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10 Oct 2005 : Column 13W—continued

IT Projects

Mr. Meacher: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what computerisation or IT failures have occurred in projects managed by (a) his Department and (b) the various branches of the armed forces in each year since 1997; what the contracted cost of the project was in each case; and what estimate he has made of the direct and indirect costs of failure or breakdown in each case. [14368]

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Mr. Touhig: The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Joint Strike Fighter

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contingency plans his Department has developed in the event of failure to secure agreement with the United States on technology transfer on the Joint Strike Fighter. [15405]

Mr. Ingram: The UK has secured access to the technical information we need at this stage of the Joint Combat Aircraft programme. We have a strategy in place aimed at ensuring that the Ministry of Defence continues to have adequate information access to support the programme.

Local Government Finance Review

Robert Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library copies of his Department's representations to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister on the review of local government finance. [15684]

Mr. Ingram: No such representations have been made.

Military Deployment (Northern Ireland)

Dr. McCrea: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of the regular armed forces are serving in Northern Ireland. [15257]

Mr. Ingram: As at 1 April 2005 there were 7,060 United Kingdom regular forces personnel posted to Northern Ireland. The numbers serving in Northern Ireland may differ slightly, due to personnel being deployed to other locations.

Military Personnel (Medals)

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many military personnel who have served (a) in Operation Telic in Iraq and (b) in Afghanistan since 2001 have been awarded a medal; how many eligible personnel have not received a medal; how many personnel who have fulfilled the minimum criteria for long service have not yet been awarded the relevant medal; what the average timescale between qualifying for such awards and issue is; and if he will make a statement. [16064]

Mr. Touhig: It is not possible to answer the question fully because the information is either not held or broken down in the manner requested.

As at 26 September 2005, 92,171 applications have been received for the Iraq Medal. Of these, 81,344 have been assessed and 10,827 are awaiting assessment. There is a three-month timescale from receipt of application to issue of medal.

As at 26 September 2005, 3,609 applications have been received for the Operational Service Medal for Afghanistan. Of these, 916 have been assessed and 2,693 are awaiting assessment. Applications are cleared within three months of receipt.
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Medals for long Service are dealt with in order of receipt and, under normal circumstances, are cleared within three months. There are currently 1,228 outstanding.

National Service Conscripts Medal

Susan Kramer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will take steps to introduce a national service conscripts medal. [15895]

Mr. Touhig: It has never been the Government's policy to consider service in the armed forces as the sole justification for the institution of a medal. People who were conscripted into the armed forces during the Second World War and in the post-war years and who took part in campaigns or operations for which medals were subsequently awarded, had an equal right to receive them as did their regular colleagues. It would be divisive to offer national service veterans a medal simply for being conscripted, when those who volunteered for service would be excluded from receiving any award.

Nuclear Deterrent

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much the UK Government has paid Atomic Weapons Establishment Management Limited in each of the last 20 years. [14990]

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the total expenditure on AWE Aldermaston was in each of the past five years; and what the estimated expenditure is for (a) 2006–07 and (b) 2007–08. [16212]

John Reid: The contract between the Ministry of Defence and Atomic Weapons Establishment Management Limited commenced in April 2000. Annual expenditure at the Establishment since then, and that projected for 2005–06 to 2007–08, is as follows:
Atomic weapons establishment annual expenditure(as at October 2005, £ million, 2005–06 prices)

£ million


On current planning we expect expenditure at the Atomic Weapons Establishment to be a total for the next two financial years (2006–07 and 2007–08) of around £1.5 billion.

Figures previously published in the 18 March 2005, Official Report, column 478W have now been uprated to 2005–06 prices. In addition, certain elements of cost have been re-allocated between 2002–03 and 2003–04. The figure for 2004–05, previously reported as provisional, now reflects actual expenditure. I notified these changes to my hon. Friend the Member for Islington, North (Jeremy Corbyn) on 16 August 2005. A copy of my letter is in the Library of the House.
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RAF Pilot Training

Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost is of training a pilot (a) through and (b) by direct entry to the Royal Air Force. [15667]

Mr. Touhig: The difference in the cost of training a pilot through the University Air Squadron and direct entry is shown in the following table.
Pilot training costs

Pilot typeCost
Fast jet
University air squadron1,857,541
Direct entrant1,848,181
Multi engine
University air squadron400,298
Direct entrant390,938
Rotary wing
University air squadron581,323
Direct entrant571,963

Costs exclude operational conversion unit training.

RAF Saxa Vord

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what (a) trade union and (b) local consultation will take place on proposals to close RAF Saxa Vord; and if he will make a statement; [16008]

(2) what discussions he has had with (a) the Scottish Executive and (b) Shetland Island council on proposals to close RAF Saxa Vord. [16009]

Mr. Ingram: On 21 July this year, I announced a period of trade unions consultation on our provisional decision to place RAF Saxa Vord on care and maintenance from April 2006. No objection to the proposal was received from the trade unions and I announced in my letter to you on 6 October that we intended to proceed as planned. Further consultation with the trades unions will take place as the measure is implemented.

I wrote to the First Minister of the Scottish Parliament in July to inform him of the provisional decision, and again in October following the trade union consultation; my officials acted similarly in respect of the Scottish Executive. Officials have also held informal discussions with the local authority, the local enterprise company and their consultants as well as the Hjaltland Housing Association. Further discussions will now take place and a full draw down programme will be agreed.


Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on plans for call-out of reservists in support of operations in Afghanistan. [15972]

Mr. Touhig: Reservists have made a valuable contribution to operations in Afghanistan since operations commenced in that theatre in 2001 and some
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63 reservists were called out in the 12-month period ending 30 September 2005. We plan to renew the call-out Order which expired at the end of last month so that reservists can continue to be brought into service to support operations in Afghanistan.

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