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2 Dec 2002 : Column 475W—continued

Cruise Missiles

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Royal Navy submarines armed with cruise missiles are available for deployment to the Gulf. [84368]

Mr. Ingram: Currently the Royal Navy has five submarines fitted for Tomahawk missiles, however, the specific operational status of each submarine is classified

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for security reasons and is being withheld in accordance with Exemption 1 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

Death Benefits

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many awards of death benefits for single soldiers have been made in each year since 1990; and what the cost was in each year. [83811]

Dr. Moonie: The number of death benefit awards for Army Single Soldiers, since 1990, including the cost in each year is in the following table:

Year paidNumber of single person deathsAmount (£)

Complete records are held on single soldier death benefit awards from 1992 only. These figures are for Army Other Ranks (soldiers) only. They do not include Army Officers or Navy and RAF Personnel.

Defence Export Services Organisation

Mr. Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will outline the recruitment policy of the Defence Export Services Organisation; and if he will make a statement. [83862]

Dr. Moonie: All permanent Civil Servants employed in the Ministry of Defence are recruited in accordance with the Civil Service Commissioners' Recruitment Code. There is no separate policy for recruitment of such staff to the Defence Export Services Organisation.

Departmental Resource Accounts

Mr. Keith Simpson : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons the National Audit Office qualified his Departmental Resource Accounts for 2000–01. [84541]

Mr. Ingram: We have confirmed the hon. Member is referring to 2001–02. The Comptroller & Auditor General (C&AG) qualified the Departmental Resource Accounts for 2001–02 for the following reasons:-

The Department was not able to give sufficient information and explanation on:

The Department exceeded its voted net resources by £601.8 million in non-cash expenditure, primarily as a result of impairment of the valuation of certain equipment.

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Further details are given in the published 2001–02 Departmental Resource Accounts published on 21 November 2002 (HC47).

Director General Training and

Education Organisation

Mr. Keith Simpson : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the uncertainties over funding were which have delayed the establishment of the Director General Training and Education Organisation. [84540]

Dr. Moonie: The formation of a Director General Training and Education (DGT&E) organisation was a recommendation of the Defence Training Review (DTR), announced on 27 March 2001, Official Report, column 545W by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence. However, the DTR recommendations were approved by Ministers after Departmental spending plans for 2001–02 had been finalised, and it was not possible at that time to set aside funding for the formation of DGT&E. The organisation has now been established.

European Security and Defence

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, in the event of competing demands on UK forces from ESDP and NATO, to which organisation will he give priority. [84876]

Mr. Hoon: The Government make decisions on the deployment of United Kingdom forces on operations on a case-by-case basis. These judgments are based on factors such as operational need, what forces we and others have to offer, and any international treaty obligations that may be relevant, with NATO remaining the foundation of our collective defence.

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if it is the policy of the Government that EU-NATO relations should be established so that all force planning and military command functions should be through NATO military headquarters at SHAPE. [84878]

Mr. Hoon: The Nice European Council in December 2000 decided that, for EU-led operations that make use of NATO assets and capabilities, operational planning will be carried out by NATO's planning bodies. For these operations, the Deputy SACEUR and SHAPE have been identified as the primary candidates for Operation Commander and Operation Headquarters. These arrangements are subject to finalising agreement on modalities for EU-NATO co-operation. For EU-led operations without recourse to NATO assets and capabilities, planning and command requirements would draw on existing national and multinational headquarters available to the EU.

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place a copy of the Helsinki Headline Catalogue 2002 (HHC 2002) in the Library. [84873]

Mr. Hoon: This is a European Union document and thus not ours to publish. I am withholding it under Exemptions la and c (Defence, Security and international relations) of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

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However, a summary of potential member state contributions to an EU-led operation was placed in the Library of the House in May of this year.

Eurofighter Typhoon

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his latest estimate is of when the Eurofighter will be ready for operational use by the Royal Air Force. [83905]

Dr. Moonie: We expect Eurofighter, which has been re-designated Typhoon, to be available for operational deployment in the second half of this decade.

Foot and Mouth

Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what costs were incurred by his Department in providing military assistance in managing the foot and mouth epidemic. [84528]

Mr. Ingram: Additional costs of around £7 million were incurred. These costs have been reimbursed to the Ministry of Defence by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Future Aircraft Carriers

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what fixed wing aircraft will be used on the future aircraft carriers. [84086]

Dr. Moonie: The future aircraft carriers (CVF) should initially operate the Short Take Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant of the F35 Joint Strike Fighter. No decision has yet been taken on how best to meet our requirement for a Maritime Airborne Surveillance and Control (MASC) capability, and a range of embarked fixed wing air platforms remain under consideration.

Beyond this, it is impossible to say what fixed wing platforms might be used on CVF over its planned 50-year life. CVF will be built to an innovative and adaptable design, therefore, so that it can be modified to operate future generations of air platforms, whether or not these have STOVL characteristics.

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of manufacture of the future carriers will be carried out in the UK. [84088]

Dr. Moonie: In line with Government policy, the carriers will be built in United Kingdom shipyards. It is still too early in the programme to be definitive about all of the carriers' sub-systems, as many of these have not yet been selected.

Green Goddesses

Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to replace Green Goddess fire engines. [84161]

Mr. Raynsford: I have been asked to reply.

The Government have no current plans to replace the Green Goddesses, although the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has been giving consideration to

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replacing the Green Goddess capability and has made arrangements to supplement the Green Goddesses with red fire appliances in the course of the current dispute.

Hawk Aircraft Order

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the order for Hawk AJT (MFTS) from BAE Systems, Brough Site will be confirmed. [82243]

Dr. Moonie: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 25 November 2002, Official Report, columns 5–6W to the hon. Member for Vale of York (Miss Mclntosh).

HMS Manchester

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what effect the firefighters' strike has had on the planned deployment of HMS Manchester on anti-terrorist patrol duties. [84369]

Mr. Ingram: HMS Manchester was due to deploy on 29 November to join the Activated Nato Task Group (Standing Naval Force Mediterranean) on Operation Active Endeavour in the Mediterranean from 8 December to 15 January. HMS Manchester is, however, currently providing fire fighting cover during the dispute and thus will not sail as previously planned. The United Kingdom presence will be maintained through RFA Orangeleaf which will be on task throughout the period as the support tanker.

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