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Private Finance Initiative

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the total external spend by his Department was on Private Finance Initiative consultants in each of the last four years; how many full-time equivalent consultants were employed over this period; how many billed consultancy days there were per year; what the implied average cost of each PFI consultant was; how many consultancy firms were used by his Department over this period; and if he will make a statement. [31044]

Mr. Ingram: The recorded expenditure on External Assistance specifically in support of PPP/PFI projects in the financial year 2000–01 was £42.67 million. This information was not recorded as a discrete category in the preceding three years.

The recorded number of consultancy companies used by the Ministry of Defence over the last four years in support of PPP/PFI projects is 52, which includes 18 firms providing legal advice.

The other information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. More general information is published in the Ministry of Defence's "External Assistance—Expenditure" report; copies of which are available in the Library of the House.

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Departmental Salary Costs

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of the departmental expenditure limit in 2001–02 will be accounted for by salary costs and pension contributions. [32010]

Dr. Moonie: Our current estimate is that civilian salary costs and pension contributions will account for 11.5 per cent. of departmental spending.

Territorial Army

Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence who is the most senior serving officer in the Territorial Army; and when he was appointed to his post. [31803]

Dr. Moonie: The most senior serving officer in the Territorial Army (TA), by virtue of the date he was appointed, is Brigadier the Duke of Westminster OBE, TD, DL. His appointment is Brigadier AG HQ and his seniority date is 17 January 2000. The Brigadier serving in the most senior TA appointment is however, Brigadier J. R. Thomson, TD, ADC, BA (Hon), MBA, MIMGT, MCIM. His appointment is Brigadier Private Office, Headquarters Land Command and his seniority date is 31 March 2000.

Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the latest actual strength of the TA by unit and location set against its establishment. [33086]

Dr. Moonie: I will write to the hon. Member and a copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Armed Forces (Outflow)

Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the net outflow was of (a) officers and (b) other ranks from the (i) Army, (ii) Royal Navy, (iii) Royal Air Force and (iv) Royal Marines in 2001. [31805]

Mr. Ingram: The net flow for officers and other ranks over the last 12 months is as follows:

Strength as at
1 December 20001 December 2001Net flow over 12 months
Naval Service
Officers7,7147,75339
Other ranks34,79134,037-754
Army
Officers13,84413,89450
Other ranks95,53195,62796
RAF
Officers11,00710,833-174
Other ranks43,20042,346-854

Notes:

Naval Service includes both Royal Navy and Royal Marines.

Figures are for UK regular forces (including both trained and untrained personnel), and therefore excludes Gurkhas, full-time reserve service personnel, the Home Service battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment, mobilised reservists and activated reservists.


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Warships

David Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the trade unions' submission to his Modernising Warship Maintenance Initiative. [32413]

Mr. Ingram: The proposals from the trade unions have been analysed in detail and the results are being considered by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence. The Secretary of State plans to meet representatives of the trade unions shortly, before he reaches a decision on the way ahead.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans have been made for the use of HMS Invincible once she has been withdrawn from service; and if he will make a statement. [32134]

Mr. Ingram: No plans have yet been made for the use of HMS Invincible after she is withdrawn from Royal Navy service, which is expected to be towards the end of this decade. Arrangements for her final disposal will be established nearer that time after a careful examination of the most cost beneficial options.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the in-service date for HMS Bulwark will be met; if the construction cost increased during the pre-launch stage; what the final cost of the construction and fitting out stages was; what caused the increases in cost; and if he will make a statement. [32159]

Dr. Moonie: There is every confidence that HMS Bulwark's expected in-service date of December 2003 will be achieved. All opportunities are being taken in close consultation with the prime contractor, BAES Marine Barrow-in-Furness, to ensure that there is no slip to the vessels's programme acceptance date. There have been no cost increases during the pre-launch stage. The final construction cost of HMS Bulwark including the fitting out stages is expected to be of the order of £186 million at contract price basis.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the projected cost is of maintaining HMS Invincible once she is out of service; and if he will make a statement. [32133]

Mr. Ingram: HMS Invincible is not planned to leave service until towards the end of this decade. It is too early to determine the costs of any maintenance after the vessel has left service.

Eurofighter

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment has been made of the training requirements of RAF pilots for the Eurofighter; what plans there are to use the Hawk 127 system for training; and if he will make a statement. [32135]

Mr. Ingram: The training requirements of all fast jet pilots, including the Eurofighter, are currently being assessed as part of the UK Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS) project. The project is examining the flying training needs of all three services and covers training from entry into formal flying training until arrival at the operational conversion unit. Training Needs Analyses (TNAs) have been carried out to identify the training requirements of Eurofighter pilots once they

6 Feb 2002 : Column 997W

reach their Operational Conversion Unit. Courses are being designed to ensure their specific training needs are fully met. For UK MFTS, Hawk 127 is one of a number of options for a future advanced fast jet training aircraft. No decisions have yet been made.

Nuclear Weapons

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what discussions his Department has had with its US counterparts concerning Sandia National Laboratory's refurbishment programme for the W76 nuclear package and its arming, fusing and firing mechanism; [32711]

Dr. Moonie: Staff from the Defence Procurement Agency's Nuclear Weapons Team hold discussions with their US counterparts as a matter of routine. Conducted under the auspices of the 1958 Mutual Defence Agreement and the 1963 Polaris Sales Agreement, as amended for Trident, the discussions cover all issues of mutual interest, including work on the US W76 warhead, relevant to the safety and reliability of the UK's Trident warhead.

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the expected service life is for the Mk-4 re-entry vehicle for the Trident D5 missile; and if his Department has plans to extend it. [32713]

Mr. Ingram: The service life for the UK's Re-entry Assembly (RBA) has been assessed as sufficient, with periodic refurbishment as necessary, to satisfy the needs of the Trident programme as defined in the Strategic Defence Review. As with other key military capabilities, studies into options for obtaining the optimum service life and value for money are undertaken as a matter of routine.

Mr. Frank Cook: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost is of work conducted for the UK Trident programme in the past year by (a) Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, (b) Los Alamos National Laboratory and (c) Sandia National Laboratory. [29956]

Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence contracts with the Department of Energy (DoE) and the Department of Defense rather than direct with the US national laboratories and, as a result, the costs associated with the individual laboratories are not held by the MOD. However, the DoE has provided the following figures for expenditure on the UK Trident programme in US fiscal year 2001, which runs from 1 October 2000 to 30 September 2001:

$£
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory00
Los Alamos National Laboratory401,586249,649
Sandia National Laboratory2,343,3841,456,785

Note:

Average rate of $1.6086/£1 used for conversion


Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Trident D5A missiles his Department intends to purchase. [32712]

Mr. Ingram: None. We have purchased 58 Trident II (D5) missiles and have no plans to purchase any more.

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