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9 Nov 2005 : Column 553W—continued


Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the bandwidth is of Bowman at each of its levels of deployment. [25291]

Mr. Ingram: The bandwidth of the Bowman tactical communications and information system depends on the type of equipment deployed. The very high frequency radio works in the 30–87.975 MHz frequency band; its theoretical bandwidth is 16 kbps. The high frequency radio works in the 1.8–30 MHz frequency band; its maximum bandwidth is 9.6 kbps, and depends on the quality of the communications link. The high-capacity data radio works in the 225–400 MHz frequency band; its data bandwidth is up to 500 kbps, but it automatically adapts this to suit the quality of the communications link and the distances between radios. Voice and data communications within vehicles, and between vehicles grouped in headquarters, is provided by using standard 10/100 mbps Ethernet interfaces.

Buffalo Armoured Vehicle

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department is evaluating the USA Buffalo armoured vehicle; and whether his Department plans to introduce this vehicle for work against roadside explosive devices. [25290]

Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence has carried out a broad assessment of the Buffalo Mine Protected Clearance Vehicle but has no current plans to procure it for use by United Kingdom forces.

Civilian Staff (Redundancies)

Mr. Donaldson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many civilian staff employed by his Department in Northern Ireland have been made redundant in each year since 1998. [25046]

Mr. Touhig [holding answer 7 November 2005]: The following table gives details of Ministry of Defence civilian redundancies, both voluntary and compulsory, for the financial years 1999–2000 to 2004–05. Comparable information for financial year 1998–99 is not available.
Civilian staff redundancy Northern Ireland: Financial years 1999–2000 to 2004–05

Financial yearHeadcount

'—'denotes 5 or less.
1. This table uses the revised definition of civilian personnel ( and includes trading funds.
2. No redundancy information is available for Royal Fleet Auxiliary or locally engaged civilian staff.
3. Due to the rounding methods used, figures are rounded to the nearest 10, numbers ending in 5 have been rounded to the nearest 20 to prevent systematic bias.

9 Nov 2005 : Column 554W

Complaints Mechanisms

Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his target is for completion of his review of monitoring of the formal and informal complaints mechanisms employed by the Army. [26293]

Mr. Touhig: The Redress of Complaints trial officially began in October 2004 and it is expected that the results will be reported to the Army Board in January 2006. Informal complaints mechanisms are not included in this trial and are not currently subject to specific review.

Defence Export Service Organisation

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the total administrative cost was of the Defence Export Service Organisation in 2004–05; and what the projected equivalent figure is for 2005–06. [24590]

Mr. Ingram: Net operating costs for the Defence Export Services Organisation (DESO) for the last and current financial years are as follows:
Financial yearNet operating costs (£ million)
2004–05 Outturn16.922
2005–06 Forecast14.365

The costs of DESO are more than offset by benefits to the Defence budget arising from defence exports.

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of staff of the Defence Export Services Organisation are seconded from industry; and what functions such staff perform. [24606]

Mr. Ingram: The Head of Defence Export Services was recruited by open competition from the defence industry, and is working on contract to the Ministry of Defence.

In addition, on 1 November one member of the Defence Export Services Organisation (DESO) was on secondment from a defence company, of which he remains an employee. The secondee performs duties as required in one of the DESO Regional Directorates.

Departmental Expenditure

Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to note 20 of his Department's Annual Report and Accounts 2004–05, if he will list the capital commitments that have been contracted for but not yet provided. [24578]

Mr. Ingram: The capital commitments figure in Note 20 of the Departmental Resource Accounts represents the aggregate estimated value of contracts, across the Department, for work that has not yet been undertaken and, therefore, has not been provided for in the accounts. The following list, of all commitments over £100 million each, represents £18,571 million (90.8 per cent. of the total of £20,446 million quoted in Note 20).
9 Nov 2005 : Column 555W

Typhoon Production5,171,069
A400M (heavy lift aircraft)2,048,300
Support Vehicles1,065,635
T45 Destroyer1,044,179
Typhoon Development1,042,728
Joint Combat Aircraft900,000
Bowman (communications system)774,323
Investment at AWE724,657
Nimrod MRA4 (multi-role aircraft)717,953
BVRAAM (air to air missile)644,000
PAAMS (missile system)605,686
Astute (submarine)457,153
Stingray (torpedo)288,654
Infantry Anti-Tank guided weapon259,573
NLAW (light anti-armour weapon)259,067
Swiftsure and Trafalgar (update) Final Phase (submarine)251,771
HMS Victorious232,803
Terrier (earth moving vehicle)231,230
Sea Wolf Block 2228,369
Brimstone (anti-armour weapon)203,245
HVM Missiles188,574
ASTOR (radar system)177,847
Building to house laser system159,500
Wheeled Tanker154,449
Future Command and Liaison Vehicle144,838
Sea Wolf midlife update132,395
Trojan and Titan (armoured vehicles)130,590
Precision Guided Bomb124,467
Soothsayer (communications)108,083
Single Living Accommodation100,000

There are a further 302 smaller commitments, some as little as £1,000, details of which are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Employee Reductions

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many full-time equivalent employee reductions have been made in his Department as a result of the Gershon review; what cost savings relating to IT projects have been achieved; what value of efficiency savings (a) were achieved in 2004–05 and (b) are expected to be achieved in 2005–06; and if he will make a statement. [24636]

Mr. Touhig [holding answer 7 November 2005]: In 2004–05 there was a reduction of 2,460 full-time equivalent military personnel and 1,230 full-time equivalent civilian personnel as a consequence of the Department's efficiency programme. The latter excludes operational locally employed civilians, whose numbers increased by 650.

Further progress on both manpower reductions and wider efficiency savings will be reported in the Department's autumn performance report. However, while the department has an efficiency target for 2007–08, there is no intermediate target for 2005–06.

The Defence Communications Services Agency delivered £84 million of IT/IS related efficiencies in 2004–05. Other savings in the departmental efficiency programme will also have been enabled by IT, but information is not held on the amounts involved.
9 Nov 2005 : Column 556W

Equality and Diversity Centre (Shrivenham)

Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the courses organised since October 2004 at the Joint Equality and Diversity Centre at Shrivenham; and what the attendance was on each course. [26294]

Mr. Touhig: Between 1 November 2004 and 4 November 2005 Joint Equality and Diversity Training Centre delivered 36 x five-day Equal Opportunities Advisers Courses to 843 middle-ranking personnel from the three Armed Services and the Ministry of Defence Civil Service. In addition, 149 Senior Civil Servants and Military Officers at Brigadier (and equivalent) level and above attended one of 11 one-day Equality and Diversity Seminars held at Shrivenham.

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