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Mr. Ingram: Trials to determine the operating limits, and any modifications required, for the UK's WAH 64 Attack Helicopter to operate in a maritime environment are due to commence in early 2004. Decisions on the extent of the utility of the helicopter in support of amphibious operations and the Royal Marines will be informed by the outcome of the trials.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on progress made in setting modalities to enable EU access to NATO capabilities within the framework of Berlin plus agreements. 
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions the Government have had with (a) the interim Afghan Administration and (b) other nations contributing to the International Security Assistance Force, concerning the possible deployment of ISAF to cities other than Kabul. 
Mr. Hoon: We hold regular discussions with the Interim Administration and other contributing nations about the role of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), including proposals that ISAF might be deployed to cities other than Kabul. We continue to have questions about the practicality of such a deployment in current circumstances.
Mr. Ingram: The Atlantic Patrol Task (North) ship, HMS Sheffield, participated in the US sponsored exercise Tradewinds 01 between 26 April and 3 May 2001. In addition to UK and US forces involvement, the Regional Security Systems States (Barbados, Grenada, St. Vincent, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and Dominica) participated in the exercise along with Trinidad and Tobago. The main purpose of the exercise was to establish a framework for the Caribbean ground and maritime forces to conduct joint and coalition training.
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Within this framework, the aim was to promote regional interoperability, enhance participants' ability to conduct small to medium scale operations in a multinational environment and to improve their ability to respond to disaster relief, search and rescue and law enforcement operations.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the concept of (a) a European Security and Defence Identity and (b) a European Security and Defence Policy. 
Mr. Hoon: The European Security and Defence Identity was founded within NATO to enable European Allies to make a more coherent and effective contribution to the missions and activities of the Alliance. The European Security and Defence Policy of the European Union reinforces this work and seeks to improve European military capabilities.
Mr. Hoon: The EU Military Committee (EUMC) is formally composed of the EU Chiefs of Defence, who are represented on a permanent basis by Brussels-based Military Representatives. DSACEUR may be invited to attend EUMC meetings in view of his responsibilities for the European Pillar of NATO and his potential role in EU-led operations.
Mr. Hoon: The coalition remains committed to bring Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaeda leaders to account and preventing al-Qaeda from posing a terrorist threat in the future. Coalition aircraft are therefore continuing to support action by Afghan forces on the ground against the terrorists and their Taliban supporters.
Dr. Moonie: Ministry of Defence (MOD) spending on research and development is reported annually in Defence Statistics, published by the Defence Analytical Services Agency. The latest year for which figures are available is 19992000 when the MOD spent £2,345 million, inclusive of VAT.
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Dr. Moonie: The process of splitting DERA, into Dstl and QinetiQ, was based on the key objective to identify the functional requirements and capabilities needed by each organisation to achieve their future business goals. DERA and the Ministry of Defence experts worked closely together in late 2000 to identify which divisions, teams and individuals were required by which organisation, and the final division aimed to provide each organisation with skills that were both balanced and adequate to achieve sustainability.
The division into future-Dstl and future-QinetiQ operated on a "shadow" basis from January 2001, and QinetiQ plc and Dstl were formally created in July last year. Throughout, both organisations have continued to successfully meet the needs of their customers. We are confident that the PPP process, which is still ongoing, will strengthen links between military and civil technology and improve the transfer of bright ideas from the private sector and academia. This will strongly benefit the defence science base.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what input his Department is making to the deliberations of the European Union's Advisory Group on Aerospace (STAR 21); and when the Group is expected to make its recommendations. 
Dr. Moonie [holding answer 28 February 2002]: STAR 21 is an industry group set up under the auspices of the European Commission, with no formal involvement from the Governments of EU member states. Nevertheless, we are being kept abreast of the group's deliberations, and would anticipate being consulted on the group's findings and proposals. I understand that the group is hoping to report in the summer.
David Burnside: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the minimum garrison strength of the armed forces required to remain in Northern Ireland in the event of a total cessation of terrorism and the threat of terrorism within the United Kingdom from Irish Republican and Loyalist terrorist organisations. 
Mr. Ingram: The detailed nature of the long-term garrison in Northern Ireland will require careful study taking into account practical factors which apply throughout the United Kingdom, such as training needs, facilities and availability of accommodation. Ultimately we would expect the number of regular service personnel permanently based in Northern Ireland to be about 8,000, a comparable number to those stationed in similar sized areas in Great Britain.
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Mr. Donaldson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to receive a report on the circumstances leading to the loss of confidential information regarding the identity of the soldiers who are due to give evidence to the Saville Inquiry; what steps have been taken to (a) recover the lost documents and (b) offer protection to the soldiers and their families; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: Inquiries by the police have revealed that a number of documents relating to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry were left outside barristers' chambers in London. There is no indication that any of these documents contained information regarding the identity of the soldiers, nor anything else that would affect the safety of them or their families.
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