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Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the (a) timescale for, (b) size of, (c) capability of, (d) contracts for, (e) sub-contracts for and (f) cost of the new aircraft carriers. 
Mr. Ingram: Our target acquisition cost for the Future Carrier (CVF) programme is around £3 billion, with target in service dates of 2012 and 2015. The project is in its Assessment Phase. We have not so far sought to fix the dimensions of the ships, but are focusing instead on the future capability required. This was outlined in the July 2004 Defence White Paper supplement Delivering Security in a Changing World: Future Capabilities". As is normal for a project at this stage, the design will continue to evolve. The timescale, cost and performance parameters will be set following the main investment decision.
We believe that the Alliance approach represents the best prospect for delivering the future carriers to time and cost. Discussions are ongoing on the contracting arrangements for the Demonstration and Manufacture phase of the project.
|Household Cavalry/Royal Armoured Corps||800||860|
|Royal Regiment of Artillery||1,020||1,060|
|Corps of Royal Engineers||1,290||1,200|
|Royal Corps of Signals||960||1,000|
|Army Air Corps||510||480|
|Royal Army Chaplain's Department||160||130|
|The Royal Logistic Corps||1,670||1,640|
|Royal Army Medical Corps||980||860|
|Corps of Royal Electrical And Mechanical Engineers||800||850|
|Adjutant General's Corps (Staff And Personnel Support Branch)||230||210|
|Adjutant General's Corps (Provost Branch)||480||470|
|Adjutant General's Corps (Educational and Training Services Branch)||330||330|
|Adjutant General's Corps (Army Legal Services Branch)||120||90|
|Royal Army Veterinary Corps||20||20|
|Small Arms School Corps||30||30|
|Royal Army Dental Corps||170||150|
|Army Physical Training Corps||50||40|
|Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps||400||260|
|Corps of Army Music||30||40|
Mr. Ingram: We currently expect the Canberra PR9 to be withdrawn from service in 2006. We will continue to provide Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) capabilities through a mix of in-service systems and new equipment programmes that will deliver enhanced capability incrementally.
Mr. Ingram: Following a recommendation from the Senior Salaries Pay Review Body, an incremental pay scale has been introduced for the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS). Each year, the Permanent Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Defence, in conjunction with the independent member of the Department's Remuneration Committee, will make recommendations to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence on whether CDS should move up the incremental pay scale. This recommendation will take account of a short narrative, prepared by the Secretary of State, setting out how CDS has contributed to delivering the Government's objectives for defence over the past year.
Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what date flight lieutenants Jonathan Tapper and Richard Cook were given self-authorisation status for VIP flights, prior to the crash of Chinook ZD576 on 2nd June 1994. 
(3) how many specific Civil Contingency Reaction Force (CCRF) training days have taken place in each year since the creation of CCRF; how many people were involved in each event; and where each such training day was held; 
Mr. Ingram: The 14 Civil Contingency Reaction Forces (CCRFs) are based on the 14 TA infantry battalions spread across the country and, should the need arise, would be manned by members of the Volunteer Reserve Forces, albeit mainly the Territorial Army. A list of qualified volunteers up to a maximum of 500 per CCRF is maintained by each CCRF Headquarters in order that they can respond at short notice to a crisis. But CCRF volunteers are not permanently employed by the armed forces, nor are they held at permanent readiness.
It is, however, a fundamental principle that volunteers for the CCRFs agree to be mobilised at relatively short notice. We expect to be able to deploy a CCRF within 24 hours should the need arise, although this may be tempered by the need for additional training depending upon the nature of the crisis.
The list of CCRF volunteers is dynamic and reflects the availability of individuals as their personal circumstances change. When an individual becomes unavailable, whether through operational deployment or any other change in circumstances, they cease to be a member of the CCRF and another volunteer is brought forward to replace them. In this way the CCRF capability is maintained.
Volunteers receive five days training per year, in addition to their normal reservist training. Details of individual training activities are not held centrally, but in general the additional days are used to ensure familiarisation and integration with the local authorities and the emergency services and to ensure that the procedures for mobilisation are well practised.
It should be borne in mind that the CCRFs are neither an automatic nor the only option to respond to a request from the civil authorities for military assistance. Regional commanders will identify the best choice from all available units, regular or reserve, depending on the nature and urgency of the request.
Mr. Caplin: The maintenance of a system of military law is essential for the operational effectiveness of the armed forces. Courts martial are a vital element of this system. The next armed forces Bill will introduce a number of changes to the operation of courts martial, as part of the modernisation and harmonisation of service law. These are set out in the Ministry of Defence's Memorandum to the Defence Select Committee of 5 October 2004.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether commanding officers are advised in all cases by military lawyers prior to deciding on the most appropriate disciplinary action to take against soldiers facing (a) murder charges and (b) other serious charges. 
Mr. Caplin: In accordance with Queen's Regulations, Commanding Officers are obliged in all cases to seek legal advice prior to deciding on the most appropriate disciplinary action to take against soldiers facing murder charges and other serious charges.
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