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Combat Troops

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many combat troops have been provided by each contributing nation to (a) Operation Enduring Freedom and (b) the International Security Assistance Force. [84802]

Des Browne: The Commanding Officer of the International Security Assistance Force has confirmed that he has the forces required to do the job asked of him. The precise composition of the force package provided by nations in support of either Operation Enduring Freedom or the International Security Assistance Force is a matter for the nations concerned.

Comprehensive Spending Review

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether a new strategic defence review will be conducted before the forthcoming comprehensive spending review. [85112]


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Des Browne: No.

CRV 7 Multi-Purpose Sub Munition

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether the UK attack helicopters in Afghanistan are equipped with the CRV 7 Multi-Purpose Sub Munition; [83978]

(2) what use has been made of the CRV 7 Multi-Purpose Sub Munition in combat in each of the last 10 years. [83980]

Mr. Ingram: The Multi-Purpose Sub Munition variant of the CRV 7 system is one of the weapons systems available for use by Apache Mk 1 Attack Helicopters in Afghanistan.

As at 10 July 2006 no use has been made of the CRV 7 Multi Purpose Sub Munition in combat by any element of UK armed forces since it came into service in 2003.

Defence Food Supply Contract

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his written statement of 27 June 2006, Official Report, column 5WS, on the Defence Food Supply Contract, what percentage of the meat supplied to British troops will be from British farms. [83933]

Mr. Ingram: The new food supply contact will commence on 1 October 2006. Transitional arrangements are still being discussed with the contractor, Purple Foodservice Solutions. At this stage we are therefore unable to provide the information requested.

Defence Information Structure

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many additional payments have been agreed with the contractors for the Defence Information Infrastructure project since the contract was issued; to whom such payments (a) have been made and (b) are to be made; how much has been paid and on what dates; and if he will make a statement. [83716]

Mr. Ingram: All payments in respect of Increment 1 of the DII contract are and will be made to EDS as the prime contractor for DII. Payments are made through the service delivery charges of the contract. These charges are commercially sensitive and cannot be disclosed.

A range of changes to the Defence Information Infrastructure programme have taken place since contract award in March 2005. A level of change was always expected and is allowed for under the provisions of the contract. In terms of the overall value of Increment 1 of the DII contract the value of these changes is not significant.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the original (a) estimated costs and (b) in service delivery date was for the Defence Information Infrastructure project; and what the current situation is in each case. [83717]


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Mr. Ingram: Increment 1 of the Defence Information Infrastructure contract was awarded to the ATLAS Consortium, led by EDS, in March 2005 with an estimated value of £2.3 billion. This estimated value remains extant. There is no “in service delivery date” as such within the contract. The contracted “New Services Commencement Date” was originally March 2006. This date was subsequently revised to May 2006 and was met successfully.

Helicopters

Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many military helicopter flights there were in the airspace above the constituency of Hammersmith and Fulham in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. [84421]

Mr. Watson: This information is not centrally held. Although individual units hold details of all flight paths undertaken by their own helicopters this information is not centrally collated and to could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) actual and (b) required number of helicopter crew personnel are for each regiment of the Army Air Corps. [84545]

Mr. Ingram: The number of actual and required helicopter crew personnel for each regular regiment of the Army Air Corps (AAC) is as follows:

Regiment Helicopter Crew Established (Required) Helicopter Crew Held (Actual)

1 Regt AAC

60

54

3 Regt AAC

85

57

4 Regt AAC

85

63

5 Regt AAC

93

64

9 Regt AAC

85

69


These figures include qualified helicopter instructors and regimental headquarters personnel, whose primary role is not as helicopter crew. The figures do not include aviation crewmen, such as air door gunners and winch operators, because this is not a long-term Career Employment Group. The established figure for 5 Regiment AAC will reduce to 31 by 1 April 2007, as part of the planned reductions in Northern Ireland. The deficits shown in the table in 3,4 and 9 AAC Regiments are mainly due to the re-roling of these regiments to Apache helicopters. As a consequence of re-roling, some aircrew are posted away for re-training.

