|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
10 Mar 2003 : Column 58Wcontinued
10 Mar 2003 : Column 59W
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how the delay in the Astute Submarine in service date will affect the Astute Class Training Service run by DSEI; what the cost will be to his Department; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: A contract for the provision of an Astute Class Training Service was placed with FAST Training Services Ltd in September 2001. The Department is currently evaluating the impact of realigning the training programme to take account of delays in the ASTUTE submarine programme. A decision on the way ahead, based on the best value for money solution is expected later this year.
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 6 March 2003]: I assume that the hon. Member is referring to the competence of the technical assessor of the bids for the second Wattisham Air Traffic contract. The Wattisham contract was for the provision of air traffic control services, associated equipment maintenance and simulator services. As the most significant proportion of the contract was for air traffic control services for the Ministry of Defence, the most appropriate technical assessor was a military air traffic controller. Against this background it was not considered necessary for the assessor to have had experience of civil air traffic contracting.
Mr. Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the main differences were between the risk assessments used in the first and second assessments of the Wattisham Air Traffic contract. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 6 March 2003]: The risk assessment used in the second competition for the Wattisham Air Traffic Contract benefited from lessons learnt in the first competition. The second competition utilised a better defined requirement, a more rigorous and explicit approach to the risk assessment and a different assessment teamall of which improved the quality of the risk assessment overall.
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether industrial co-operation between France and the United Kingdom on the CVF project will have an impact on his Department's contractual arrangements with (a) BAE Systems and (b) Thales UK; 
10 Mar 2003 : Column 60W
Mr. Ingram: While we have been exchanging information and discussing carrier procurement issues with the French Government, to date there has been no Anglo-French co-operation on CVF at the industry to industry level. As a result of France's decision to buy a second aircraft carrier we are exploring potential areas for co-operationsuch as transferring design information and facilitating, in due course, industry to industry linksto inform the French decision-making process. Much will depend on the procurement route and solution selected by France. It is not envisaged that industrial co-operation will impact on our procurement strategy and our relationship with BAE Systems or Thales UK.
Mr. Ingram: From the start of the CVF Assessment phase contract in November 1999 to the end of the competitive stage on 20 November 2002, the Ministry of Defence paid around £39 million (VAT inclusive) to both BAE Systems and Thales UK. Additional spending by the companies is a matter for them.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 3 February 2003, Official Report, column 55W, on Gibraltar, whether the Government of Gibraltar have requested a meeting to discuss commemoration of 300 years of British sovereignty. 
Mr. Ingram: The Government of Gibraltar have not requested any meeting with either British Forces Gibraltar or the Ministry of Defence to discuss the commemoration of 300 years of British sovereignty.
Mr. Hoon: Defence and security within the United Kingdom are primarily the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary. The Ministry of Defence's contribution, including the enhancements currently being implemented, were described in Section 5 of the White Paper "The Strategic Defence Review: A New Chapter" (CM5566 vol. 1), presented to Parliament on 18 July 2002.
10 Mar 2003 : Column 61W
with responsibility for media and communications operations are (a) in the Gulf and (b) on their way to the Gulf; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Frank Cook: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made on new technologies for detecting and removing landmines; if he will list such new technologies that have been tested in the field; under what conditions such technologies have been tested; and in which mine-affected countries they are now operational. 
Mr. Ingram: Research into mine detection, and destruction or removal, continues to be undertaken by several firms in the United Kingdom. A wide range of technologies have been tested, including: ground penetrating radar; magnetometers (sometimes combined with GPS locating equipment); aerial platforms for mine detection equipment; vehicle mounted mine detection and marking equipment; mine destruction flails; mine destruction and lifting rotators and scarifiers; and pyrotechnic disposal tools. Tests have included remote controlled equipment of all types. Testing work has also been carried out with explosive and mine detection dogs.
Technologies have been tested under control conditions against dummy targets (for example, a known number of targets buried at a known depth in a known location and in a certain type of soil), in dummy minefields laid in typical conditions found in various parts of the world, and under control conditions against live targets. Equipment that is derived from or has benefited from these tests is operational in the Middle and Far East, in Africa, and in Europe (including Bosnia and Kosovo).
Mr. Ingram: There are no British troops currently involved in landmine clearance. British troops may be required to clear mines on a war fighting deployment in support of operations. They may also be required to carry out limited mine clearance operations or operations other than war if the local situation demands. However, mine clearance on humanitarian operations will normally be passed to appropriate United Nations or civilian contractors.
Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions since October 2002 coalition aircraft patrolling the southern no-fly zone in Iraq have (a) detected violations of the no-fly zones,
10 Mar 2003 : Column 62W
(b) detected a direct threat to a coalition aircraft and (c) responded in self defence; how much ordnance was released in each month since October 2002; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 3 March 2003]: The information requested is only currently available up to the end of January. No-fly zone (NFZ) violations are detected in several ways, though rarely by tactical aircraft. The number of violations recorded, by month, in the southern no-fly zone, is as follows:
Coalition aircraft in the southern NFZ responded in self defence against Iraqi Air Defence targets on 41 occasions in the period, and released 128.4 tons of ordnance.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|