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8 Nov 2006 : Column 1552W—continued

Future Surface Combatant

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made in the design of the Future Surface Combatant; and how many such vessels are expected to be ordered. [99300]

Mr. Ingram: The Future Surface Combatant programme is currently in its concept phase where studies and assessments are being undertaken to refine the requirement. Detailed design work has not commenced, nor has any decision been made on the required class size.

Helicopters (Afghanistan)

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he plans to increase the number of support helicopters in Afghanistan; and what discussions he has had with commercial operators on their ability to provide helicopters. [97984]

Mr. Ingram: We keep under constant review how best to sustain and refresh our helicopter capability provided to operations. One options is to lease or charter helicopters to support current operations and officials have held discussions with a number of potential providers. However, no decisions have been made. Any further enhancements to the force will be announced to Parliament in the usual manner.

HMS Sultan

Peter Viggers: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the future of HMS Sultan. [99493]

Derek Twigg [holding answer 7 November 2006]: A final decision on the future of HMS Sultan is dependant on the outcome of the Defence Training Review (DTR) Rationalisation Programme which is currently at an advanced stage of competition. I anticipate making an announcement on DTR later this year.

Injured Servicemen (Active Duty)

Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many servicemen have been injured such as to prevent their return to full front-line duty since the beginning of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. [95283]

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Derek Twigg: The information is not held centrally and can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Medical Personnel

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) actual strength, (b) establishment and (c) percentage difference between establishment and actual strength is of each specialty of qualified medical personnel in the Army. [98567]

Mr. Ingram: The following table illustrates the establishment and trained strength of qualified medical personnel in the Army, broken down by specialty, as at 1 July 2006. The table also shows the difference between trained strength and establishment, as a percentage of establishment.

Specialty Establishment Trained strength Difference between establishment and trained strength as a percentage of establishment (Percentage)





Primary and Secondary Care Medical Officers




Medical Support Services(1)




Dental Services(2)




(1 )Includes health care assistants.
(2 )Includes dental officers as well as dental support staff
1. Figures as at 1 July 2006.
2. All figures over 100 rounded to nearest 10
3. Figures include some staff working out of speciality in headquarter posts

Military Personnel (Injuries)

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many military personnel are in hospital following injuries sustained while serving in (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan; and how many in each category were in hospital in April. [94177]

Derek Twigg: On 20 October 2006, 10 military personnel were being treated in UK hospitals, having been admitted from the operational area, for physical injuries sustained in Iraq and Afghanistan. Historical records for this type of information were not collated and so the number of military personnel in hospital in April 2006 could be provided by looking through individual patient medical records only at disproportionate cost.

The MOD website publishes figures for the total number of UK military and civilian personnel admitted for injuries to UK or coalition medical facilities in Afghanistan and the Shaibah Role 3 UK medical facility in Iraq ( The total figures for April and September, the last full month for which figures are available, are as follows. Figures in
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brackets show the combined total of seriously and very seriously injured personnel contained within the overall total injured:

Personnel injured in theatre
April 2006 September 2006


161 (1)

91 (1)


18 (3)

37 (10)

In addition to this, the total number of service personnel who were aeromedically evacuated from Iraq and Afghanistan to a UK hospital in April and September 2006, were as follows:

Personnel evacuated to UK hospitals
April 2006 September 2006







Ministry of Defence Police

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list those whom the Ministry of Defence Police and Guarding Agency regards as its stakeholder customers. [93784]

Derek Twigg: The primary stakeholder/customers for MDPGA services are Central Top Level Budget, Defence Logistics Organisation, Defence Procurement Agency; Royal Air Force Strike Command/Personnel and Training Command; Land Command; Adjutant-General; Commander-in-Chief Fleet/Second Sea Lord; Chief of Joint Operations and Defence Science Technology Laboratory and United States Visiting Forces. Other customers include QinetiQ; The Royal Mint; Atomic Weapons Establishment plc.; the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and Army Base Repair Organisation (ABRO).

National Radiological Protection Board

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the name, rank and service number were of each serviceman excluded from the study by the National Radiological Protection Board published in the 1993 British Medical Journal 307 1530-5. [86068]

Mr. Ingram: The names, rank and serial number of Service personnel participating in the study, is considered to be personal data within the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998 and the disclosure without consent of the information requested would contravene the data protection principles and breach undertakings of confidentiality given to participants at the time. To obtain agreement to release this information would incur disproportionate costs. However, broad descriptions of these servicemen, who were excluded from the main study since they had left the test sites before the first detonation and were therefore considered unlikely to have had any more potential for radiation exposure than the general public, have been published within both the 1993 and 2003 National Radiological Protection Board reports.

