|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list (a) the categories and (b) the numbers in each category of vessels to be constructed by (i) 2012 and (ii) 2015 in support of the future carrier fleet. 
Mr. Ingram: [holding answer 23 June 2005]: The future aircraft carriers (CVF) will be supported by a range of in-service and planned Royal Navy warships and Royal Fleet auxiliary vessels, including the Type 45 destroyers and the military afloat research and sustainability vessels. There are no plans to construct new vessels specifically to support the future carrier fleet by 2015.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 20 June 2005, Official Report, column 666W, whether the Labour Party's 2005 manifesto commitment to retain the United Kingdom's independent deterrent refers to (a) the principle of continuing to possess a deterrent for the foreseeable future and (b) the retention of the current Trident fleet until the end of its life. 
John Reid [holding answer 29 June 2005]: The Government made clear in the December 2003 Defence White Paper (Cm 60411) that, because of the continuing risk of the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and the certainty that a number of other countries will retain substantial nuclear arsenals, our minimum deterrent is likely to remain a necessary element of our security. We have also made clear that we intend to maintain the effectiveness of the Trident system.
Mr. Ingram: The UK is committed to remaining in Iraq for as long as the Iraqi Government judge that the coalition is required to provide security and assist the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF). The prevailing security situation, progress on the political process and development of the ISF will be among the factors in determining eventual UK force level reductions.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 27 June 2005, Official Report, columns 120405W, on Iraq, whether the British
5 Jul 2005 : Column 261W
Deputy Senior Judge Advocate in Iraq had been informed of potential abuses and misconduct in violation of the Geneva conventions at Abu Ghraib prior to the announcement of the United States criminal investigation in January 2004. 
Mr. Ingram: The British Officer was not aware of the specific allegations of abuse that subsequently led to the investigation and courts-martial of US personnel prior to the announcement of the US investigation in January 2004.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 23 June 2005, Official Report, column 44WS, on call-out of reservists for Iraq, how many of the 600 reservists to be called up to serve in Iraq have been previously mobilised for service in (a) Iraq and (b) other overseas postings since May 2002. 
Mr. Touhig: We are currently in the process of identifying and calling-out those individuals we wish to select for mobilisation to support ongoing operations in Iraq, pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 23 June 2005, Official Report, column 44WS. Given that this process is not complete, it is not possible at this stage to identify how many have served previously in Iraq or other overseas locations.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answers of 23 June 2005, Official Report, columns 114142W, on aircraft carriers, what the reasons are for the different in-service dates for the Joint Combat Aircraft to which he refers; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: The in-service date (ISD) is when the capability provided by the system is assessed as available for use. While ISDs for projects are not set until the main investment decision, our internal planning assumptions are based on an ISD of 2014 for the Joint Combat Aircraft. However, we expect to start taking delivery of the aircraft in 2011, and to be conducting flight trials in advance of the ISD.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the original (a) projected cost and (b) in-service date for the replacement for the Lynx Mk 3/8 helicopter were; and what the current estimates are. 
Mr. Ingram: Prior to the inception of the Future Rotorcraft Capability (FRC) programme in July 2004, the Lynx Mk 3/8 replacement was in its assessment phase, so there were no approved costs or in-service dates. The replacement for Lynx Mk 3/8 has now been subsumed into the FRC programme. The parameters of the FRC programme are still under consideration, but we hope to make announcements later this year.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what completed procurement projects since 1997 have had an approved cost at main gate or equivalent approval exceeding £250 million; and in each case what
5 Jul 2005 : Column 262W
the (a) approved cost, (b) actual final cost, (c) approved in-service date at main gate or equivalent approval and (d) actual in-service date were. 
Mr. Touhig: The following table details the expenditure for Territorial Army (TA) recruiting and the number of TA recruits for each financial year since 2001; expenditure figures are not available prior to this date.
(approx £ million)
Mr. Jack: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department is evaluating the benefits to the UK of producing in the UK unmanned aerial vehicles with (a) offensive, (b) defensive and (c) observational capabilities. 
Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence is pursuing a twin-track strategy to explore the conceptual thinking and underlying technology for unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAVs). The former involves participation in the US Joint Unmanned Combat Air System Programme concept work. The latter is focused on ensuring the UK is able to make intelligent choices with respect to UCAV design, technology development and manufacture, and is intended to enhance the UK's industrial position to undertake either an indigenous or collaborative programme should a firm military requirement for UCAVs emerge in the future. Under our Defence Industrial Policy we routinely consider the benefits of producing new defence equipment in the UK when taking procurement decisions.
In addition, we are considering a proposal from Thales UK as preferred bidder for a tactical unmanned air vehicles (UAV) system manufactured in the UK to meet the Watchkeeper requirement for an intelligence,
5 Jul 2005 : Column 263W
surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance capability. We will make an announcement on this as soon as possible.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|