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Written Answers to Questions

Wednesday 26 January 2005


Aircraft Carrier Project

Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to announce the Government's choice of programme integrator for the aircraft carrier project. [210690]

Mr. Ingram: The process to select the physical integrator for the future aircraft carrier project is ongoing, and we anticipate announcing the outcome shortly.

Cash Machines

Mr. McFall: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many cash machines are currently provided on (a) bases and (b) other property owned, rented or otherwise used by his Department; how many of these cash machines (i) levy a surcharge for withdrawing cash and (ii) are free to use; whether any of the machines which are free to use are in areas that are only accessible by officers; and if he will make a statement. [204981]

Mr. Ingram: There are 268 machines on military bases in Great Britain, Northern Ireland and Germany. Of these, 257 levy a surcharge, leaving 11 machines that are free to use. The free machines are mainly located where troops are confined to base in some way, either for training or security reasons. At Brize Norton, the air base used by those returning from deployment around the world, including Iraq, there are two free machines to facilitate easy access to cash as soon as the troops reach the UK. There are no machines that are accessible by officers only.

Information on cash machines at other property owned, rented or otherwise used by the Ministry of Defence, is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Chinook HC2 Helicopter

Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will place all (a) documents, (b) e-mails and (c) memoranda (i) produced and (ii) received by his Department concerning technical faults discovered in the Chinook HC2 helicopter in the Library; [210373]

(2) on how many occasions in each year since 1990 reviewing officers' conclusions differed from those of the President of an RAF Board of Inquiry. [210640]

Mr. Ingram: The information requested is not held centrally, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
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Civil Servants (Opposition Policy)

Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library all factual material produced by civil servants in his Department relating to the costing of policies and pledges of Opposition parties since 1997. [206698]

Mr. Hoon [holding answer 21 December 2004]: Officials are occasionally asked to provide factual information to allow Opposition party policies to be costed. Such work is carried out in accordance with the guidance set out in Volume One of the Directory of Civil Service Guidance.

Since 1997, examples have included information to support costing of Opposition policies for defence in Scotland in 1999, Conservative policies on increases in the size of the regular Army and the Territorial Army in 2000 and Conservative policies on changes to the infantry structure in 2004.

Cluster Munitions

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent research he has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on (i) improving the reliability of cluster munitions and (ii) finding militarily-adequate alternatives to cluster munitions; and if he will make a statement. [200298]

Mr. Ingram: No research has been commissioned in respect of air launched cluster munitions as they are gradually being withdrawn from service over the next five years. Recent statistics show an overall failure rate which is in line with expectations. For Ground Launched systems, the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) is due to be replaced by the future GMLRS Area Effects Munition (AEM) with a planned in service date of early 2007. The new system has bomblets fitted with a self destruct faze giving a failure rate of less than 1 per cent. Whilst the Shell 155mm HE L20A1 Extended Range Bomblet Shell (ERBS) has a maximum failure rate of 2 per cent. at the 95 per cent. confidence level the bomblet fuze has a self destruct mechanism. Analysis shows that for a significant percentage of likely targets the bomblet remains the most effective munition.

Disposal Services Agency

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contracts have been signed by his Department's Disposal Services Agency in the calendar year 2004 for equipment directly sold on a government-to-government basis; and if he will list (a) the equipment concerned and (b) the country to which it has gone or is going. [208779]

Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence's Disposal Services Agency (DSA) signed contracts with the Dutch Air Force for one ex-Qinetiq Hercules aircraft (to be delivered in 2005) and with the Norwegian Defence Forces for a quantity of Stingray torpedoes and depth charges (delivered in December 2004).

The DSA also signed contracts in 2004 for the supply of equipment to Jordan. These equipments have been sold in support of the Al Hussein Project, which has been established under an inter-governmental
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memorandum of understanding to facilitate the transfer of ex-MOD surplus Challenger 1 Tank assets. All of the following are sales agreements for support equipments:
2Surplus Jones IF8 Wheeled Workshop Cranes
(delivered in December 2004)
20Surplus Chieftain Armoured Repair and Recovery
Vehicles (19 to be delivered between October and
December 2004 and the DSA plans to ship the last
vehicle in March/April 2005)
6Surplus M578 Tracked Cranes and a package of
surplus spares and support equipment (export of
these six items will be subject to US Government
approval—delivery probable 2005)

Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether he intends to invite BAE Systems to underwrite the through life costs of the Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer; [204832]

(2) what his latest estimate is of the in-service date for the Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer; [204833]

(3) what the main provisions of the gain share agreement between his Department and BAE Systems in respect of the Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer are; [204834]

(4) what design changes the Integrated Project Team for the Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer proposes to make; [204836]

(5) what he expects the through life costs of the Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer to be. [204837]

(6) when he expects to sign the contract for the (a) development phase and (b) production phase of the Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer. [204838]

Mr. Ingram: We expect the Hawk 128 Advanced Jet Trainer aircraft to cost approximately £3.5 billion Through Life", which amounts to some 20 years. The aircraft will be procured conventionally and paid for by the taxpayer, therefore there is no requirement for BAE Systems to underwrite the Through Life Costs (TLC).

The Ministry of Defence and BAE Systems have defined and agreed a mature Hawk 128 aircraft specification. We do not envisage any significant design changes to the specification during the Design and Development phase.

Gain share incentivises a Company to reduce costs and in return receive financial benefit. This information is commercially sensitive and it would be inappropriate to comment further.

The Design and Development Contract (DDC) was awarded to BAE Systems. on 22 December 2004. Final aircraft numbers, delivery schedule and In-Service Date will all be set at the main investment decision point which is planned for Spring 2006. at which time approval will be sought to place a Production Contract.

Interceptor Missiles

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether Her Majesty's Government have made a decision regarding the stationing of interceptor missiles in the UK; and if he will make a statement. [210412]

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Mr. Hoon: No request has been made and no decision is necessary.


Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many UK doctors are working in (a) detention centres and (b) prison centres in Iraq. [209282]

Mr. Ingram: The only United Kingdom detention facility in Iraq is the military Divisional Temporary Detention Facility (DTDF) in Basrah. There is one military doctor allocated full-time to the DTDF. We do not hold information about UK civilian doctors or other detention facilities in Iraq.

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