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8 May 2006 : Column 40W—continued

Mr. Brazier: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost was of chartering merchant vessels for activities connected with (a) the Falklands War 1982, (b) the Gulf war 1991 and (c) the Iraq war 2003. [65525]

Mr. Ingram: The cost of chartering merchant vessels for the initial deployment for Operation Telic was approximately £31 million. Records are no longer held for the charter costs for Operation Corporate (Falklands) and Operation Granby (Gulf).

Military Discipline

Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions a unit's commanding officer has been overruled by the chain of command on a decision not to prosecute an offence against a member of that unit in each year since 1997. [68094]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 3 May 2006]: None. When a commanding officer exercises his power to dismiss a charge, that decision is final, it cannot be overruled, and the charge cannot be tried in the military justice system.

Ministerial Cars (Fuel Costs)

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the fuel costs were for ministerial cars used by his Department in each of the last five years. [67020]

Mr. Ingram: With the exception of the Secretary of State's vehicle which is provided by the Government Car and Despatch Service, estimated fuel costs for the Ministry of Defence's ministerial cars are between £8,000 and £10,000 per annum over the last five financial years, based on an average mileage of 15,000 and an urban fuel consumption of 25mpg.

Ministry of Defence Stores

Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information his Department holds on the value of its stores lodged with its contractors and subsequently found either to be lost or otherwise unavailable for his Department's purposes in each of the financial years since April 1999. [65459]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 24 April 2006]: The only information centrally available over the period since April 1999 is the value of financial recoveries notified to the Ministry of Defence's Asset Accounting Centre. I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 20 January 2006, Official Report, columns 1650-51W.

Further information is held by asset owners and other branches dispersed throughout the Department but could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Nuclear Waste

Mr. Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the cost of dealing with nuclear waste arising from defence projects in each of the last five years; and from which budgets these costs are met. [64435]

Mr. Ingram: The following table details the costs incurred against the running cost element of the defence budget in each of the last five years, in dealing with nuclear waste arising from defence projects.

Financial years Cost (£ million)

2000-01

213

2001-02

201

2002-03

241

2003-04

188

2004-05

253


Porton Down

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which experiments at Porton Down are undertaken only on animals; and if he will make a statement. [66420]


8 May 2006 : Column 41W

Mr. Ingram: Dstl Porton Down only undertakes research involving the use of animals when other “in vitro”, physical and computer modelling methods are unsuitable. All research is conducted in accordance with the principles of the 3R's and under the provisions of the Animal Scientific Procedures Act 1986.

In the last year research involving animals has been undertaken as part of the following areas of the MOD's research programme, novel haemorrhage control; burn protection; treatment of acute lung injury; and medical counter-measures.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many animals have been used in experiments at Porton Down in each of the last five years, broken down by (a) breed and (b) procedures carried out. [66421]

Mr. Ingram: Dstl Porton Down submits annual returns to the Home Office detailing the number of procedures undertaken which involve the use of animals as defined in the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.

In the years 2000 to 2005 the annual returns to the Home Office, broken down by species are detailed in the following table.

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005

Guinea Pig

587

727

644

653

506

661

Ferret

0

0

0

0

42

60

Hamster

24

0

0

70

0

0

Mouse

10,856

11,944

14,874

12,645

14,737

20,016

Pig

106

23

88

131

80

127

Rabbit

19

23

24

22

12

3

Rat

350

125

268

355

320

195

Sheep

9

45

0

0

0

2

Cattle

0

0

0

0

1

0

Non-human primate

34

68

42

23

30

54

Total

11,985

12,955

15,940

13,899

15,728

21,118


Project Hyperion

Robert Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will announce his decisions on Project Hyperion. [66975]

Mr. Ingram: Work to consider the benefits of rationalisation and collocation of the two main Army HQs—HQ LAND and HQ Adjutant General is still ongoing. I intend to inform the House about the final size and structure of the new HQ towards the end of this year. I hope that a formal announcement about the future location for the new headquarters may be made in the summer.

