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6 Mar 2003 : Column 1156W—continued

Initial Training

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the Ministry of Defence's (a) suggested and (b) average supervisory ratios for initial training are; and if he will make a statement. [100172]

Mr. Ingram: I assume that by initial training the hon. Member is referring to both Phase 1 training (recruit training) and Phase 2 training (initial specialist training).

There are two aspects of supervision: formal training class size and pastoral care out of working hours. The level of supervision varies accordingly, such that meaningful data on average ratios is not readily available. The Ministry of Defence does not currently recommend supervisory ratios.

In the case of class size, while there are no formal guidelines, there is a general acceptance of a benchmark ratio of 1:16. Actual class size varies by Service and depends on the subject being taught, the nature of the training activity and the facilities available.

For pastoral care out of working hours, individual commanders across the Services set the ratios they deem appropriate to meet the needs of recruits and their training organisations. However, there is general agreement that a ratio of 1:12 is appropriate for Phase 1 training and this is broadly in place across the Services. In the case of Phase 2 training, these ratios increase and there are wider differences in Service practice. Current ranges of Phase 2 pastoral care staff/trainee ratios are as follows:


The recent Appraisal of Initial Training by the Directorate of Operational Capability announced on 10 February 2003 recommended that central direction be introduced on supervisory ratios of initial training. An action plan was published at the same time to carry forward this and the report's other recommendations.

IT Contracts

Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list IT contracts in his Department above £50 million in each of the last 10 years; what the inception date for each system was; when it became fully functional; when it became fully debugged; and what the cost of over-runs has been. [98997]

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Mr. Ingram: This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Meteor Programme

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the estimated total cost to the UK for its share of the Meteor programme is; what the total estimated cost was in (a) May 2002 and (b) December 2002; how many Meteor missiles will be procured by his Department; and how many missiles were on order in (i) May 2002 and (ii) December 2002. [99601]

Mr. Ingram: The current estimated total cost to the United Kingdom for its share in the Meteor programme is £1.16 billion (at outturn prices); this is the same as the forecast in December 2002. The forecast in May 2002 was £1.13 billion. The £30 million increase is solely due to the transfer of 5 per cent. of the development programme workshare from Germany to the United Kingdom.

The United Kingdom is currently the only nation to have placed an order for production missiles. I am withholding details on the numbers being procured in accordance with Exemption 1 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, which relates to Defence, Security and International Relations. However, our requirements have not changed since my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence announced (in May 2000) that Meteor had been selected to meet our Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) requirement. We expect to order additional quantities of Meteor on behalf of the other Partner Nations, once they have confirmed their production requirements.

The Development and Production contract was placed with MBDA on 23 December 2002 and as such no missiles were on order in May 2002.

MOD Vehicle Fleet

Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the annual rate is at which his Department renews its vehicle fleet, by (a) volume and (b) percentage for each category of (i) vehicle, (ii) type of power unit, and (iii) type of fuel; [97972]

Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence's non-operational fleet, which might be regarded as the road vehicle fleet, is supplied under the terms of a contract for service provision and the Department does not own the fleet.

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MOD also operates a large range of operational vehicle fleets. These fleets are not replaced under a rolling programme, but on the basis of the operational capability requirements of the Department. The information requested is not held centrally for these fleets and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

When procuring new operational vehicles MOD ensures compliance with current domestic and EU legislation and the current NATO single fuel policy. Since the acceptance and implementation of this policy by the UK in 1991, all operational vehicles procured are propelled by diesel engines with the capability to use aviation fuel (Avtur) in operational theatre. All in-service operational vehicles are either fitted with diesel engines or are subject to dieselisation programmes.

Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what progress has been made, by (a) volume and (b) percentage for each category of (i) vehicle, (ii) type of power unit and (iii) type of fuel, on an annual basis, over each of the past three years, in renewal of his Department's vehicle fleet on a lower emission basis; [97973]

Dr. Moonie: The Ministry of Defence operates a large and diverse vehicle fleet. The detailed information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Reducing vehicle emissions is a key transport issue, which has been agreed as a priority across Government. Against a baseline year of 2002–03, all Departments are aiming by 31 March 2006 to reduce road transport vehicle carbon dioxide emissions by at least 10 per cent. and requiring at least 10 per cent. of all fleet cars to be alternatively fuelled.

Progress against these targets will be reported in the Sustainable Development in Government annual report. The first full report against the Framework will be in 2003, reporting against the baseline year of 2002–03.

MOD is committed to complying with the letter and spirit of UK air pollution control policy and legislation, including that derived from EC Directives on vehicle emissions. A copy of the relevant Joint Service Publication—418—can be found in the Library of the House.

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In addition, as part of the Framework for Sustainable Development on the Government Estate, MOD has published a draft transport strategy, which includes targets and measures to (i) reduce the total business mileage of land-vehicles; (ii) improve the average fuel efficiency of land-vehicles; and (iii) reduce total fuel consumed, including working with our contractors for the non-operational fleet and hire cars to demonstrate increasing use of alternatively fuelled vehicles.

New projects for equipment acquisition are required to adhere to the spirit of the MOD travel strategy.

A copy of the draft MOD travel strategy can be found at: http://www.mod.uk/linked files/dsef/sus dev/sdt strategy.pdf.

Naval Hulls

Mr. Tynan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the hulls of Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels of the (a) Leaf, (b) Rover and (c) Wave classes are categorised as (i) single, (ii) single reinforced and (iii) double. [98717]

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many RFA Ships have a double hull. [99146]

Mr. Ingram: Royal Fleet Auxiliary Leaf and Rover Class vessels are single hulled and are fully compliant with current regulations and hold valid IOPP (International Oil Pollution Prevention) certificates.

The Ministry of Defence's policy remains that, where practicable, we will comply with standards required by legislation. The implementation of a recent amendment to the regulations will, however, result in RFA tankers becoming non-compliant with MARPOL (the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships 1973 and the Protocol of 1978). A programme is in place to replace progressively the RFA single hulled tanker fleet which, subject to sufficient funding being identified, will result in MOD reaching compliance by 2010.

The WAVE Class has been built in accordance with current regulations for new tankers and are therefore double hulled.

None of the current RFA Fleet is double-hulled. However, the two new WAVE CLASS RFAs, that are undergoing trials before they enter service this spring,

have been built with double-hulls.


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