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9 Dec 2002 : Column 13Wcontinued
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much has been spent on the PFI contract for the Medium Support Helicopter Aircrew Training Facility; whether the contract is on schedule; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: Delivery of the training service provided by the Medium Support Helicopter Aircrew Training Facility at RAF Benson commenced on schedule on 30 March 2000. Expenditure to date on the service, which is being delivered under a PFI contract with CAE Aircrew Training Services, is some #51 million.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much has been spent on the PFI contract for the Joint Services Command and Staff College; whether the contract is on schedule; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: A total of #68.917 million has been spent to date on the PFI Contract for the Joint Services Command and Staff College. The contract with Defence Management (Watchfield) Ltd. was signed in June 1998 and the college opened for operation on schedule on 7 August 2000.
Mr. Keetch : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 27 November 2002, Official Report, column 332W, on manning control reviews, how many personnel in the Army were recommended for Manning Control Review in each of the last five years; broken down by regiment. 
Dr. Moonie: The information requested, concerning the number of Army personnel who were recommended for Manning Control Review in each of the last five years, is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the dates of service were of each medical officer employed at (a) Deepcut and (b) Catterick Barracks since 1990, indicating in each case the (i) rank and (ii) the reasons given for leaving the post. 
9 Dec 2002 : Column 14W
|Rank||Dates of employment||Reasons for leaving|
|Civilian medical practitioner||1990 to March 2000||Suspended|
|Locum CMP (32 in total)||March 2000 to date||In all cases end of contract, except one who was asked to leave.|
Medical Officers at the Infantry Training Centre (ITC), Catterick were/are as follows:
|Rank||Dates of employment||Reasons for leaving|
|Major||April 1995 to July 1995||Retired from the Army|
|Captain||July 1995 to December 1995||Posted to another unit|
|Colonel||February 1996 to September 2001||Posted to another unit|
|Lt. Colonel||December 2001 to date||Still in post|
ITC, Catterick was only set up in April 1995, prior to that date Catterick Garrison would have provided medical services to all personnel. Catterick Garrison also maintains a medical centre for the benefits of garrison personnel, which the ITC can call upon as needed.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence by how much, and by what percentage, the unit costs of each Meteor missile ordered for the RAF will change as a result of Germany's decision to cut its Meteor missile order. 
Mr. Ingram: There will be no change to the unit cost of the Meteor missiles to be ordered for the RAF as a result of Germany's intention to reduce the number of missiles it plans to order. This is because the United Kingdom already has an agreed maximum price for its planned offtake of missiles.
Mr. Ingram: The Royal Navy deploys a Mine Countermeasure (MCM) Group annually, either to the Mediterranean or the Gulf, to maintain operational capability, support major exercises and practice out of area deployments.
The MCM Group is currently undertaking a routine deployment to the Gulf in order to conduct bilateral exercises with Saudi Arabian forces, as well as those of other Gulf States and coalition partners in the region. The aim is to build on the successful bilateral training conducted in the region in the wake of Exercise Saif Sareea held in Oman towards the end of last year, after which several invitations from Gulf States were received to conduct similar exercises in 2002. It is also planned to undertake a programme of port visits in the region to support Defence Diplomacy initiatives before the vessels are scheduled to return to the United Kingdom in spring 2003.
9 Dec 2002 : Column 15W
Mr. Hoon: The United Kingdom already has close access to US research and development work on missile defence, taking part in collaborative research and information exchange on ballistic missile defence technologies. UK industry is also playing an active role. UK expertise in such areas will enable us to consider and make informed assessments about technical advances in missile defences. This will contribute significantly to our ability to judge the potential benefits to the UK of possible participation in further US development of missile defences. In order to inform debate on the role that active missile defence might play within a comprehensive strategy for tackling the potential threat from ballistic missiles, I am publishing today a public discussion document on missile defence.
Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what role he expects Fylingdales and Menwith Hill to play in the US-led missile defence system; and what improvements have been made to the facilities at these sites to enable them to fulfil this role. 
Mr. Hoon: No decisions have been taken about the possible future role of any United Kingdom bases in a missile defence system. The radar at RAF Fylingdales could, if upgraded, provide a useful asset to such a system depending on the architecture chosen. No improvements have been made relating to any potential future role, although there is a continuing programme of maintenance and life extension at RAF Fylingdales to ensure that it can continue to fulfil its current functions.
A decision was taken in 1997 to base the European relay ground station for the Space Based Infra-Red System (SBIRS) project at RAF Menwith Hill. SBIRS is a satellite system designed to give early warning of the launch of ballistic missiles anywhere in the world. It updates the existing but ageing defence support programme (DSP) satellites and is needed irrespective of any decision on missile defence.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much the United Kingdom paid in the last financial year to NATO as its share of NATO's overall costs, broken down into budget headings; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hoon: Direct contributions to NATO's Security Investment Programme (NSEP) and Military Budget (MB) are paid from the United Kingdom Defence Budget. Currently, the UK's share of the NSIP is 10.2 per cent. and of the MB is 16.0 per cent. From January 2003, this will be amended to 12.5 per cent. for both, with no overall increase in cost to UK.
9 Dec 2002 : Column 16W
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what nuclear, biological and chemical capability the Army, Navy and RAF possess; and whether the personnel are drawn from regular or reserve forces. 
Mr. Ingram: The regular United Kingdom armed Forces maintain a balanced nuclear, biological and chemical force protection capability founded upon five components: detection and identification; warning and reporting; physical protection; hazard management; medical countermeasures and support. These rest on a range of specialised and other equipment, procedures and countermeasures, including those operated by the Joint NEC Regiment, are described in more detail in the Department's July 1999 public paper XDefending Against the Threat from Biological and Chemical Weapons". They also apply to nuclear and radiological defence.
Dr. Moonie: All Royal Navy ships and submarines have primary care medical facilities. In addition, we could draw on the emergency surgical facilities in our aircraft carriers, HMS OCEAN and two Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) vessels. If required, hospital care could be provided by the primary casualty receiving facility in RFA ARGUS.
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