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27 Oct 2005 : Column 518W—continued

Discharge Statistics

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many service personnel (a) opted for an early discharge from duties, (b) opted against extending their service and (c) have been medically discharged in the last 12 months. [20836]

Mr. Touhig: In the 12 month period ending 1 August 2005,12,640 service personnel applied for premature voluntary release (PVR) and 9,200 service personnel outflowed on PVR.

PVR is defined as all applications and exits from trained personnel that are generated by the individual before their time expiry. Types of engagement and procedures for premature release differ between the services.

For the naval service data is provided for those who were specifically given the option of extending their service, in the 12 months to 1 August 2005.
 
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Officers

OfferedAcceptedDidn't accept
Total320310(15)
IC(16) to CC(17)250240(15)
CC(17) to FTC(18)(5508240019)7070(15)


(15) Denotes zero or rounded to zero
(16) Initial Commission (usually 6 to 8 years)
(17) Career Commission (to latter of 16 years or age 38)
(18) Full Term Commission (age based depending on rank)
(19) Extended Service is only offered to personnel who put themselves forward and no record is kept of personnel who could have put themselves forward, but chose not to.



Other ranks: 1st open engagement (22 years) to 2nd open engagement
(extra five or 10 years)
OfferedAcceptedDidn't accept
Total1,5601,310230
Royal Marines (Dec Board)23018030
Royal Navy (May Board)1,3301,130200

Not all individuals are given the option of extending their service, and it is not possible to identify how many people would or would not have opted against extending their service if given the choice. The option to extend service can be offered over a year before the current service is due to end.

The Army has no mechanism for recording when an individual chooses not to extend their service.

For the Royal Air Force, in the vast majority of cases it is not possible to tell whether an individual reaching the end of an agreed period of service has been offered the opportunity of further service. It is consequently not possible to tell how many personnel have turned down any offers.

In the 12 month period ending 1 August 2005, 1,180 service personnel outflowed on a medical discharge.

Harrier GR9

John Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to revise the in-service date for the Harrier GR9; and if he will make a statement. [17463]

Mr. Ingram: There are currently no plans to revise the in-service date for Harrier GR9.

HMS Victory

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the average annual cost of maintaining HMS Victory has been over the last five years. [21872]

Mr. Ingram: The average annual cost of maintaining HMS Victory over the last five complete financial years was some £1.1 million. This figure includes the cost of preservation, maintenance and restoration work.

Iraq

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether commanding officers in Iraq have been given authority to enter Iran in order to close off suspected arms supply routes. [20832]

John Reid: No.
 
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Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many reservists in Iraq have been classed as unfit since March 2003 and have since been classed as fit for mobilisation; and if he will make a statement. [21886]

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

Manning Control Reviews

Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he has sought a legal opinion on the compatibility of administrative discharge as a result of Manning Control reviews with (a) the Employment Rights Act 1996, (b) other employment legislation and (c) European law. [21536]

Mr. Touhig [holding answer 25 October 2005]: I will write to my hon. Friend and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.

Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what manning control reviews have been conducted in each of the last five years. [21537]

Mr. Touhig [holding answer 25 October 2005]: I refer my hon. Friend to the answers given on 27 November 2002, Official Report, column 333W and 3 March 2004, Official Report, column 961W, to the hon. Member for Hereford (Mr. Keetch).

There have been no discharges as a result of manning control point review since April 2002.

Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what guidance he has issued on the conduct of manning control reviews; when the last occasion was on which such a review was the subject of a direction in daily orders; and if he will place copies of such (a) guidance and (b) directions in the Library. [21538]

Mr. Touhig [holding answer 25 October 2005]: I will write to my hon. Friend and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.

Nuclear Missiles (Security)

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence further to his statement in the House of 7 July 2005, Official Report, column 481, on defence in the world, what recent assessment he has made of the risk of nuclear explosion in the UK arising from fissile material stolen in the former Soviet Union. [19070]

John Reid: Threats from all forms of terrorism, including nuclear, are kept under constant review. The UK is currently undertaking a series of projects under the Global Partnership to enhance material security across the former Soviet Union. In addition to Russian funded security enhancements, foreign-funded programmes to enhance nuclear safety and security at sites across the FSU have resulted in significant improvements to the overall security of fissile material in Russia.

Nuclear Reactors

Peter Law: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what research into (a) fission and (b) fusion reactors his Department has funded in each year since 1975. [20978]


 
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Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence has not funded any pure research into fission or fusion reactors since 1975 and has no aspiration to change from the established pressurised water reactor type of technology employed in Royal Navy nuclear submarines.

Sustained Deployments

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he last had discussions with the chief of the defence staff about the availability and preparedness of the armed forces for sustained deployment; and if he will make a statement. [20677]

John Reid: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 17 October 2005, Official Report, column 656W to the hon. Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove).

Trident

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the average length of tour of a Trident submarine was in the last period for which figures are available. [21606]

Mr. Ingram: The average length of a Trident patrol is between 70 and 80 days at sea. There is no set patrol length as this is varied between each individual patrol.

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will publish a Green Paper setting out the options for replacement of Trident. [21697]

John Reid: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 14 October 2005, Official Report, column 619W, to the hon. Member for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk (Mr. Moore).

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the staff complement is of a Trident submarine, broken down by (a) rank and (b) function. [21698]

John Reid: The complement of a Trident Submarine is 17 officers and 134 ratings broken down by function and rank as follows:
Number
Warfare department
Commander1
Lieutenant Commander1
Lieutenant6
Chief Petty Officer4
Petty Officer4
Leading Hand9
Able Rate19
Marine engineering
Lieutenant Commander1
Lieutenant3
Warrant Officer 11
Warrant Officer 25
Chief Petty Officer11
Petty Officer8
Leading Hand6
Able Rate9
Weapon engineering
Lieutenant Commander1
Lieutenant2
Warrant Officer 23
Chief Petty Officer8
Petty Officer9
Leading Hand7
Able Rate13
Supply department
Lieutenant1
Chief Petty Officer1
Petty Officer2
Leading Hand5
Able Rate8
Medical department
Lieutenant1
Petty Officer1
Leading Hand1

 
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Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the design life is of a Trident (a) nuclear warhead and (b) missile. [21901]

John Reid: Chapter 4 of the 1998 Strategic Defence Review indicated that we needed to ensure we could sustain Trident in-service for up to 30 years.

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) Trident missiles and (b) nuclear warheads for those missiles are stockpiled in (i) the UK and (ii) the US. [21902]

John Reid: As stated in the 1998 Strategic Defence Review, the UK purchased 58 Trident II (D5) missiles. Missiles are either deployed onboard UK submarines or held ashore at the Royal Naval Armament Depot Coulport, on a temporary basis, or in the United States at the Strategic Weapons Facility Atlantic, as part of a shared pool of US/UK missiles. In line with the policy set out in the 1998 Strategic Defence Review, the UK maintains a stockpile of fewer than 200 operationally available nuclear warheads, 48 of which are onboard the single submarine on deterrent patrol. The remaining warheads are held ashore in the UK; none is stored in the United States.

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how long it takes to target the missiles on board the Trident submarine fleet. [21903]

John Reid: All the UK's Trident missiles have been de-targeted since 1994, and the submarine on deterrent patrol is normally at several days notice to fire. The missiles can be targeted in sufficient time to meet any foreseeable requirement.


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