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30 Mar 2006 : Column 1153W—continued

Joint Strike Fighter

Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what discussions have taken place between his Department and the United States Administration on the transfer of stealth technology in relation to the Joint Strike Fighter; [62040]

(2) whether his Department has discussed with the US Administration the possible cancellation of the second engine for the Joint Strike Fighter. [62041]

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Mr. Ingram: Regular discussions take place at all levels with the US Administration on all aspects of the joint strike fighter programme. The Minister for Defence Procurement, Lord Drayson, addressed the Senate Armed Services Committee on these issues on 14 March and discussed the programme with the Department of Defense.

Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions have taken place with other European Union governments regarding the appointment of a single official to represent the European Union in negotiations with the United States Administration on the Joint Strike Fighter. [62044]

Mr. Ingram: None.

Missile Defence Systems

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what assessment he has made of the (a) strategic, (b) cost and (c) legal implications of stationing US interceptor missiles in the UK; [62220]

(2) what assessment he has made of the (a) viability and (b) merits of UK participation in a ballistic missile defence system. [62222]

John Reid: No decisions have yet been taken on whether or not to acquire ballistic missile defence for the United Kingdom. Work by officials continues to examine potential options for future UK participation in a missile defence system, including the strategic, cost and legal issues arising. UK officials are also working with their NATO counterparts to consider the implications of a recently completed NATO Feasibility Study into options for Alliance missile defence. No terms for basing interceptors in Europe have been proposed, so it is premature to speculate on the range of options that might be available, or on the viability and desirability for the UK of further participation.

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions (a) he and (b) his officials have had with NATO allies on the basing of US interceptor missiles in European states. [62221]

John Reid: NATO is currently examining the results of a feasibility study into ballistic missile defence for Alliance territories and population centres, and United Kingdom officials are engaged in that work. Ministers have not at this stage discussed the implications of this feasibility study. Potential options for a NATO missile defence system include the provision of assets (such as interceptors) by nations, but no concrete proposals by individual nations are yet under consideration.

Nuclear Deterrent

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what structures exist within Government to provide a framework for formulation of policy on the future of the UK's nuclear deterrent. [62493]

John Reid: Work is under way by officials in a number of Departments to prepare the material which will be needed to support decisions on the future of the United Kingdom's nuclear deterrent. Ministers have not yet begun to consider the position in any detail.
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RAF Aircrew

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what incentive schemes are used to retain aircrew in the RAF. [61536]

Mr. Touhig: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 3 March 2006, Official Report, column 1002W, on incentive schemes for pilots.

The single targeted taxable financial retention incentive referred to in my previous answer is currently also payable to Fast Jet Weapons System Officers. A similar incentive is payable to Non-Commissioned Aircrew, following 17 years service for a guaranteed five year return of service. This scheme ends on 31 March 2006.

There is also a Professional Aviator Pay Scale for selected Weapons System Officers and a similar scheme is available to Non-Commissioned Aircrew.

Rafale Aircraft

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Answer to the right hon. Member for Fylde (Mr. Jack), of 6 March 2006, Official Report, column 1192W, on Rafale aircraft, whether he has ruled out consideration of an option to purchase the Rafale aircraft for the two new aircraft carriers. [60828]

Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contingency plans are in place in relation to the possible withdrawal of the UK from the Joint Strike Fighter project. [62043]

Mr. Ingram: Following Lord Drayson's discussions in Washington earlier this month about Joint Strike Fighter programme, we remain optimistic that we will achieve the appropriate operational sovereignty that we require to proceed with the next phase of the programme. However, the necessary actions have been and will continue to be undertaken to ensure we have the necessary contingency plans. We do not discuss the nature of our contingency plans.

Royal Ordnance Establishments (Chemical Licences)

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether long-term contracts have been signed for the supply of (a) high explosives, (b) Boxer caps, (c) initiators and (d) other products made at (i) Royal Ordnance Chorley and (ii) Royal Ordnance Bridgwater; and what guarantee of security and supply is required in such cases. [61611]

Mr. Ingram: The supply of general munitions to the Ministry of Defence is covered by a Framework Partnering Agreement with BAES Land Systems. Under the terms of this agreement, which will remain in force until 2010, the company are responsible for maintaining security of supply.

Boxer Caps are currently produced and supplied through BAES Land Systems contracts with ATK and RUAG. Under restructuring arrangements currently being implemented, the supply of other items produced at the Bridgwater and Chorley sites will either transfer to BAES Land Systems' Glascoed facility, or they will be outsourced. Negotiations between BAES Land Systems and potential alternative suppliers are ongoing.
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Superannuation Liability

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what total amount of employers' normal contributions accruing superannuation liability charge has been accounted for by his Department in each of the last five years for which data are available. [61368]

Mr. Touhig: Employers' contributions in respect of Accruing Superannuation Liability Charges (ASLC) are disclosed as Pension Costs" in Note 2 to the Department's published Annual Report and Accounts, copies of which have been placed in the Library of the House. The table lists the ASLC accounted for in the last five years:
Employers' accruing superannuation liability charge

Financial year£ million

The majority of contributions for civilian staff are paid to the principal civil service pension scheme, with a small contribution payable to the teachers' superannuation scheme and NHS superannuation scheme. Contributions for military personnel are paid to armed forces pension scheme.


Diamond Jubilee

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans are in place to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012. [62964]

Mr. Lammy: Currently, there are no plans to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

Princess Diana Memorial Fountain

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 15 February 2006, Official Report, column 2090W, on the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain, how much has been spent by (a) her Department and (b) public bodies for which it is responsible on (i) security, (ii) cleaning, (iii) repair, (iv) refurbishment and (v) other costs in relation to the fountain in each of the last 12 months; and if she will make a statement. [54678]

Tessa Jowell: Details of expenditure by The Royal Parks, an Executive Agency of DCMS are shown in the table. The costs of security, cleaning and repair are met by The Royal Parks from their operational budget. The expenditure on refurbishment was partially funded by a contribution from DCMS of £150,000 in 2004–05 and £150,000 in 2005–06. It is not possible to show DCMS' expenditure monthly.
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Security and cleaning services are provided by the same contractor and cannot be separated. Other costs include utilities, landscape maintenance, fencing and consultancy fees:

Security and cleaningRepairRefurbishmentOther costs

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