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28. Sir Sydney Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people were recruited to the (a) Army, (b) Royal Navy and (c) Royal Air Force between 1 November 2001 and 31 January 2002. 
In the three months prior to that, 1,826 people were recruited to the Naval Service, 5,096 people were recruited to the Army and 1,037 people were recruited to the RAF. Figures are for intake to UK regular forces and therefore exclude Gurkhas, full time reserve service personnel, the Home Service battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment and mobilised reservists.
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(1) To end January 2002
29. Mr. Bill O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many new recruits will be introduced into the Gurkha regiments and what will be the strength of the Gurkha regiments in 2002; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Moonie: This Government are undertaking the largest programme of new warship building in this country for decades. In the last 20 months the Ministry of Defence has placed orders or announced its intention to place orders for 15 new warships. The Clyde has already benefited from this programme. BAE Systems Marine recently signed a contract, with the MOD, for the build of two new Alternative Landing Ships Logistics at the Govan yard on the Clyde, the Clyde shipyards of BAE Systems Marine will also benefit from the Ministry of Defence's planned extension of its commitment from three to six Type 45 Destroyers, the Build of which will be shared between BAE Systems Marine and Vosper Thornycroft with the first of class assembled and launched from the Scotstoun yard.
Our future plans include two new aircraft carriers; further Astute Class submarines and Type 45 Destroyers; the new surface combatant and a number of support vessels. It is expected that this programme of warship building will create or secure several thousand jobs in UK shipyards and their ancillary industries throughout this country. We fully expect shipyards on the Clyde to have opportunities to participate in future orders.
31. Mr. Havard: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what action is planned with regard to the application of physical fitness tests for Army recruits; and if he will make a statement on the study into injuries among female army recruits, in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, volume 95. 
Mr. Ingram: The Physical Selection Standards (Recruits) (PSS(R)) system of testing potential recruits to the Army has been in place since 1998. It consists of a series of tests designed to assess the level of fitness of an individual related to the specific demands of a particular trade, irrespective of gender, and aims to predict the likely
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chance of an individual successfully completing initial military training. The system is currently undergoing re-validation. The study reported in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine compared data associated with medical discharges among recruits trained under the policy in existence in 199798 with data for those trained under the PSS(R) regime in 199899. The results showed an increase in medical discharges of female recruits due to certain types of injury, such as stress fractures and back pain. Modifications have since been made to the selection and training process for new recruits and the position is being kept under constant review.
Mr. Hoon: The command and control of a large multinational force like the International Security Assistance Force in a challenging environment like Kabul is a major undertaking. So far, this has gone extremely well, which is a tribute to the close co-operation that we have received from the 17 other troop contributing nations.
34. Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will ensure that there is parliamentary approval prior to a deployment by the US of national missile defence facilities in the UK. 
Mr. Hoon: President Bush has made clear that he has not yet decided what sort of missile defence system he will ultimately seek to deploy. We have received no request from the US for the use of sites in the UK for missile defence purposes, and it remains premature to indicate how we would respond to any specific request.
Mr. Hoon: We have made good progress on the new chapter to the Strategic Defence Review: this work is designed to ensure that we have the right concepts, forces and capabilities in place to deal with the kind of threats that we saw on 11 September.
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We intend to publish public discussion material very shortly, outlining the areas we are examining, reflecting emerging thinking and seeking views. This will provide an important opportunity for members of the public, Parliament and other interested parties to contribute to this important work. We intend to publish some conclusions in the spring or early summer.
Dr. Moonie: The Government are undertaking the largest programme of new warship building for many years. In the last 20 months the Ministry of Defence has placed orders or announced its intention to place orders for 15 new warships.
As to our future plans, we expect to purchase two new aircraft carriers and further Astute class submarines and type 45 destroyers. Our longer-term plans include the future surface combatant as well as a number of support vessels.
Vera Baird: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what consideration his Department has given in the last two months to the impact of UK sales of Hawk aircraft to India on the stability of the region in advance of an export licence application. 
Dr. Moonie: All export licence applications are considered on a case by case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, taking into account all the relevant circumstances prevailing at the time the application is received.
Mr. Hoon: The Government continue to support BAE System's proposal to sell Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer aircraft to India. During the Indian Defence Minister's short stopover in Britain in January, I discussed a range of defence matters, including defence export opportunities.
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