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10 Jan 2006 : Column 501W—continued

Japanese Compensation Scheme

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the bloodlink connection in the Far Eastern Civilian Prisoners of the Japanese Compensation Scheme requiring applicants to be born in the UK or have a parent or grandparent born in the UK was introduced; for what reason; whether it was also imposed on former military personnel held by the Japanese as prisoners of war; and how many applicants who did not have this bloodlink (a) were paid prior to its introduction as a criterion and (b) have been refused since its introduction. [39440]

Mr. Touhig: The Birthlink" criterion was introduced in March 2001 and formally announced on 11 July 2001, Official Report, columns 516–17W. It was intended to clarify the eligibility criteria for civilian internees and specifically to define the nature of the close link with the United Kingdom at the time of internment required of civilian internees. The criterion applies only to the civilian element of the Scheme; for military internees
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(prisoners of war) the nature of the close link was defined in terms of membership of UK armed forces at time of internment. The data requested regarding the number of applicants who did not meet the birthlink criterion is being gathered as part of the review I announced on 12 December 2005, Official Report, column 1119.

Landing Ships Dock Auxiliary Vessels

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions he has held with (a) ship repair yards and (b) others on (i) completing and (ii) enhancing the capabilities of the Landing Ships Dock Auxiliary vessels; and what estimate he has made of the cost of (A) completion and (B) enhancement. [40425]

Mr. Ingram: When the Landing Ship Dock (Auxiliary) ships are accepted off contract from the shipbuilders they will enter their Part II sea trials programme in preparation for formal entry into operational service. In line with normal practice, the Ministry of Defence has invited companies to declare expressions of interest to undertake work during the Part II trials phase to bring the ships to completion for operational service. The value of this work is yet to be determined as much of the activity results from experience in operation in the Part II trials. A number of companies have expressed an interest in undertaking such work. There are currently no plans to enhance the key capabilities of the ships.

Marconi Weapons System

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what date the document known as the Prosecution Exhibit bundle pages 51 to 59 in the case of R v. Michael John Smith held in the Central Criminal Court from September to November 1993, relating to the Marconi Space and Defence Systems Ltd. Demonstrator Programme Requirement Specification Bandpass Filter Assembly component dated 8 January 1982 reference 79481/PBH/BB/SO8 became linked to a weapons system; which weapons system it was linked to; on what date it became obsolete and no longer linked to any weapons system; and if he will make a statement. [39458]

Mr. Ingram: I am currently unable to provide a response to the questions raised as the subject is the matter of an investigation by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) and it would be inappropriate to provide the information requested while this investigation is ongoing.

Married Quarters

Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many married quarters will be upgraded in each of the next five financial years; and what the total cost of this planned programme will be in each year. [23328]

Mr. Touhig: The Defence Estates corporate plan 2005–06 contains key targets for upgrading service families accommodation in England, Wales and Scotland. These targets require 600 quarters to be upgraded in 2005–06 and 900 in each of the subsequent three years. Figures for 2009–10 and beyond have not yet been agreed.
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Currently, the planned budget for upgrading service families accommodation stands at some £25 million per year, for the years 2005–06, 2006–07 and 2008–09. This figure is not fixed, however, and can change according to future budgetary decisions taken by the Department.

Military Equipment

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 22 November 2005, Official Report, column 1877W, how many complaints about (a) body armour, (b) weapons and (c) machinery have been recorded in the recent campaigns in (i) Iraq and (ii) Afghanistan. [37853]

Mr. Ingram: In respect of body armour, I can confirm that this was included in my earlier reply, 22 November 2005, Official Report, column 1877W, as a clothing product. Defect reports on clothing products are held
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for 12 months. During the past 12 months there have been no such reports emanating from either Iraq or Afghanistan.

"Weapons and machinery" have, for the purposes of this question, been defined as small arms and vehicles. Complaints" has been defined as those issues giving rise to an equipment failure report (EFR) or serious equipment failure (SEF). An EFR is logged if the user believes that 'an item of equipment or component has failed unreasonably early in its life, or that it exhibits a design, handling or safety problem'. A SEF is defined as 'a failure or suspected failure that results in, or has the potential to result in, personal injury, loss of life or serious damage'. All EFRs and SEFs are reported to the Defence Logistic Organisation for investigation and any necessary action. Available records for EFRs and SEFs on small arms and vehicles emanating from Afghanistan and Iraq/Kuwait are in the following tables:
Iraq and Kuwait—21 March 2003 to 15 December 2005

Equipment typeNumber of equipment failure reportsNumber of serious equipment failures
Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked)1414
Armoured Fighting Vehicle 430 Series1066
Warrior Armoured Personnel Carrier41924
Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank3997
Challenger Repair and Recovery Vehicle271
Leyland (all variants)529
Bedford (all variants)871
Heavy Equipment Transporters2342
Fuel &Water Tankers + Recovery Vehicles404
Land Rover (all variants)96722
Material Handling Equipment and Earth Moving Equipment645
Rifle 5.56 mm SA80(14)1013
Light Support Weapon 5.56mm(14)470
MINIMI Light machine Gun 5.56 mm01
General purpose Machine Gun 7.62 mm(14)41
Under-slung Grenade Launcher(14)51

Afghanistan—1 April 2002 to 15 December 2005

Equipment typeNumber of equipment failure reportsNumber of serious equipment failures
Land Rover (all variants)391
JCB (All variants)7
Leyland (all variants)8
Rifle 5.56 mm SA80 A2(14)4
Machine Gun 5.56mm (Minimi)(14)1
Night Vision Goggles5
Under-slung Grenade Launcher1

(14) Information on weapons not available before 1 August 2003

RAF Aircraft

Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects the RAF's C-130Ks to be replaced. [40549]

Mr. Ingram: The C-130K will be replaced by the A400M, which is planned to enter service in 2011.

Service Quarters

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many single accommodation places there are for each of the services in (a) Scotland, (b) Wales, (c) each of the English regions and (d) Northern Ireland for (i) officers and (ii) other ranks, broken down by location; how many are occupied; how many are subject to demolition; how many are to be disposed of on the private market in each year since 7 May 1997; what the total sum accrued in each year was at (A) constant and (B) current prices; what the sale price for each was (1) at the time of sale and (2) at current prices; and whether the money accrued was (x) retained by his Department and (y) claimed by the Treasury. [40132]

Mr. Touhig: Some 150,000 single accommodation places, within barrack blocks or messes, are provided for the armed forces, and are located throughout the defence estate world-wide. Records held centrally do not provide current single accommodation occupancy in the detail required and this could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
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The Ministry of Defence does not, as a general rule, demolish barrack blocks or messes other than to permit the construction of new accommodation. As such places are almost invariably located within the boundary fence of a military establishment, they remain a part of the parent unit and it is highly unlikely that they would be disposed of separately.

All receipts from the disposal of surplus defence property come to the defence budget.

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