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Sub-continent (Weapons Capability)

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what representations his Department has received regarding increases in Pakistan's (a) offensive and (b) defensive weapons capabilities from November 2001 to June 2002; [65447]

Mr. Hoon: The Ministry of Defence have received a number of representations regarding Pakistan's and India's weapons capabilities from members of both Houses of Parliament and from members of the public. Currently the number of Parliamentary Questions stands at 39, and approximately 30 letters have been received from members of the public.

I am aware that other Departments have also received representations. We are continuing to monitor the situation.

Astute Class Submarine

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the scheduled launch date is for each of the Astute class SSNs; [66030]

Dr. Moonie [holding answer 8 July 2002]: The first Astute class nuclear powered attack submarine, HMS Astute, had been expected to enter service in June 2005. The prime contractor, BAE Systems is achieving improvements in cost compared with previous submarines. However, the company has made slower progress in the detailed design and in the build up of production than anticipated. The first of class, HMS Astute, is now not expected to enter service before late 2006, although this date has yet to be agreed with the contractor. BAE Systems is taking a range of management and other actions to minimise the slippage: this includes a re-assessment of the optimum time to perform the launch during the build sequence. Revised launch dates will not be available until later in the year.

After the initial entry into service, the plan calls for a considerable trials and work up period before the boat will become fully operational. The Ministry of Defence will work with BAE Systems to recover as much as possible of the delay in this period. BAE Systems is working to minimise any delay to the other two submarines on order, HMS Ambush and HMS Artful.

Married Quarters

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the answer of 25 June 2002, Official Report, column 749W, on married quarters, what plans he has to improve the standard of service families' accommodation in Wiltshire. [66239]

9 Jul 2002 : Column 850W

Dr. Moonie: I regret that the information given was incomplete and gave numbers of houses managed by only one of the four areas of the Defence Housing Executive (DHE) involved. The reply therefore understated DHE's achievement in improving the overall quality of service housing. There are 5,921 properties in Wiltshire, of which 1,389 (23 per cent.) are at standard 1 for condition, 3,404 (57 per cent.) at standard 2, 1,005 (17 per cent.) at standard 3 and 123 (3 per cent.) at standard 4.

There is a major project under way in Tidworth which will provide 484 new properties by 2004. 47 have been completed so far. Additionally, the following upgrade projects are planned for possible implementation in due course, to deliver 696 upgrades at an estimated cost of £30 million:

Arms Fairs

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the arms fairs organised, supported and sponsored by his Department in each year since 1997, indicating the (a) name, (b) location and (c) cost to the Department and organisations attending each event. [65791]

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

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the arms fairs that are to be organised, supported and sponsored by his Department in 2002 and 2003. [65792]

Dr. Moonie: Since September 1997 the Ministry of Defence no longer organises defence exhibitions.

However, in support of the Government's commitment to a strong United Kingdom defence industry, the Ministry of Defence undertakes a broad range of activities in support of the organisers of defence exhibitions. Normal marketing support to UK exhibitors is provided by the Defence Export Services Organisation, and other assistance includes helping the organisers ensure maximum exposure of UK products to potential customers by supporting officials' inward visits.

This year the MOD will participate in the Farnborough Airshow, which is a commercial event organised and run by the Society of British Aerospace Companies. In 2003, the MOD will participate in the Defence System and Equipment International exhibition, organised by Spearhead Exhibitions Ltd.

In addition to these events, DESO have either supported or currently expect to support the following shows:

9 Jul 2002 : Column 851W

Building Values

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the buildings owned by his Department and estimate the market value of each of them. [66941]

Dr. Moonie: I refer the hon. Member to the reply my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury gave him on 3 July 2002, Official Report, column 339W.


Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what A400M spares will be stored in the United Kingdom; [66759]

Dr. Moonie: The United Kingdom, together with its partner nations, has initiated work to produce a Common Support Strategy for A400M. We plan to make a decision on this aspect of the programme by 2005, after considering a range of options. It is not yet possible, therefore, to say what A400M spares will be held in the UK, and where A400M spares will be held.

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how the wings for the A400M will be transported from Filton to the main construction site in France. [66757]

Dr. Moonie: Final assembly of the A400M aircraft will take place in Seville, Spain. A400M wings will be transported to Seville by the Beluga aircraft (a modified Airbus A300) already used by Airbus UK to deliver wings for Airbus commercial aircraft.


Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with the Government of Thailand about the sale of warships. [66760]

9 Jul 2002 : Column 852W

Dr. Moonie: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence held discussions, during his recent visit to Thailand, with his Thai counterpart and other senior Thai officials in support of proposals put forward by United Kingdom companies.

Police (Accommodation)

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what MOD properties are being used by police forces to house police officers undergoing their initial training; and if he will make a statement. [66821]

Dr. Moonie: All initial training for Ministry of Defence police recruits is conducted at the MDP Police Training Centre (MDP PTC), Wethersfield, Essex. In addition to this CENTREX have been conducting initial training for Home Office police force recruits at MDP PTC Wethersfield since January 2001. The recruits have been accommodated in the standard student accommodation blocks.

A number of former married quarters at Mill Hill, now owned by Annington Homes Ltd. are occupied by Metropolitan police cadets.

Barracks Deaths

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the date was of each death of a member of HM armed forces through non-natural causes (a) in and (b) in the vicinity of military property since 1990; and what the name of the barracks was in each case. [66697]

Dr. Moonie: Between 1 January 1990 and 1 July 2002 there have been 1,748 deaths in the regular armed forces due to injury. The following table shows these injury related deaths broken down by geographical region. Information on precise location of deaths is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost and it would compromise Service personnel confidentiality.

Great Britain(5)Northern IrelandGermany BAOROthersTotal

(5) Includes UK waters and north Atlantic

(6) As at 1 July 2002

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