|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether officials at the Atomic Weapons Establishment, Aldermaston are involved in designing a new warhead for the use in Trident missiles; and if he will make a statement. 
Des Browne: I have nothing to add to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Member for Airdrie and Shotts (John Reid) to the hon. Member for New Forest, East (Dr. Lewis) on 21 March 2006, Official Report, column 364W.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the occasions when an amendment has been moved by (a) a Labour back bencher, (b) an Opposition back bencher and (c) an Opposition Front Bench spokesman to a Bill sponsored by his Department which has been accepted by his Department during the 2005-06 Session; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Watson: The Ministry of Defence has sponsored the Armed Forces Bill during this session. Information on amendments moved and accepted during the Select Committee and Committee of the Whole House stages of the Bill is published in the Official Report.
|Income received by Combat Stress to defray individual treatment expenses|
| Source: Ex-Services Mental Welfare Society ("Combat Stress").|
Article 21 of the Naval, Military and Air Forces Etc. (Disablement and Death) Service Pensions Order 2006 provides that the Secretary of State for Defence may defray necessary expenses in respect of the medical, surgical or rehabilitative treatment of a former member of the armed forces which arise from a disablement due to service, provided they are not provided for under other UK legislation. Under this discretionary power, MOD defrays the individual costs of war pensioners undergoing "remedial treatment" at the Combat Stress homes for conditions related to their individual pensioned disablement and of related expenses, such as travel costs. The table shows the funding received by Combat Stress under this provision.
However, the Army cannot identify from its records those applications that may start as requests to leave the Army on the grounds of conscientious objection but result in an individual leaving for different reasons.
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made on the delivery of his Department's revised policy of providing industry with a better and longer-term understanding of the Department's future plans. 
Mr. Ingram: We have started a series of briefings to various sectors of industry to set out more details of our forward planswhich have been welcomed by industry. We have also been reinforcing existing partnering agreements by providing industry with a clear view of our planning assumptions, recognising that these are subject to final investment decisions by Ministers and the Department.
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress his Department has made in its discussion with industry on alternatives to competition as a means of delivering value for money; when he expects to complete his Department's action plan on this; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: We have begun discussions on alternative approaches to competition in a joint MOD/industry working group established under the auspices of the National Defence Industries Council. By the end of 2006 we intend to have in place top level policy, working level guidance and revised training packages which ensure the selection of an appropriate commercial approach which continues to deliver demonstrable value for money for the Department.
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the creation of a joint plan between his Department and industry for embedding defence acquisition values throughout the acquisition community. 
Mr. Ingram: We are continuing to work with the National Defence Industries Council to ensure the defence acquisition values are the foundation upon which working relations within the MOD, and between the Department and industry are based. Within the Department's acquisition community, the values will be reflected in individuals' personal objectives and reward arrangements. Individual companies are already using the defence acquisition values to inform their in-house corporate values and behaviours.
The Defence Academy will be working to bring in joint training courses with industry to embed the values, and we are also ensuring that partnering agreements with industry reflect the values explicitly.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list those (a) Acts and (b) parts of Acts which received Royal Assent between 1976 and 2006 for which his Department has policy responsibility and which remain in force. 
The Armed Forces Acts 1976; 1981; 1986; 1991; 1996 and 2001
The Armed Forces Discipline Act 2000
The Armed Forces (Pension and Compensation) Act 2004
The Army Act 1992
The Atomic Weapons Establishment Act 1991
The Crown Proceedings Act 1987
The Greenwich Hospital Act 1990
The Ministry of Defence Police Act 1987
The Reserve Forces Acts 1980 and 1996
The Protection of Military Remains Act 1986.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many staff from his Department attended the Civil Service Islamic Society Eid-Ul-Adha event in London in 2005; and what the total cost to his Department was of their attendance. 
Mr. Watson: My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster will write to the hon. Member with details of the Civil Service Islamic Society Eid-Ul-Adha event. Copies of her letter will be placed in the Library.
Mr. Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the timetable is for delivery of future tranches of Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft, with particular reference to those (a) with and (b) without full air-to-ground strike capability. 
Mr. Ingram: The United Kingdom has, to date, contracted for two tranches of Eurofighter-Typhoon, providing 144 aircraft for use by the Royal Air Force. A decision by the Eurofighter Typhoon Partner Nations on the third production buy of the aircraft, and thus on the delivery timetable for this future tranche, has still to be taken. Integration of air-to-ground capabilities is being considered for Eurofighter Typhoon as part of a programme of future enhancements.
Mr. Dunne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what estimate he has made of the number of widows of Gurkha servicemen who would receive pension payments if Gurkha servicemen were eligible for the British soldier's preserved pension at the age of 60 after more than two years of service; 
Mr. Watson: On 11 January 2005, the then Secretary of State announced to the House that he had commissioned a comprehensive review of the Terms and Conditions of Service under which Gurkhas serve in the British Army.
As part of this review, the Department is looking at the pension position of Gurkhas back to 1 July 1997. Prior to 1 July 1997 Gurkhas were members of an overseas-based force and had no comparable British soldier equivalents. Gurkha soldiers are members of the Gurkha pension scheme which does not provide for
preserved pensions; there are therefore no Gurkha widows who would be eligible. The Department does not hold records of individuals (or of their widows) who do not have an entitlement to a pension, so cannot make reliable estimates of either the numbers involved or the cost of hypothetical pension entitlements.
However there are currently 26,699 Gurkha service pensioners (of which 1,900 have retired since 1 July 1997) and the Gurkha Welfare Trust has reported that last year it paid 10,246 welfare pensions. Of the 26,699, there are about 5,000 Gurkha widows' or family dependants' pensions in payment.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) on how many occasions a helicopter from RAF Benson was used to assist a police search for a missing person in each of the last five years; 
(2) if he will identify the helicopter from RAF Benson used to search for Dr. David Kelly on 18 July 2003; whether the helicopter in question was equipped with (a) an infra-red camera and (b) heat-seeking equipment; how long the helicopter was in the air; what areas it covered in its search; and if he will make a statement; 
No RAF helicopters from RAF Benson were used in the search for Dr. David Kelly on 18 July 2003. However, I understand that a Chiltern Air Support Unit police helicopter which is based at RAF Benson was on standby but not used. I am informed that a police helicopter from the Chiltern Air Support Unit based at Luton was used in the search.
|Number of personnel|
Des Browne: As a matter of routine we assess the military capability of other nations armed forces, including that of Iran. I am withholding this information on the grounds that to release it would prejudice the capability, effectiveness, and security of the armed forces.
Des Browne: Regular assessments of the capability of Iraq's security forces are made as part of the process of considering the preparedness of each province for transition to Iraqi security control, including the four provinces of Multi-National Division (South-East).
Mr. Ingram: We are continually reviewing ways of providing greater protection for all our personnel deployed on operations. For helicopters, we have identified a number of improvements to meet the specific operational conditions in Iraq; these have been, or are being, implemented through urgent operational requirement procedures. They include improvements to countermeasures, self protection, and crew and aircraft armour.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the answer of 4 May 2006, Official Report, columns 181-84W, on Iraq, if he will place a copy of the eligibility criteria for the Operation TELIC medal in the Library. 
Mr. Watson: Command Paper 6135 was presented to Parliament in February 2004 by my right hon. Friend the then Secretary of State for Defence and laid down the qualifying criteria for the Iraq medal for service on Operation TELIC from 20 January 2003. In accordance with standard procedures, a copy was placed in the Library of the House.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of why the two Britons rescued from Basra Prison by British forces were (a) dressed as Arabs and (b) in possession of explosives at the time of their detention; and if he will make a statement. 
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|