RAF

Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many combat fighter aircraft are in service use by the RAF, broken down by type. [66605]


8 May 2006 : Column 42W

Mr. Ingram: The following table shows the number of air defence aircraft that are planned to be in service with the RAF at the end of the present Financial Year.

Aircraft type Total fleet

Tornado F3

82


Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many ground attack aircraft are in service with the RAF, broken down by type; and what plans he has to replace them. [66607]

Mr. Ingram: The following table shows the number of offensive support aircraft that are planned to be in service with the RAF at the end of the present financial year.

Aircraft type Fleet number

Jaguar GR

13

Harrier GR

73

Tornado GR

139


These offensive support aircraft will be progressively replaced by Typhoon and the Joint Combat Aircraft over the next two decades.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many RAF (a) Harrier GR7 and (b) Jaguar aircraft are (i) in service and (ii) fit for purpose. [65446]

Mr. Ingram: The following table shows, for end-March 2006, the numbers of Harrier GR and Jaguar aircraft that were planned to be in service and that were fit for purpose.

Aircraft type Total fleet Numbers of aircraft fit for purpose (average Financial Year 2005-06)( 1)

Harrier GR7/9(2)

73

22

Jaguar(3)

45

20

(1) Figures have been rounded to the nearest whole number.
(2 )Harrier GR7 FFP figures are not held separately hence the total fleet and FFP numbers shown are for both GR7 and GR9 aircraft.
(3) Jaguar numbers include training aircraft.

Aircraft are deemed fit for purpose if they are capable of undertaking the required task on a given day. Aircraft are not available for tasking if they are undergoing scheduled maintenance, modification programmes or any other unforeseen rectification work that can arise on a day to day basis. The figures do not reflect the fact that an aircraft assessed as not fit for purpose may be returned to the front line at very short notice to meet the operational need.

Robert Nairac

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will release the full files relating to the death of Robert Nairac in Northern Ireland in 1977. [66347]

Mr. Ingram: Due to the date of this incident the relevant files are stored in archives. It will take some time to identify, retrieve and subsequently consider the material for release. I will write to the hon. Member with an update at the earliest opportunity and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.


8 May 2006 : Column 43W

Type 45 Destroyers

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate the naval staff have made of the total number of Type 45 destroyers required by the fleet. [67917]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 3 May 2006]: Requirements are set by the Ministry of Defence's Central Staff. The 2004 Defence White Paper 'Delivering Security in a Changing World: Future Capabilities' stated our requirement for eight Type 45 destroyers. However, the delivery of this is dependent on industry demonstrating an affordable solution.

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Type 45 destroyers would be (a) required to relieve and (b) likely to be in upkeep in order to sustain the availability of four Type 45 destroyers for front-line service. [67919]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 3 May 2006]: That would depend on many factors. The 2004 Defence White Paper 'Delivering Security in a Changing World: Future Capabilities' stated a requirement for eight Type 45 destroyers. From a fleet of this size six ships would be available for operations at any one time.

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he will announce the total number of Type 45 destroyers to be built. [67921]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 3 May 2006]: In July 2004, my right hon. Friend the then Secretary of State announced plans for a class of eight Type 45 destroyers, of which six are on order. Formal approval, and a subsequent order, for ships seven and eight will be made at the appropriate time.

Warships

Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what progress he has made with the disposal of surplus ex-Ministry of Defence vessels; what Government policy is on the disposal of such vessels; and what the position is regarding the disposal of (a) HMS Intrepid and (b) the (i) Newcastle, (ii) Glasgow and (iii) Cardiff Type 42 frigates; [65086]

(2) what discussions have taken place between his Department and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on facilitating the de-equipping and dismantling of surplus warships in the United Kingdom. [65087]

Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence officials have had a number of discussions with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the preparation of the UK Ship Recycling Policy. This policy will include clear guidelines for the recycling of ex-MOD vessels and is currently subject to consultation with stakeholders.

Current MOD policy is that once any possibilities for sale for further use have been exhausted, ships are then considered for recycling in accordance with environmental regulations.



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