Previous Section Index Home Page

21 Nov 2005 : Column 1566W—continued

Kandahar Airport

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what improvements are being made to Kandahar airport; and what additional air capability this will enable. [29610]

Mr. Ingram: The runways, taxiways and aircraft parking areas at Kandahar airfield are currently in a poor state of repair and are thus being renovated. On completion, more aircraft types will be able to operate from the airfield than is now the case.
21 Nov 2005 : Column 1567W

Media Relations

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department spent on external media relations in each year since 2001. [29578]

Mr. Touhig: The Ministry of Defence does not record expenditure on external media relations in the form requested, and this information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability Project

Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether a commitment has been made that all Royal Navy ships under the Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability project will be built in the UK. [26022]

Mr. Ingram: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 9 November 2005, Official Report, column 551W, to the right hon. and learned Member for Devizes (Mr. Ancram).

Military Police

Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what independent (a) inspection and (b) supervision is undertaken of investigations by military police; and if he will make a statement. [29566]

Mr. Ingram: The service police have an internal supervision and inspection regime. All serious inquiries are supervised by trained crime managers and, in appropriate cases, a Home Office-trained senior investigating officer. The progress of such cases is also monitored by respective Provost Marshal staff and, in the case of the Royal Military Police, the Office of Standards Casework (Army).

An internal inspection system also exists which includes peer review and formal bi-annual technical inspections. In addition, the civilian police have carried out 'cold case' reviews and peer reviews on individual cases. The service police are also inspected annually by the Office of Surveillance Commissioners and the Information Services Commissioner.

We are also currently discussing with HM Inspectorate of Constabulary the possibility of some form of independent inspection of the service police, akin to that currently undertaken on the Ministry of Defence police and Home Office police forces,

Northern Ireland (Past Operations Review)

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the plans for reviewing past operations carried out by HM Armed Forces in Northern Ireland; whether the Police Service of Northern Ireland will be involved in the review; whether the Royal Military Police will play a role in the review; and what rights will be afforded to (a) serving and (b) former members of the armed forces who are subject to the review. [26995]

Mr. Ingram: The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) is reviewing more than 2,000 unresolved deaths from the troubles. More than 300 of those deaths have been attributed to the security forces by the PSNI.
21 Nov 2005 : Column 1568W

The Royal Military Police (RMP) is providing information to the PSNI to support the review. The Ministry of Defence will provide whatever assistance is appropriate for serving and former members of the armed forces who are required to assist the PSNI.

Nuclear Decommissioning

Mr. Newmark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of the Government's projected liabilities for nuclear decommissioning are classified as off balance sheet. [28359]

Malcolm Wicks: I have been asked to reply.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) assumed responsibility for the decommissioning and clean up of the UK's civil nuclear legacy on 1 April 2005. The NDA's draft strategy estimates the civil nuclear liability at about £56 billion. This is based on each of the NDA's sites' Life Cycle Baselines for 2004—these set out the scope, schedule, and cost of work over their lifetime. The NDA have examined the liabilities and have concluded that none are classed as 'off balance sheet'. The NDA's accounts for 2005–06 will ensure transparency in respect of all their activities.

Nuclear Deterrent

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what indications he has received from the United States Department of Defense of the time scale in which Trident missiles will continue to be manufactured. [25058]

John Reid [holding answer 9 November 2005]: It is not Ministry of Defence policy to release details about the manufacture of Trident missiles, including discussions with other Governments, as this could prejudice national security and international relations.

Radar Altimeter Hold

Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library copies of the documentation covering the clearance of the Radar altimeter hold, together with any documented restrictions, for use on the HC1 and HC2 Chinook helicopters. [25492]

Mr. Touhig: I will place a copy of the trials report on the modified Chinook HC1 radar altimeter hold produced by the MOD(PE) Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment (now QinetiQ) in December 1985 in the Library of the House. The radar altimeter on the Chinook HC2 is identical to that of the modified Chinook HC1 and therefore the results of trials on the HC1 were read across to the HC2.

RAF Facilities (Scotland)

John Thurso: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the economic impact of (a) proposed closures and (b) reductions in provision at RAF facilities in Scotland, broken down by each RAF station affected. [27373]

Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence is funded by the tax payer to meet Defence needs.
21 Nov 2005 : Column 1569W

We are always willing to work with the Scottish Executive and relevant local authorities to consider any measures within the Defence remit that might assist the local community where decisions have local impact.

RAF Projects

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on progress on the (a) F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, (b) Hawk 128, (c) Airbus A330 and (d) Typhoon Project; and what the estimated costs were (i) at the beginning of the project and (ii) at the most recent available date. [27624]

Mr. Ingram: We are negotiating the Joint Strike Fighter memorandum of understanding for the co-operative production, support and follow on development phase and expect to conclude these negotiations next year.

The Hawk 128 design and development contract was placed in December 2004. Negotiations with BAE Systems regarding a production contract are ongoing.

Final negotiations on the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) project are ongoing with AirTanker Ltd. on a 27-year contract for a public finance initiative service based upon Airbus A330 aircraft.

19 Typhoon production aircraft have been delivered to the RAF and over 1,900 in-service sorties have been flown. The aircraft are now engaged in pilot training and operational evaluation to enable operational deployment during the second half of this decade.

The estimated costs for these projects at (i) the beginning of the project and (ii) the most recent available data (MPR04):
£ million

(i) Beginning of project(ii) Most recent available data
Joint Strike Fighter
(demonstration phase only)
Hawk 128Up to 722Up to 722
FSTAUp to 13,900Up to 13,100

Royal Marine Patrol Boats

Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the Royal Marine patrol boats held by Iran. [30343]

Mr. Ingram: Through diplomatic channels we have raised the return of the boats with the Iranian authorities on numerous occasions, at both ministerial and senior official level, in Tehran and London. We continue to press for their return.

Next Section Index Home Page