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3 Nov 2005 : Column 1260W—continued

Logistics Vehicles

Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many logistic vehicles are owned by his Department; and how many have additional armoured protection for the cabs and underside. [21076]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 25 October 2005]: The Ministry of Defence owns 15,556 logistic vehicles ranging from four, eight and 14 ton trucks to the dismountable rack and off-load pick up system (DROPS). Of these, only those deployed on certain tasks within operational theatres would require additional protection. This protection is provided according to the nature of the tasks.

To date, a requirement for 146 sets of ballistic protection consisting of a mixture of armoured seat, ballistic side panels, ballistic floor covering and anti-shatter film for windows has been met for the operational fleet and a further 74 sets are on order.

Within the logistic fleet, only one vehicle, the close support wheeled tanker, has been designed to take bespoke fitted armoured protection. Currently six sets of underside and cab ballistic protection are fitted or are being fitted, and a further 17 sets are on order.

Nuclear Weapons

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he plans to undertake studies to assess the levels of public (a) support for and (b) opposition
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to the continued possession of nuclear weapons by the United Kingdom as long as other countries have them. [23737]

John Reid: The Ministry of Defence periodically monitors public opinion on a range of defence issues, including attitudes towards the nuclear deterrent. This specific question was last asked in a poll conducted by MORI in December 2003, and the results are published in detail on the MOD website (

Overall, some 66 per cent. agreed that the UK should retain nuclear weapons while other countries retain theirs, with 21 per cent. disagreeing.

We will continue to monitor public attitudes towards defence, although it is too early to say what specific questions might be asked in future.


Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence where (a) boxer caps, (b) initiators and (c) other manufactured components have been supplied from during the interruption of supply from Chorley Royal Ordnance. [24704]

Mr. Ingram: During the interruption of supply from BAE Systems Land Systems Chorley, 5.56 mm boxer caps have been sourced from Arm Tek (USA) and 7.62 mm boxer caps have been sourced from RUAG (Switzerland). Initiators have been supplied using existing stockpiles of material at Chorley. No other manufactured components have been supplied.

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what tests and quality checks have been conducted on the new supplies of (a) initiators and (b) boxer caps; and when these tests were carried out. [24706]

Mr. Ingram: All types of initiators supplied to the MOD are subject to a validation and qualification programme agreed between the MOD and BAE Systems Land Systems.

Boxer caps manufactured by Arm Tek (USA) and RUAG (Switzerland) successfully completed qualification tests two months ago.

Panther Command and Liaison Vehicle

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which series of vehicles will be replaced by the Panther Command and Liaison Vehicle. [22352]

Mr. Ingram: The Panther Command and Liaison Vehicle will provide a total of 401 vehicles. They are planned to replace CVR(T) Spartan, Truck Utility Medium (Landrover), Saxon, FV432 and FV436 vehicles operating in command and liaison roles rather than the complete series of any vehicle.

Territorial Army

Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) soldiers, (b) airmen, (c) seamen and (d) Territorial Army soldiers have left the armed forces within 12 months of deployment to Iraq; and if he will make a statement. [23064]

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Mr. Touhig: Deployment data are not held centrally in databases of individual records and it is therefore not possible to provide a link to the Record of Service showing who has left the armed forces.

Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Territorial Army personnel are deployed overseas, broken down by country; and how many are available for deployment. [23065]

Mr. Touhig: As at 28 October 2005, there are approximately 775 Territorial Army (TA) personnel deployed overseas; of this figure some 695 are in Iraq, 35 are in the Balkans and 45 are in Afghanistan. The latest figures available, dating from 1 September 2005, show some 12,000 members of the TA are available to be deployed.

The figure of 12,000 is reached by the exclusion of (among others) personnel who:


Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his latest estimate is of the cost of the (a) Swan Hunter-built vessels and (b) BAE Systems-built vessels which form part of the Landing Ships Dock (Auxiliary) project. [20391]

Mr. Ingram [pursuant to the reply, 2 November 2005, Official Report, c.1073W]:

The current contract values for the costs associated with the build of the Swan Hunter vessels is £236 million and £176 million for the BAE Systems vessels. In addition the Swan Hunter contract includes £62 million for the provision of Lead Yard Equipment and Services in support of the construction of the two BAE Systems ships, and £11 million for initial spares provisioning for all four ships. Both companies have indicated likely cost increases to their programmes, and as these are subject to commercial discussions between the Ministry of Defence and the companies, I am unable to give further details at this time.


Departmental Websites

Sarah Teather: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to his Answer of 10 October 2005, Official Report, column 375W, on departmental websites, what the cost was of each website in the last year for which figures are available; and how many visits there were to each. [20872]

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Jim Fitzpatrick: The cost and visit numbers for the two centrally managed websites is as follows:

The information on the other websites is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

The previous answer of 10 October 2005, Official Report, column 375W, on departmental websites should have included the following site: (European Regional Development Fund)
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Disabled Facilities Grant System

Gregory Barker: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what funding has been made available for the disabled facilities grant system (a) as a whole and (b) in each region in each year since 1997. [23547]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 31 October 2005]: Although the DFG is available in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is only responsible for the operation of the system in England. There is a different scheme in Scotland.

Government funding in support of local authorities in England for disabled facilities grant since 1997 has been (in £1,000) as follows:
England totals56,00059,00064,84971,80084,80088,000101,157103,300
Regional totals
Yorkshire and The Humber4,9005,1665,7286,4247,7128,83010,70710,493
East Midlands4,1384,4614,9535,5486,6386,1566,3256,899
East of England5,9926,4427,1437,9388,9749,3189,9789,778
West Midlands6,0356,1856,7257,4548,7789,19611,54212,696

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