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Cannibalisation is an accepted short-term measure employed by aviation forces around the world, to ensure the maximum number of aircraft are available. It is often the only course of action where replacement items cannot be sourced in the required time frame.
The figures shown in the table refer to individual instances of cannibalisation as opposed to the number of aircraft involved. All instances of cannibalisation are authorised and undertaken in accordance with clearly defined regulations. The term cannibalisation can refer to the removal of single or small numbers of components, of any size. It does not necessarily refer to the wholesale utilisation of capital components or airframes.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 25 June 2007, Official Report, column 125W, on Iraq: peacekeeping operations, what the estimated replacement costs of military equipment damaged and destroyed owing to use in Iraq has been since the start of the war in Iraq (a) in total and (b) for (i) tanks and other armoured vehicles, (ii) aircraft and (iii) helicopters since 1 March 2004. 
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many times a (a) C17A Globemaster, (b) Hercules C-130K, (c) Hercules C-130J, (d) Tristar, (e) VC-10 and (f) Nimrod MR2 has been cannibalised for spare parts. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The removal of serviceable parts from one aircraft for use on another is a routine and temporary measure to ensure that the maximum number of aircraft are available to the front line.
|Aircraft type||Number of cannibalisations|
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The UK Joint Special Forces Support Group (SFSG) is an integral part of the UK Special Forces Group and falls under the operational command of the Director of Special Forces. It is our established policy not to comment on special forces matters.
However, I can say that since the SFSG was stood up in April 2006 it has served with distinction in the field and is already providing the UK Special Forces Group with a significantly enhanced capability as envisaged.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) escort ships, (b) major ships and submarines, (c) minor war vessels and (d) RFA ships were commissioned into the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary in each year since 2000; and how many in each category are planned to be commissioned in each of the next 10 years. 
|In service date||Vessel|
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Our current planning assumptions are that on average the Type 23 frigates will be in service for 27 years and the Type 45 anti- aircraft destroyers for 25 years. The programme for the procurement of the future surface combatant is still at an early stage and the service life for these ships has yet to be determined.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: We have said from the outset of the naval base review (NBR) that its outcome needs to be coherent with other key maritime industrial strategy projects and programmes. It is of paramount importance that we do this in order to determine an overall best for Defence outcome and the best value for the taxpayer.
The Ministry of Defence is therefore engaging with other Government Departments to assess the wider implications for the different NBR options. While this complex work is progressing well, further work is required before final conclusions can be reached.
As at 31 March 2007, the actual strength of the UOTCs was 5,031 of which 4,429 were from the student body including approximately 500 Army Bursars who have already passed officer selection and who are committed to join the Army; these officer cadets are on strength but are not counted against the establishment. These figures include all officer cadets who are no longer actively training, but have yet to be discharged from the Service.
I also refer the hon. Member to the answer my right hon. Friend the Member for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow (Mr. Ingram) gave on 16 May 2007, Official Report, column 1292W, to the hon. Member for Colchester (Bob Russell).
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what (a) financial and (b) other assistance was provided to the Government of Afghanistan to tackle the narcotics industry in that country in each year since 2002; and if he will make a statement. 
|Total Afghan counter-narcotics spend|
|Financial year||£ million|
Our support comprises direct financial assistance and practical support, such as developing law enforcement and criminal justice institutions, mentoring police and judges, and technical assistance to build the capacity of government institutions. Of this years £82 million, £37.6 million will be invested in alternative legal livelihoods and development. As Afghanistans G8 partner nation on counter-narcotics, the UK lobbies for continued and increased international assistance and support for the Afghan Governments National Drug Control Strategy (NDCS). We are also helping the Afghans to sharpen the implementation of the NDCS which has four priorities: targeting the trafficker; strengthening and diversifying legal rural livelihoods; reducing demand; and developing state institutions.
Dr. Howells: Colombia has suffered from 40 years of internal conflict, fuelled by the illegal drugs trade. In his five years as President, Alvaro Uribe has achieved remarkable advances: security is much improved; violent crime is hugely reduced; 35,000 paramilitaries have demobilised; and the economy is prospering.
President Uribe's Colombia is a key UK ally in the region. UK co-operation with Colombia focuses on the fight against drugs and improving the difficult human rights situation. It is one of constructive engagement rather than uncritical support. We support the efforts of President Uribe to tackle the country's serious inter-connected problems, but we can and do remind the government of Colombia of the need to address areas of concern vigorously.
On drugs, co-operation is close and effective. President Uribe's Government are committed to improving the difficult human rights situation. But serious concerns remain: illegal armed groups commit wide-ranging abuses, and threats to trade unionists and
human rights defenders continue, and are unacceptable. Extra-judicial killings are rising. 49 per cent. of Colombians live in poverty.
We welcomed President Uribe's decision in June to release a number of Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) operatives, including Rodrigo Granda, as a positive step forward for a path to lasting peace in Colombia. It has been disappointing that the FARC have not responded positively to President Uribe's bold move. Along with EU partners and others in the international community, we have expressed our outrage at the killings in June of 11 Colombian hostages held by the FARC, and extended our condolences to all those affected by this tragedy.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the United Nations Convention on Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism entered into force; when the United Kingdom (a) signed and (b) ratified the convention; what responsibilities signatory states have to report on implementation of the convention in (i) member states and (ii) their overseas territories; and what steps the Government are taking to encourage non-signatory states to sign. 
Dr. Howells: The International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism entered into force on 7 July. The UK signed the Convention on 14 September 2005. The legislation required to implement the Convention is now in place in the UK, and the Government are currently preparing the necessary documents to be laid before Parliament prior to ratification. The Convention imposes an obligation on States Parties to report to the UN Secretary-General the final outcome of criminal proceedings undertaken in respect of the offences set out in the Convention. States Parties will also be expected to report to the committees of the UN Security Council that monitor implementation of States counter-terrorism and non-proliferation obligations, on the implementation of their obligations under the Convention in a more general sense. While the Overseas Territories will not be included at the time of the UKs ratification, there remains the possibility of extending the Convention to the Overseas Territories following consultation with them and the passing of any necessary legislation in each Territory. With our international partners, the UK has strongly encouraged all States to sign and ratify the Convention. Most recently, in a joint statement on counter-terrorism issued at the Heiligendamm Summit on 8 June, the leaders of the G8 called on all States to ratify the Convention.
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