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HMS Argyll, Lancaster, Iron Duke, Monmouth, Montrose, Westminster, Northumberland, Richmond, Sutherland, Somerset, Portland, St.Albans and Kent either are, or will be modified to enable them to embark Merlin helicopters. All Type 45 destroyers will be capable of embarking Merlin.
Mr. Ingram: The Future Aircraft Carrier (CVF) will be a versatile platform, and will operate a number of aircraft types in a variety of roles. Whilst it will be capable of operating the Merlin Mk1 helicopter, it is too early to say specifically what our plans will be for this aircraft's deployment on CVF.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment he has made of the merits of the policy of moving Royal Navy operations from open seas to a littoral environment; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: The shift in emphasis in Royal Navy operations from the open seas towards the littoral was assessed by the Secretary of State for Defence in April this year when he endorsed the Future Navy paper, which set out the Navy Board's rolling strategic vision for the navy of the future. This has the concept of a versatile maritime force (VMF) at its core, and the paper describes, in conjunction with its sister paper the Future Maritime Operational Concept, how the VMF will play an increasingly effective role in meeting the core maritime roles, including influencing events ashore through maritime force projection using maritime strike and littoral manoeuvre. Flexible global reach, allowing achievement of early, rapid and sustainable effect, will also continue to be a core maritime role.
On current plans eight of the Royal Navy's Type 23 frigates will be fitted with the 2087 sonar system. It has already been fitted to HMS Westminster and will be installed on the seven remaining vessels during their next available upkeep periods. The
9 Dec 2004 : Column 692W
currently planned start dates for these upkeep periods, which are subject to periodic review, are:
|Ship||Upkeep start date|
|HMS Northumberland||Under way|
|HMS Richmond||March 2005|
|HMS Somerset||April 2006|
|HMS St. Albans||May 2007|
|HMS Sutherland||July 2007|
|HMS Kent||January 2010|
|HMS Portland||November 2010|
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to ensure Royal Navy (a) frigates and (b) destroyers are equipped with embarked helicopters prior to the in-service date for the surface combatant maritime rotacraft; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: The Royal Navy frigates and destroyers will continue to be equipped as necessary with Lynx Mk3/8 or Merlin Mk1 as embarked helicopters until a replacement for the Lynx Mk3/8 is delivered under our future helicopter programme.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the planned eight type-45 destroyers will replace the eight remaining type-42s on a one-for-one basis; and whether any of the remaining type-42s will be decommissioned before its successor type-45 enters service. 
The Secretary of State for Defence announced on 21 July 2004 that the oldest type 42 Destroyers, HMS Cardiff, HMS Newcastle and HMS Glasgow will be decommissioned by the end of 2005. While our future capability requirements are no longer dictated by the procurement of like for like platforms, the remaining type 42s are currently scheduled to be withdrawn from service from the type 45 First of Class in service date and then at intervals staged to match the in service date of incoming type-45 destroyers.
9 Dec 2004 : Column 693W
Mr. Ingram: In July 2004 the Secretary of State for Defence announced plans for class of eight Type 45 Destroyers, six of which are currently on contract. Formal approval, and a subsequent order, for ships seven and eight will be sought at the appropriate time. On current plans we would expect those ships to enter service during the middle of the next decade.
Mr. Ingram: The proposal to export Typhoon aircraft to Greece is being led by Germany and the United Kingdom is playing a full part in supporting it as a Typhoon partner nation. In recent years this has included meetings and correspondence at both senior official and ministerial level.
Mr. Neil Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many uniforms were contracted to be delivered under the contract with Cooneen, Watts & Stone for the supply of camouflage uniforms; and how many have been delivered. 
Mr. Ingram: The contract for Cut & Sewn Garments covers a wide range of items, many of which, including combat clothing, are not due to commence delivery until early 2005. The number of uniforms to be delivered under this contract will vary item by item, and the exact quantities will not be determined until the Department raises warrants to meet the armed forces' requirements during the five-year period of the contract.
Mr. Ingram: Penalties are not enforceable under English Law. The prime contractor has the incentive to properly perform under this contract, as the full five-year duration is subject to continued satisfactory performance. The company is required to make alternative arrangements if there is a risk of delivery failure. However, should they still fail to deliver on time, remedies under the contract include the right to claim damages commensurate with any consequent loss suffered by the Department.
|Desert combat clothing|
|CS95 woodland clothing|
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