Peter Viggers: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the availability of spare engines for each type of helicopter in service with the armed forces. [85904]

Mr. Ingram: The number of spare engines held by the Ministry of Defence differs for each helicopter type and is determined by a number of factors including the size of the fleet, the scheduled training flying hour requirement, industrial considerations (e.g. the lead time to procure an engine) and operational requirements. At any one time, some engines may be
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undergoing repair and maintenance. We currently have sufficient spare engines to meet operational and training requirements for each helicopter type.

HMS Argyll

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence why HMS Argyll is not to be modified to operate the Merlin helicopter; and what the intended out-of-service date is for this vessel. [85380]

Mr. Ingram: The operational requirement is for 12 Type 23 frigates to be modified to operate the Merlin helicopter. The decision on which ships are to be modified is determined by the fitting opportunities within the frigate upkeep programme. HMS Argyll will not be modified as the requirement will be met by other frigates with earlier fitting opportunities within the upkeep programme. Should the programme change, then the situation will be reviewed. On current plans HMS Argyll is due to be withdrawn from service in 2019.

Meal Budgets

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the budget is per person per day for meals for members of the armed forces serving in (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan. [85099]

Mr. Ingram: The budget per person per day for meals for members of the armed forces serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan is currently £3.11 per day (July 2006 rate). It is intended to provide 2,900 calories per day, based on three meals per day. This Daily Messing Rate is based on a “basket” of food items, and is calculated on a monthly basis by applying prices obtained from the main Ministry of Defence Food Supply Contractor to the Home Ration Scale.

Meat Procurement

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of his Department’s procurement policy on (a) beef and (b) lamb for members of the British armed forces serving on the Falkland Islands. [85038]

Mr. Ingram: The procurement of meat in the Falkland Islands is consistent with the Ministry of Defence’s wider procurement policy. In accordance with this policy, contractors are encouraged to purchase British produce whenever it is competitive and consistent with meeting quality standards. The MOD is, however, bound by European Legislation, and is required to seek value for money in the Single European Market. The MOD’s Food Supply Contractor sources all meat procured for use by the UK armed forces.

Merchant Naval Ships

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he takes to ensure that wrecks of merchant naval ships lost during hostilities are protected. [84826]


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Mr. Watson: Issues relating to merchant vessels are in the first instance the responsibility of the Department of Transport.

The Ministry of Defence administers the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986, which allows it to protect from unauthorised interference the remains of aircraft and ships lost while in military service.

Whether or not an individual merchant vessel is eligible for designation under the Act depends on whether it can be said to have been “in military service”. This will be a case-by-case determination, depending on the circumstances of the individual vessel's loss.

Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability Programme

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) out-of-service date is for each Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel due for decommissioning by 2025 and (b) scheduled in-service date is for each planned new vessel in the Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability programme. [85378]

Mr. Ingram: On current plans the RFA out of service dates are as follows:

Date

RFA Sir Tristram

2006

RFA Sir Galahad

2006

RFA Grey Rover

2006

RFA Gold Rover

2009

RFA Brambleleaf

2009

RFA Orangeleaf

2009

RFA Black Rover

2010

RFA Oakleaf

2010

RFA Bayleaf

2010

RFA Sir Bedivere

2011

RFA Fort Rosalie

2013

RFA Fort Austin

2014

RFA Diligence

2014

RFA Fort George

2019

RFA Fort Victoria

2019

RFA Argus

2020


As with all projects, the in service dates for the vessels in the Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability
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programme will only be set following the main investment decision. This decision has not yet been taken.

Military Equipment Exports

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he plans to supply the Government of Colombia with (a) military equipment and (b) other support in each of the next three years. [85294]

Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence does not supply the Colombian armed forces with military equipment. We currently have no plans to alter this policy. I refer the hon. Member to my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State’s reply on 3 July 2006, Official Report, column 703W.

