 June 2001||31 December 2001||Armilla||6|
14 Jan 2002 : Column 57W
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 11 January 2002]: Over the past two years, two ships have been deployed from their home bases for an average of more than 60 per cent. of the time. HMS Triumph, was deployed from her home base at Devonport for an average of 68 per cent. of the time; and HMS Lancaster was deployed from her home base at Portsmouth for an average of 64 per cent. of the time over the past two years.
Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement outlining the extent to which the deficiencies in the Ptarmigan communications system impairs the operational effectiveness of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps. 
Mr. Ingram: The Ptarmigan system has supported successful operations by the ARRC during recent deployments to Bosnia and Kosovo. However, if advances in modern computing and communications technology are to be fully utilised by our forces, we recognise that Ptarmigan does not offer, in the longer term, the most effective solution. Therefore, plans are in place to replace Ptarmigan through Project Falcon from 2006 onwards. I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Dr. Moonie) on 9 January 2002, Official Report, column 829W, for evidence of our continuing commitment to maximising the ARRC's operational effectiveness through the full range of modern and robust communications systems.
14 Jan 2002 : Column 58W
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many 680 approvals have been given each year since 1 May 1997; how many have led to export licence applications; and how many such licences have been approved. 
Dr. Moonie: The F680 process is an informal process under which companies can obtain advice on the prospects for approval of exports at the marketing stage. The F680 also gives formal clearance for release of classified information, where required, for marketing purposes. The number of clearances for each of the years for which data are held, is as follows:
It is not possible to correlate data about F680 clearances with data relating to the export licensing process since the processes are quite separate. For example, F680s may be seeking advice in general terms about marketing prospects which may relate partially to the export that is eventually licensed. It is routinely made clear to exporters that advice in response to F680 applications does not prejudge a decision on the eventual consideration of an export licence application.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of personnel have exceeded 140 nights away from home, in the most recent 12-month period for which figures are available, in (a) 33 Squadron, (b) 10 Squadron, (c) 101 Squadron, (d) 24 Squadron, (e) 30 Squadron, (f) 47 Squadron, (g) 70 Squadron, (h) 7 Squadron, (i) 18 Squadron and (j) 27 Squadron. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 11 January 2002]: The RAF Separated Service Recording System records periods of absence of three days or more. The table shows the percentage of RAF personnel on each squadron who have exceeded 140 days away from home on separated service in the 12-month period ending 30 September 2001.
14 Jan 2002 : Column 59W
|Squadron||Operational/routine tasks||All reasons(15)|
(15) Includes absences due to normal career development training, resettlement and expedition training, sport and permanent detachments from parent unit.
RAF commitments are regularly reviewed and adjusted as soon as circumstances allow. Operational deployments continue only for as long as is necessary to meet agreed objectives.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contractual safeguards are in place in the event of a company winning a Ministry of Defence contract going bankrupt; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Moonie: In the event of various circumstances of insolvency or bankruptcy such as the appointment of an administrative receiver, or a receiver, or a company being wound up, the Ministry of Defence has the right to terminate the contract without recompense to the contractor. This is achieved by the terms of DEFCON 515 (Bankruptcy and Insolvency) which is included in all MOD headquarters contracts. The most effective means of dealing with this issue is to have a system that reduces the risk of placing contracts with suppliers of limited financial capability. The MOD employs such a system, but that risk cannot be entirely eliminated.
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