|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
14 Oct 2003 : Column 159Wcontinued
I have had no discussions on this issue with European partners. My hon. Friend the Minister for Employment Relations, Industry and the Regions represented the UK at the 13 May 2003 EU Competitiveness Council where the European Commission Communication of 11 March 2003, entitled "European DefenceIndustrial and Market Issues: Towards an EU Defence Equipment Policy", was discussed. As a result, the European Commission plans to present its reflections on the application of competition rules in the defence sector for further discussion, possibly by the end of 2003.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what firing ranges, other than Tipner, are used by the Royal Navy; and how many days in each of the last three years these alternatives have been used. 
|Firing ranges||Days used|
|Army Cadet Range at Browndown||90|
(35) Closes 2004.
Mr. Caplin: The information requested is only readily available for the last 12 months, but there is no reason to believe that the pattern of usage has changed significantly over the last three years:
Other Agencies58 days
14 Oct 2003 : Column 160W
Mr. Caplin: There has been no Ministry of Defence sponsored study into the use of Tipner ranges by Brent Geese. However, the MOD is aware of two recent studies, by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and Ecological Planning and Research.
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his Department's planned expenditure on (i) the Future Rapid Effects System and (ii) all other armoured vehicle projects is over the next 15 years. 
Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence's financial planning processes focus on ten years ahead for equipment acquisition costs and four years ahead for other areas of expenditure. It is not therefore possible to provide the detailed cost information sought over a 15 year period.
In addition, two other armoured vehicle projectsthe Armoured Battlegroup Support Vehicle (ABSV) and the Warrior Mid Life Improvementare still in their concept phases. Consequently, costs have yet to be agreed for these programmes.
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether funding for other armoured vehicle projects has been changed as a consequence of the funding arrangements for the Future Rapid Effects System. 
Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence's annual planning round is used to balance levels of investment across capabilities to ensure that our acquisition plans are, in aggregate, affordable within the resources allocated to the future equipment programme. At the individual project level, there is therefore no direct or specific linkage between increased funding in one area and reductions in another.
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to make an announcement on the Future Rapid Effects System; and if he will make a statement on its role in the future capability of the Army. 
Mr. Ingram: FRES will be at the forefront of the Army's rapid intervention capability, across the spectrum of missions from warfighting to peace-keeping. It is expected that the capability will be provided by a system of air-transportable medium weight armoured vehicles and that it will operate as an integral part of future network-enabled forces.
14 Oct 2003 : Column 161W
As part of the current concept phase of the FRES project, the MOD has been undertaking planning work in order to inform decisions on how best to take the programme forward. The MOD is now considering procurement options and we expect to make an announcement later this year on the way ahead for the project.
Mr. Ingram: The Future Rapid Effects System (FRES) project is in its concept phase. The optimum make up of the FRES fleet will be determined by studies planned for the subsequent assessment phase of the programme. Only when these studies have been completed will we be able to finalise the number of variants required.
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) when he expects the A400M to be compatible with the requirements of the proposed Future Rapid Effects System; and how this has been affected by the delays in the assessment phase for the Future Rapid Effects System; 
Mr. Ingram: The requirements for the Future Rapid Effects System (FRES) are still being developed as part of the project's concept phase. Studies are planned for the next phase of the FRES programme to examine coherence with associated programmes including A400M. These studies will ensure that the FRES requirements take into account the need for air portability. The contract for the A400M programme has now been signed. It is not currently expected that there will be any consequent adjustments to it, and therefore no additional costs have been identified.
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the effects of the timescales for (a) the A400M and the development of a strategic lift capability and (b) the awarding of the contract for the Future Rapid Effects System on (i) the development of a rapidly deployable medium force capability and (ii) the projected in-service date of the Future Rapid Effects System. 
Mr. Ingram: In seeking a better balance in our deployable land forces, we plan to shift from the current mix of light and heavy forces representing the two extremes of deployability and combat power to a more graduated and balanced structure of light, medium and heavy forces, together with a greater emphasis on enabling capabilities such as logistics, engineers and intelligence. The introduction of the air-transportable, medium-weight Future Rapid Effects System family of vehicles is one part of this re-balancing. The ISD for FRES will be formally set at the Main Gate investment decision, however the planning assumption for its ISD remains around the end of this decade. A400M enters service in a comparable timeframeits ISD is 2011.
14 Oct 2003 : Column 162W
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he plans to purchase or lease further C-17s to provide a strategic lift capability for the proposed Future Rapid Effects System. 
Mr. Ingram: The MOD is currently considering the retention in service of a small fleet of C17 aircraft. This is not specifically linked to the introduction of the Future Rapid Effects System (FRES), although C17s could have utility in this role alongside other airlift assets.
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contribution the Government has made to ensure that an accurate central list of Iraqi detainees in coalition-run prisons in Iraq, with names in Arabic, is kept. 
Mr. Hoon [holding answer 16 September 2003]: The names of all Iraqis held at the Theatre Internment Facility are held on a database which includes Arabic names that have been transliterated into English by an interpreter. A list of names of all UK detained Iraqis held in the Theatre Internment Facility, and for which the UK Military is therefore responsible, is passed onto the International Committee of the Red Cross every two weeks.
Mr. Flook: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the estimated monthly cost of keeping British military personnel and equipment in Iraq and the surrounding region is, following the recent deployment of extra troops; 
Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence identifies the costs of Operations in terms of the net additional costs it has incurred. The costs which the Department would have incurred had the operation not been undertakenexpenditure on wages and salaries or on conducting training exercises, for exampleare deducted from the total costs of the operation.
Calculating all the costs of military action will take some time since they will include the cost of ammunition, bombs and guided weapons consumed in excess of peacetime levels and the cost of repairing and replacing equipment destroyed and damaged. We do however estimate the cost of preparatory activities in 200203 at around £700 million, less than the £1 billion set aside at Spring Supplementary Estimates 200203. This estimate includes the procurement or modification of equipment, increased maintenance and stock consumption, civil sea and air charter and provision of infrastructure in-theatre. A figure for total costs in 200203 including the cost of operations up to 31 March 2003 will be published in the Department's Resource Accounts at the end of October 2003.
14 Oct 2003 : Column 163W
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|