Military Vehicles

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to purchase mine-protected RG-31 vehicles, or variants thereof, for the Army. [81602]

Mr. Ingram: As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence announced on 26 June we are conducting a review of the options for protected patrol vehicles to determine what can be done as soon as possible and in the longer term.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the wheelbase dimensions are of (a) the Snatch Land Rover, (b) the RG-31 and (c) variants of the RG-31; and if he will make a statement. [81603]

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the dimensions of the (a) Snatch armoured Land Rover, (b) RG-31M and (c) Tempest Truck, Mine-Protected Vehicle are; what is the time for each vehicle to accelerate from stationary to normal cruising speed; what their maximum speeds are; and what their turning circles are. [80572]

Mr. Ingram: The information requested on SNATCH, the Mine Protected Vehicle and RG-31 is:

Vehicle Length Width Height Max Speed Acceleration Turning Circle( 1)

SNATCH

4.80m

1.69m

2.37m

lOOkm/h(2)

Not measured

12.8m

MPV(3)

6.28m

2.75m

3.04m

80km/h

Not measured

17m

RG-31(4)

6.40m

2.47m

2.84m

100km/h

Not stated

16m

(1) Kerb to kerb distance. (2) For SNATCH 2; SNATCH 1 and 1.5 are slightly less. Since high speed is not a requirement for SNATCH, its maximum speed has not been tested precisely. (3) The vehicle chosen to replace Mamba as the Mine Protected Vehicle (MPV) was initially called TEMPEST but this name is no longer used and the in service vehicle, based on the Cougar vehicle produced by Force Protection Inc, is known simply as MPV. (4) RG-31 is not in service with the UK armed forces, but this data was obtained from BAES during the ongoing review of our patrol vehicle capability.

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost per track mile excluding crew costs is of operating (a) a Warrior MICV and (b) a RG-31M in Iraqi conditions. [82495]

Mr. Ingram: The full capitation cost for the WARRIOR Armoured Fighting Vehicle (all variants) based on peacetime usage is calculated for financial year 2006-07 as £154.04 per kilometre. Specific operational track mile data is not held centrally and
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could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The Ministry of Defence does not own any RG-31M vehicles.

Phoenix UAV

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much the Phoenix unmanned aerial vehicle has cost since the programme’s inception. [84268]

Mr. Ingram: The Phoenix unmanned aerial vehicle system has cost approximately £345 million since inception.


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Premature Voluntary Releases

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many premature voluntary release exits there were from the regular (a) infantry, (b) Royal Artillery, (c) Royal Engineers, (d) Royal Corps of Signals, (e) Royal Armoured Corps, (d) Household Cavalry and (e) Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers in each of the last five years. [85761]

Mr. Watson: Between 1 April 2001 and 31 March 2006, there were 18, 660 voluntary outflow release exits in these arms/services.

Voluntary outflow exits( 1) (officers( 2) and soldiers: 2001-02 to 2005-06
Arm/service 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 Total

The Household Cavalry/Royal Armoured Corps

330

320

330

310

350

1,650

Royal Regiment of Artillery

410

390

430

450

420

2,100

Royal Corps of Engineers

560

500

530

660

660

2,910

Royal Corps of Signals

630

450

400

470

420

2,380

The Infantry

1,600

1,460

1,430

1,460

1,530

7,480

Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

420

370

440

480

440

2,140

Total

3,950

3,500

3,550

3,830

3,830

18,660

(1) The term premature voluntary release (PVR) has been changed to voluntary outflow (VO) although the methodology for producing this information remains the same. voluntary outflow is defined as all exits from trained personnel which are generated by the individual before their time expiry. (2) Figures for officers in the general staff (officers with the rank of colonel or above) are excluded. Note: Figures are rounded to the nearest 10. Due to rounding the totals may not equal the sum of the pans.


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