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Naval Manning Templates

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library copies of the Royal Navy’s quarterly manning templates for (a) financial years 1997-98 to 2005-06 and (b) the first two quarters of 2006-07. [93056]

Mr. Ingram: Yes.

Nuclear Deterrent

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what preliminary estimate he has made of the cost of a new generation of the nuclear deterrent based upon the Trident ballistic missile system and four new submarines. [99296]

Des Browne: In preparation for decisions which we intend to take later this year on the future of the UK’s nuclear deterrent, work is being undertaken by officials on options and costs. The results of that work will be set out in the White Paper that we have said we will publish.

Old Sarum Airfield

Robert Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Ministry of Defence aircraft have (a) landed and (b) taken off from Old Sarum airfield in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [98215]

Derek Twigg: Based on information provided by the Department of Transport, the details for each year from 2001 are as follows:

Landed Taken off



















(1) Date to 2 November 2006, includes one Royal Flight.
(2 )Includes one emergency RAF landing due to a bird strike.
(3) Sometimes military aircraft release their landing gear so the wheels just touch the runway but the aircraft keeps flying, hence the odd number.
(4) Data for 1 January are not available.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he will provide an answer to question (a) 85760, (b) 85561, (c) 85755, (d) 85107, (e) 85093, (f) 85106, (g) 85213, (h) 84882, (i) 82863 and (j) 70034 tabled by the hon. Member for Forest of Dean. [89688]

Derek Twigg: I replied to the hon. Member on the following dates:

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Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he will reply to question 83760 tabled by the hon. Member for Portsmouth, South on 6 July. [91721]

Mr. Ingram: I replied to the hon. Member earlier today.


Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the arrangements are for the payment of pensions to people who retire early through ill-health for each pension scheme for which his Department is responsible; what the incidence of ill-health retirement was as a percentage of all retirement for such schemes for each year since 1988-89; and if he will make a statement. [96021]

Derek Twigg: The Department is responsible for a number of pension schemes. The principal ones are the Armed Forces Pension Scheme 1975 (AFPS 75) and the Armed Forces Pension Scheme 2005 (AFPS 05). There are a number of other minor schemes for: Reservists; Non-Regular Permanent Staff (NRPS) who support the TA; the Gurkhas; the Royal Gibraltar Regiment (RGR); and a number of small overseas schemes for formerly locally employed personnel, none of which have active members. The arrangements for paying ill-health pensions under these schemes for non-attributable conditions are as follows.

Members of AFPS 75 with more than two years reckonable service and the Royal Gibraltar Regiment who have more than five years reckonable service are eligible for an enhanced Service Invaliding Pension, based on rank and length of service, and a terminal grant of three times pension.

AFPS 05 members’ ill-health arrangements are based on three tiers dependent on the seriousness of injury or illness. A lump sum is paid for minor conditions. For those conditions which significantly impair prospects for future gainful employment or leave the individual permanently incapable of further full-time employment an enhanced pension and lump sum of three times pension are paid.

Reserve Forces Pension Scheme members who have completed two years reckonable service receive an enhanced ill-health pension based on one of two tiers
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dependent upon the seriousness of the illness/injury with a lump sum of three times the pension also payable.

For those personnel who are members of the minor pension schemes the following arrangements apply: Non Regular Permanent Staff Scheme members with a minimum of two years reckonable service receive an ill-health pension and lump sum. For those with reckonable service of more than five years ill-health pensions are payable at an enhanced rate. Members of the Gurkha Pension Scheme (GPS) with less than 10 years reckonable service receive an invaliding gratuity; those with more than 10 years reckonable service receive a invaliding pension.

In cases where the medical retirement is attributable that is due to a condition caused or hastened by service, additional benefits are payable, depending on the scheme and the date of retirement. For attributable conditions sustained before 6 April 2005 benefits are paid under the War Pension Scheme and AFPS 75. On or after the 6 April 2005, the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme will pay the benefits.

The outflow due to medical reasons of trained UK Regular Forces as a percentage of all trained outflow to civil life each year since 1990-91 is shown in the following table. Data prior to 1998-99 were not recorded.

All services Percentage

































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