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21 Mar 2005 : Column 570W—continued


Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which sub-units were deployed from the (a) 5th Regiment Royal Artillery to (i) Cyprus, (ii) Iraq and (iii) Northern Ireland, (b) 32nd Regiment Royal Artillery to (A) Cyprus and (B) Iraq, (c) 2nd Royal Tank Regiment to (1) Iraq and (2) Kosovo, (d) Light Dragoons to (x) Bosnia and (y) Cyprus, (e) Queen's Royal Lancers to (aa) Kosovo and (bb) Iraq and (f) Household Cavalry to Bosnia; and what the dates of each deployment were. [222171]

Mr. Ingram: The information requested is shown in the following table. The information relates to the period January 2000 to March 2005, as data prior to this period is not held centrally and could be provided only at a disproportionate cost.
Regiment (a)Sub units (b)Theatre (c)Dates (d)
5th Regiment Royal ArtilleryK Battery (Bty)CyprusDecember 2001-June 2002
K BtyIraq-Telic 1February-June 2003
4/73 BtyIraq-Telic 2June-October 2003
4/73 BtyIraq-Telic 3October 2003-April 2004
K BtyIraq-Telic 4April 2003-October 2004
P BtyIraq-Telic 5October 2004-April 2005
P BtyNorthern IrelandOctober 2002-May 2003
P BtyNorthern IrelandAugust-December 2003
32nd Regiment Royal Artillery46 Bty, 18 BtyCyprusDecember 2001-June 2002
42 BtyCyprusJune-December 2003
46 Bty, 18 Bty, 22 BtyIraq-Telic 1February-June 2003
57 BtyIraq-Telic 3September 2003-April 2004
22 BtyIraq-Telic 4April-October 2004
18 BtyIraq-Telic 5October 2004-April 2005
2nd Royal Tank RegimentRHQ, Cyclops, Falcon, EgyptIraq-Telic 1February–June 2003
BadgerIraq-Telic 2July-November 2003
RHQ, Badger, EgyptKosovoFebruary-June 2001
CyclopsKosovoJune-December 2001
The Light DragoonsB SquadronBosniaApril-October 2000
C SquadronBosniaOctober 2002-April 2003
The Queen's Royal LancersRHQ, D SquadronKosovoApril-October 2002
B, C SquadronsIraq-Telic 1February–June 2003
A, D SquadronsIraq-Telic 2July-November 2003
Household Cavalry RegimentA SquadronBosniaSeptember 2001-March 2002
C SquadronBosniaMarch-September 2002
C Squadron (-)BosniaOctober 2003-April 2004

21 Mar 2005 : Column 571W

Future Rapid Effects System

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of the defence procurement budget is allocated to the Future Rapid Effects System for each year from 2007 to 2010. [211254]

Mr. Ingram: The Future Rapid Effect System is in its initial assessment phase. Firm decisions on costs and timescales for the programme will not be made until the main procurement decision.

Maritime Coherence Baseline

Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the purpose is of the Maritime Coherence Baseline concept; when it will be implemented; and if he will make a statement. [221346]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 14 March 2005]: The Maritime Coherence Study Baseline is the core programme emerging from the Maritime Coherence Study. It will provide the basis on which further work and refinement is undertaken. The Maritime Coherence Study is intended to produce a balanced, coherent and more affordable programme to address our capability priorities and provide an industrial programme with stable and balanced loading, and will be implemented over the next two decades.

Nuclear Warheads

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his policy is on the transportation by air of nuclear materials related to the United Kingdom nuclear weapons programme. [222054]

Mr. Hoon: Within the United Kingdom, our policy is to use surface transportation for all movements of nuclear material related to the UK nuclear weapons programme. Any necessary movement by air of nuclear material outside of the UK is undertaken in compliance with the UK's International Treaty obligations and in accordance with International Air Transport Association regulations, MOD Health and Safety requirements and all statutory legislative requirements. All Ministry of Defence movements of nuclear materials are conducted only by suitably qualified and experienced personnel under procedures designed to reduce foreseeable risk in accordance with the As Low As Reasonably Practicable principle.
21 Mar 2005 : Column 572W

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which nations he has assessed as having the capacity to launch a nuclear strike against United Kingdom military bases; and which United Kingdom bases are in range of each nation's weapons. [222055]

Mr. Hoon: We assess that there is currently no significant threat of a nuclear strike against UK military bases. We continue to monitor the nuclear capability of a number of countries.

Oil Tankers

Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what assessment his Department has made of the Royal Navy's future requirement for oil supply within the Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability (MARS) programme; how many ships are needed; and if he will make a statement; [221134]

(2) what plans he has for the (a) purchase and (b) lease of commercial oil tankers before the introduction of Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability tankers; [221126]

(3) what measures are in place to meet the oil supply requirement of the Royal Navy in the event of a delay in the introduction of the Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability programme. [221133]

Mr. Ingram: The MARS programme will provide the future maritime tanker capability for the Royal Navy. The future requirement, including how the capability will be delivered, will be determined during the programme's assessment phase. Two of the LEAF class tankers currently in service are leased. We have no current plans to purchase or lease additional tankers for the RFA ahead of the capability to be introduced through the MARS programme. We will consider extending the current fleet of maritime tankers in service as necessary prior to the introduction of the MARS capability.

Panther Vehicle

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the budget is for each year of the Panther vehicle programme. [211268]

Mr. Ingram: The overall acquisition cost of the Panther programme, which is in its Demonstration and Manufacture phase, is £193 million spread over some five years.
21 Mar 2005 : Column 573W

RAF Leeming

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the impact of job losses at RAF Leeming on (a) the work of the base and (b) the local community; and if he will make a statement. [222278]

Mr. Ingram: The written ministerial statement of 10 March outlined the proposed reductions in the number of Service and civilian posts as a result of the end-to-end review of logistics process for military aircraft support. These reductions form part of the Service and civilian manpower reductions that were announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence on 21 July 2004.

For RAF Leeming, this will mean a reduction in the number of Service posts by 215 and, subject to Trades Union consultation, a reduction in the number of civilian posts by 20.

I recognise that this may be disappointing news for the local community, but the proposed changes in working practices and force structure will improve efficiency within the RAF.

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the long-term future of RAF Leeming. [222279]

Mr. Ingram: RAF Leeming is one of many airfields being considered under the Defence Airfield Review, which is examining our future basing requirements.

I announced on 10 March 2005 that RAF Leeming is one of five RAF Stations currently being considered as a potential base for the new Joint Combat Aircraft when it enters service in the next decade.

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