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Dr. Moonie: The St. Botolph's Day Centre, which is funded by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister Homelessness Directorate, provide a Contact and Assessment Team (CAT) worker, who is linked into the Ex-Services Fellowship Centre to specifically assist rough sleepers with an armed forces background. Rough sleepers with an armed forces background who wish to be assisted can be referred to New Belvedere House in Stepney. Once placed in permanent accommodation, the CAT worker will continue to assist them by linking them
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Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the reasons for the closure of the Duchess of Kent Psychiatric Hospital, Catterick in April 2003; what will happen to the patients there; and if he will review the decision to close the hospital. 
Dr. Moonie: The Medical Quinquennial Review recommended the closure of the Duchess of Kent's Psychiatric Hospital (DKPH). Following advice from a leading independent consultancy in mental health services, it was recommended that defence mental health services should be switched toward care in the single service community, in line with the approach already well established in the NHS. Most service patients requiring mental health care are already treated by the Defence Community Psychiatric Service, where the emphasis is on local, out-patient care. The reduced requirement for in-patient facilities means that DKPH would no longer be required. Closure of the hospital is currently subject to consultation and no final decision has yet been taken. However, we would not close the hospital until absolutely satisfied that high quality replacement facilities were in place and that suitable alternative arrangements had been made for existing patients.
Currently the Harrier GR7 fleet is fitted with the Pegasus Mk105 engine. However, in a programme which is due to commence in February 2003 and be completed by the end of 2005, 30 aircraft will be upgraded to GR7a standard by the integration of the Pegasus Mk107 engine.
In addition, all Harrier GR7 and GR7a aircraft will receive avionics and weapons upgrades to provide the aircraft with a much improved capability, in particular, the ability to deliver the new generation of smart weapons that are about to enter service. These aircraft will be designated Harrier GR9 and GR9a.
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Mk107 engine will have lower support costs due to increased reliability and reduced scheduled maintenance requirements, and over the planned in-service life of the Harrier GR7a and GR9a, it is expected that the resulting cost savings will be in the order of £2 million per year.
Dr. Moonie [holding answer 16 July 2002]: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has responsibility for the Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD). There is no review of ECGD support for the defence sector.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what total expenditure has been on the Army website for (a) construction and (b) maintenance; and if he will list total traffic on the home page for each month since 1997. 
|Republic of Ireland||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|United Arab Emirates||2||1||4||2||0||4|
(14) To 15 July 2002
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|Financial year||£ million|
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans his Department has to dispose of land occupied by the Portsmouth naval base; what the time scale is for the process; how the land will be disposed of; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Moonie: The only disposal currently contemplated at the naval base, Portsmouth, is of land adjacent to Unicorn Gate. This is required to facilitate the road improvements associated with the Portsmouth city centre re-development scheme. Discussions are under way between my Department and the developers. It is too early to say what the disposal arrangements will be, and the time scale is dependent upon a satisfactory conclusion to negotiations.
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Dr. Moonie: Any alternative use of land within the naval base would be subject to operational and security considerations, and if a change of use was involved, this would be subject to the normal planning process.
Dr. Moonie: Approximately 24,000 SA80 A2 rifles have now been deployed to the armed forces and eight Equipment Failure Reports (resulting in an inoperable weapon) have been received from units. These reports includes weapons deployed with service shooting teams and infantry units as well as troops deployed to Afghanistan. Three of these reports relate to the trigger guard, three to magazine related parts, one was a welding failure on the sighting system and one related to stoppages experienced. Those reports that related to damage in transit have been disregarded since they are not an equipment failure.
There have been 1,361 recorded faults (resulting in an inoperable weapon), with the SA80 A1 in the last three years. A breakdown of recorded faults with the SA80 since 1986 could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what investigations his Department has made into the reliability and accuracy of the rifle grenade- launching capability of the SA80 A2; and what impact it has had on the accuracy of the rifle's optical sight. 
Dr. Moonie: The SA80 A2 rifle entered service late last year. There have been no indications of reliability or accuracy problems when using the A2 in conjunction with the Rifle Grenade General Service (RGGS). Tests were conducted by QinetiQ prior to the A2's introduction to validate with the modified rifle the results of earlier exhaustive performance trials using the SA80 A1 with the RGGS. Some rifle-launched grenades no longer in use did on occasion cause damage to the A1 and its optical sight, but since its introduction into service in 1996 the RGGS has been found to be safe in this respect. For maximum accuracy it is used with a dedicated prismatic sight.
Dr. Moonie: The modified SA80 A2 was accepted onto the NATO nominated weapons list in March 2002. We have no intention of seeking the readmittance of the SA80 A1 onto the list as it is being replaced by the modified SA80 A2.
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what proportion of the SA80A2 rifles failed to meet the target of 10,000 rounds before failure during testing in Kuwait under hot/dry conditions; 
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(3) what proportion of the SA80A1 rifles failed to meet the target of 10,000 rounds before failure during testing under hot/dry conditions. 
Dr. Moonie: Both the SA80A1 and the SA80A2 were tested during trials in 2001 against the Battlefield Mission rather than a 10,000 round target. The 10,000 round figure relates to the manufacturer's expected life of component parts of the weapon. The new Battlefield Mission requires the rifle to fire in a number of different environments over a prolonged period of time. These included cold and dry conditions in Alaska, hot and wet conditions in Brunei, hot and dry conditions in Kuwait and temperate conditions in the United Kingdom.
The SA80A2 averaged 98 per cent. reliability during trials across all climates and during testing in Kuwait achieved 95 per cent. reliability. The target set for SA80A2 is 90 per cent. reliability. The SA80A1 averaged 55 per cent. reliability across the various climates and during testing in Kuwait achieved 6 per cent. reliability.
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what inquiries were made by his Department into whether the use of the stabiliser developed by Warminster was considered in SA80 modifications. 
Dr. Moonie: I assume the stabiliser the hon. Member is referring to is the Vortices Activated Muzzle Stabiliser (VAMS), which was designed to improve the accuracy of the Light Support Weapon. Trials were undertaken at Warminster in 1992 using SA80 A1s, but when fitted with the VAMS, the weapon failed to meet accuracy requirements. The VAMS was not therefore procured.
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