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Armoured Vehicles

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether (a) BAE Systems Land Systems and (b) its contractors will be purchasing any of the (i)body (excluding armour) and (ii) drive components
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for the manufacture of the Panther Command and Liaison vehicle from (A) Iveco and (B) other non-UK contractors; [5364]

(2) what difference there is between the (a) body (excluding armour), (b) engine, (c) gearboxes, (d) drive mechanism and (e) wheels of the (i) Panther Command and Liaison vehicle and (ii) Italian Light Multirole Tactical vehicle. [5363]

Mr. Ingram: The United Kingdom's Panther Command and Liaison Vehicle when compared to an Italian Light Multirole Tactical Vehicle in the same role would have no significant difference in the body, engine, gearbox, drive mechanism or wheels. BAE Systems Land Systems will purchase a complete base vehicle from Iveco. This will include the drive components and the vehicle body but will exclude the roof. The contractor for the supply of the vehicle roof will be determined by BAE Systems Land Systems before Panther enters full manufacture.


Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what arrangements are in place to monitor his Department's contractors payments performance against their contractual requirements under DEFCON 534; [4249]

(2) whether DEFCON 534 is included in all of his Department's contracts. [4515]

Mr. Ingram: Unless it is known for certain from the outset that there will be no sub-contractor involvement it is policy to include this DEFCON in all contracts.

The Ministry of Defence has no centrally co-ordinated arrangement in place to monitor defence contractors' payments performance to their sub-contractors under the terms of DEFCON 534 as, due to the high number of contracts let by the Department, it would not be cost effective to do so. That said, where it is specifically relevant to the performance of an MOD contract, Integrated Project Teams can include a performance indicator to measure payment of sub-contractors in the Supplier and Customer Performance Measurement tool, a non-contractual tool implemented to measure performance on contracts with a value of £5 million or over.

In addition, in the autumn of 2001, MOD agreed with industry a set of Codes of Best Practice (MOD/Industry Commercial Policy Group Guideline no. 5) which include principles requiring Prime Contractors

Departmental Research

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many and what percentage of opportunities for research and consulting disseminated by his Department resulted in (a) research reports and (b) deliverable projects in (i) 2001–02, (ii) 2002–03 and (iii) 2003–04. [3414]

Mr. Ingram: Details of the Department's spend on External Assistance of which consultancy is a part have been reported to Ministers since 1995–96 and
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summaries, broken down by MOD Top Level Budget and category, have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Research opportunities disseminated out of the MOD's own capabilities are an increasing feature of our programme. Historically, the majority of research was undertaken in-house. However, the substantial changes of structure from creating QinetiQ, as a private public partnership, and Dstl, as a Trading Fund, have allowed us to offer an increasing amount of opportunities to industry and academia.

The Department does not hold centrally information requested on how many and what percentage of such research and consulting resulted in (a) research reports and (b) deliverable projects. However, the Department's business processes ordinarily require reports to be generated from extramural consultancy and research. MOD's research generally provides knowledge for broad capability requirements rather than being focused on specific projects.

Food Procurement

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much was spent by his Department on public procurement of food in the most recent year for which figures are available; and what proportion of that expenditure was covered under Crown immunity on food safety matters. [5787]

Mr. Ingram: The amount spent on the procurement of food for the armed forces during financial year 2004–05 was approximately £134 million, excluding the cost of Operational Ration Packs.

The Food Safety Act (1990) applies in England, Scotland and Wales, and to a limited extent in Northern Ireland and has applied to MOD premises since the removal of Crown immunity on 1 April 1992. Therefore, none of the food supplied to the armed forces, in terms of cost or volume, is covered under Crown Immunity.


Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to announce confirmed contracts for the Future Rapid Effects System. [6067]

Mr. Ingram: To date, two Technology Demonstrator Programmes (TOP) have been awarded—for Capacity and Stowage (with Dstl) and Hard Kill Defensive Aid Suite (with Akers Kutbruk). Contracts are currently being negotiated in respect of Chassis Concepts, Electronic Architecture and Electric Armour. In addition, tender assessment of Integrated Survivability is under way; an Invitation to Tender has been issued for a Gap Crossing TDP; and a TDP to assess Regenerative Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) is likely to proceed shortly.

