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3 Sep 2007 : Column 1622Wcontinued
Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 3 July 2007, Official Report, column 955W, on Galileo project, whether representatives of his Department have attended meetings on the Galileo project within the last six months apart from the meetings attended by experts from the Defence Scientific and Technology Laboratory. 
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the current percentage shortfall is of required spares for each helicopter type in the (a) Army Air Corps, (b) Royal Navy and (c) Royal Air Force. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: In providing logistic support to UK military helicopters, the focus is moving from spares availability to guaranteed aircraft availability. Merlin, Sea King and Chinook spares support is already contracting through availability contracts with industry.
The percentage of spares demands satisfied direct from MOD stocks in June 2007 have been listed in the table.
Spare parts availability for all of these aircraft has been sufficient to meet operational commitments.
|Aircraft platform||Owner service||Spares satisfaction rates (percentage)|
|(1) Across this aircraft type.|
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many helicopters there were in the (a) Army Air Corps, (b) Navy, (c) RAF and (d) Armed Forces in (i) 1997 and (ii) 2007. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The information requested is shown as follows:
|1997 (as at 1 April)||2007 (as at 30 June)|
The figures for 2007 do not include the six RAF Merlin helicopters recently acquired from Denmark or the eight RAF Chinook Mark 3 helicopters that are being converted to a Battlefield Support role, as announced by the Secretary of State on 30 March 2007.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the current status is of HMS Birmingham. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: HMS Birmingham was decommissioned in 1999, sold in 2000 and was then dismantled in Spain.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many days (a) HMS Illustrious and (b) HMS Ark Royal were at sea in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The number of days spent at sea each year since 1997 by HMS Illustrious and HMS Ark Royal are detailed in the following table.
|Number of days at sea|
|HMS Illustrious||HMS Ark Royal|
HMS Illustrious was in refit from November 2002 to November 2004.
HMS Ark Royal was at low readiness in 1998 and entered refit in June 1999 until March 2001. She was at low readiness from May 2004 and entered refit October 2005 until September 2006.
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what evidence has been provided by Royal Military Police forensic teams from DNA samples found on bomb (a) parts and (b) fragments in (i) Iraq and (ii) Afghanistan which match UK nationals recorded on the UK National Database. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The MOD shares forensic information with the police derived from operations overseas with a view to enhancing the protection of UK armed forces from threats overseas, the investigation of criminal activity in the UK, and the identification of any connection between the two. I am withholding details of the information requested as its release would, or would be likely to prejudice the capacity, effectiveness or security of our armed forces and the prevention or detection of crime.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department spent on operations in Iraq from (a) its annual Delegated Expenditure Limits for resource spending, (b) its annual Delegated Expenditure Limits for capital spending and (c) by drawing down expenditure from HM Treasury's unallocated special reserve in each financial year since 2002-03. 
Des Browne: The net additional costs of operations in Iraq are met from the Treasury's Reserves and not the Department's Expenditure Limits.
The total of the annual audited figures for the costs of operations in Iraq for the years 2002-03 to 2005-06 are as follows:
|Cost of operations (£ million)|
A total estimated cost of £1,002 million for 2006-07 was included in the Spring Supplementary Estimates published in February. Final figures will be published in the MOD's Annual Report and Accounts for 2006-07.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many detainees were in British custody in (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan in each year since 2001, broken down by nationality. 
Des Browne: The MOD publishes monthly internee figures on its website
As at 26 July 2007 there were 88 internees in British custody in Iraq. Since 1 January 2004 records show that the total number of people interned in Iraq by UK forces is 1,536. The number of internees held at any one time varies significantly: since 2004, the number held has generally ranged between 20 and 140. Readily accessible records indicate that there is one dual Iraqi/British national in British custody, and that the remainder are all Iraqi nationals. These records do not include those released or passed to Iraqi custody within eight hours of initial detention.
We do not operate a policy of internment in Afghanistan. However, UK troops occasionally detain suspected criminals for brief periods before passing them on to the Government of Afghanistan. Our records indicate that the number of detainees that have passed through British custody in Afghanistan are:
Readily accessible records indicate that the majority of these are Afghan nationals, but have included a small number of third country nationals.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many British military engineers were deployed to (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan in each year since 2001; and what their primary mission was in each case. 
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