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Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 26 November 2001, Official Report, column 662W, how many C130Ks he plans to decommission in each year over the next 10 years; and when he plans to have completed its phasing out. [26623]

Mr. Ingram: Current plans for the last element of the rolling programme to replace part of the Hercules C130K fleet with C130Js are for two of the C130K aircraft based at RAF Lyneham to be retired by 30 April 2002 and one aircraft to be retired towards the end of 2002. There are currently no detailed plans for the decommissioning of the remaining 26 C130K Hercules, which is predicted to occur by around the end of this decade.

Service Applicants (Fitness)

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many and what percentage of applicants to the (a) Army, (b) RAF, (c) Royal Navy and (d) Royal Marines were turned down on medical grounds in each quarter of the last seven years, broken down by gender. [26136]

Mr. Ingram: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 19 December 2001, Official Report, column 339W. The information that is available is shown in the table, which includes some corrected and updated figures for Royal Marine Other Ranks. A breakdown by gender is only available for the Army. The principal reason for the significant variation in failure rates between the RAF other ranks and those of the other services is that the medical examination is undertaken at a much later stage in the selection process, by which time many of the applicants have already withdrawn for other reasons.

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Medical rejections
ServiceNumberPercentage of applicants
Royal Navy Officers
Royal Navy Ratings
Royal Marines Officers
Royal Marines Other Ranks(2)
Army Officers
1995–96302.0 (80%m, 20%f)
1996–97382.4 (79%m, 21%f)
1997–98412.6 (78%m, 22%f)
1998–99423.7 (81%m, 19%f)
1999–2000604.9 (80%m, 20%f)
2000–01332.9 (76%m, 24%f)
2001–02(1)437.2 (77%m, 23%f)
Army Other Ranks
1997–981,88010.3 (81%m, 19%f)
1998–992.30411.1 (81%m, 19%f)
1999–20001,6608.0 (84%m, 16%f)
2000–011,1325.5 (87%m, 13%f)
Royal Air Force Officers
Royal Air Force Airmen/Airwomen

(1) The figures for 2001–02 are as at 7 December 2001

(2) Women are currently only permitted to join the Royal Marine Band Service

(3) Army Other Rank figures unavailable for 2001–02

Newspaper Advertising

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what has been the expenditure of his

24 Jan 2002 : Column 991W

(a) Department, (b) agencies and (c) non-departmental public bodies on newspaper advertising by title in each year since 1997. [26988]

Dr. Moonie: The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

However, since 1999–2000, the Ministry of Defence's total public relations expenditure has been published in the annual departmental performance report.


Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he plans to introduce a similar measure to the US Montgomery GI Enhancement Act in the UK. [27720]

Mr. Ingram: I have no such plans.


Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the studies sponsored by his Department in each of the last three years concerning future options for Trident. [28260]

Mr. Ingram: We said in the Strategic Defence Review of 1998 that we need to ensure that Trident can remain an effective deterrent for up to 30 years. As with other key military capabilities, we routinely undertake studies into options for achieving the optimum operational life and value for money.

Service Deployment

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the countries in which British troops are (a) stationed and (b) active. [28080]

Mr. Ingram: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence gave to the hon. Member for North Essex (Mr. Jenkin) on 16 January 2002, Office Report, column 316. A copy of this letter was sent on 19 January 2002, and a copy has been placed in the Library of the House. British troops are deployed on active service in 18 countries and overseas territories in the Balkans, the middle east, Cyprus, the Falkland Islands, Georgia, the United States of America, Africa and Asia, as well as at sea.

Royal Navy Vessels

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Royal Navy vessels have been brought into service since 1997; and for how long they are estimated to remain in service. [28349]

Mr. Ingram: The Royal Navy has brought 16 vessels into service since 1997. On current plans their estimated remaining service lives are as shown in the table.

Vessels brought into service since 1997Estimated remaining service life (years)
HMS Ocean16
HMS Grafton18
HMS Kent19
HMS Portland19
HMS Sutherland18
HMS Penzance21
HMS Pembroke21
HMS Grimsby22
HMS Bangor22
HMS Ramsey23
HMS Blyth24
HMS Vigilant(4)
HMS Vengeance(4)
HMS Scott20
HMS Raider21
HMS Tracker20

(4) Information withheld under Exemption 1 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, relating to defence, security and international relations.

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Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Royal Navy vessels have been decommissioned since 1997; and what the age of each of the vessels was. [28348]

Mr. Ingram: Since 1997 21 Royal Navy Vessels have been decommissioned. The age of each vessel when decommissioned is shown in the table.

Vessels decommissioned since 1997Age of vessel when decommissioned (years)
HMS Peacock14
HMS Plover14
HMS Starling13
HMS Birmingham26
HMS Boxer18
HMS Beaver16
HMS Brave17
HMS London14
HMS Bicester15
HMS Berkeley14
HMS Orwell15
HMS Orkney22
HMS Blackwater13
HMS Spey13
HMS Arun12
HMS Itchen13
HMS Herald28
HMS Intrepid37
HMS Bulldog34
HMS Cromer11
HMS Coventry15


Mr. David Marshall: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to complete the Review of Warship Maintenance and Support; and if he will make a statement. [28929]

Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence is seeking to modernise arrangements for warship support and achieve savings to the defence budget. We have received proposals from the dockyard companies for potential partnering arrangements at the naval bases at Portsmouth, Devonport and the Clyde. We have also received alternative proposals from our trade unions for the pursuit of efficiencies at the naval bases. All options are currently being compared for value for money, together with their technical, commercial and human resource implications, for a decision in the near future.

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