Contracts will be awarded when mutually acceptable terms and conditions have been agreed, and formal announcements will be made in due course.

Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his latest estimate is of the total cost of the Future Rapid Effects System; when he expects it to be in-service; and if he will make a statement. [6069]

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Mr. Ingram: The Future Rapid Effect System (FRES) is in its initial Assessment Phase. Studies being carried out during this phase will enable us to define programme costs and an appropriate in-service date (ISD) for endorsement at the main investment decision.

The ISD will not be formally endorsed until then, but our current planning assumption is that the early variants of FRES will be introduced to service early in the next decade, with a phased approach to achieving full operational capability thereafter.

Exact costs have yet to be established, however the expected procurement cost of FRES is potentially in the order of £14 billion, subject to the confirmation of current planning assumptions.

Future Aircraft Carrier Project

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to make public the findings of the 100-day review into the Future Aircraft Carrier (CVF) project. [6243]

Mr. Ingram: The 100 day plan is the most recent programme review undertaken as part of Assessment Phase activities on the Future Aircraft Carrier project. The Alliance Participants—MOD, BAE Systems, Thales UK and Kellogg Brown and Root Ltd. UK—have worked together to complete the review on time and Ministers are currently considering the report's findings. Given the commercial sensitivity of much of the information, it was never our intention to publish the report in its entirety. Its outcome will, however, feature prominently in future decision making and the arrangements for the Demonstration and Manufacture Phase.


Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many ships the Royal Navy can dock at Gibraltar at any one time. [7202]

Mr. Ingram: British Forces Gibraltar has seven operational berths, two of which are classified as Zberths capable of supporting nuclear powered warships (NPW). The number of vessels that could be supported at any one time would depend on size, draught, and their compatibility to berth ships alongside each other, the level of support required and the presence of any NPW.

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his Department's percentage land holding in Gibraltar is, broken down by service use. [7204]

Mr. Ingram: The current size of the Ministry of Defence estate in Gibraltar is 149.9 hectares and this represents 22.9 per cent. of the total land area. This calculation includes those sites already transferred to the Gibraltar Government under the Lands Agreement signed between the Secretary of State for Defence and the Chief Minister in April 2004. When the implementation of this Agreement is complete (expected to be during 2010), the size of the estate will have reduced to 118.9 hectares or 18.18 per cent. of Gibraltar's total land area.
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It is impossible to break these figures down into individual service use, because of the tri-service nature of operations in Gibraltar.

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many naval ships from other countries have docked at Gibraltar in the last three years. [7209]

Mr. Ingram: 38 warships from other countries docked in Gibraltar during the last three years. 10 other warships conducted bay transfers of stores and/or personnel with Gibraltar during this time; however, they did not dock alongside.

Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the effect of the planned implementation of his Department's contractorisation plan for Gibraltar on (a) number of jobs available in his Department and (b) number of remaining personnel employed directly by his Department; what steps his Department plans to take to ensure that its contractor will be able to pay its creditors' taxes and redundancy payments; and what steps his Department plans to take to ensure that local jobs are retained; and if he will make a statement. [3450]

Mr. Ingram: There are currently around 296 locally employed civilian posts in scope to transfer under the Infrastructure Service Provider (ISP) Contract. It is not possible to say how many posts the successful contractor will retain until the bids have been evaluated and a contractor selected.

The total number of locally employed civilian (LEC) staff in Gibraltar is approximately 1,000. The ISP will represent a 30 per cent. reduction of the locally employed staff in Gibraltar.

As a part of the selection process, the MOD will ensure that only companies capable of delivering their legal and contractual obligations will be invited to tender.

The Ministry of Defence is bound by and follows the laws of Gibraltar pertaining to recruitment. For those staff transferred to the successful ISP contractor, the provisions of the acquired rights directive (similar to TUPE provisions) activated under Gibraltar Law will apply.

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