|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The requirement for Mastiff patrol vehicles on current operations is likely to continue. We will review the future requirement for Mastiff, and other vehicles of this type, once operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have been completed.
Mr. Brazier: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) gallantry and meritorious service medals of each type and (b) campaign medals have been awarded to members of the Territorial Army in respect of their service in Iraq and Afghanistan; and how many members of the Territorial Army have received campaign medals for service in both countries. 
Information on the number of campaign medals issued to members of the Territorial Army alone, and on personnel who have been awarded campaign medals for both theatres, is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much it costs frontline troops in (a) Afghanistan and (b) Iraq to top-up telephone time by (i) 20, (ii) 30, (iii) 45 and (iv) 90 minutes during on-peak periods; and what hours constitute (A) on-peak and (B) off-peak talk time for armed forces personnel in (1) Afghanistan and (2) Iraq. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth:
Service personnel deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq are entitled to 30 minutes of free telephone time per week. It is not possible to provide a specific figure in terms of top-up costs as this varies considerably dependent on which country and which telecommunications provider within a country is being called. In all, there are 381 different call cost rates for some 140 countries advertised in telephone cabins etc. in the Afghanistan and Iraq theatres of which 21 rates apply to the UK. These are broken down between British Telecom rates and the various mobile network providers. However, if a call to a British Telecom line is used as an example, the charge is 11p per minute to make a call from a telephone cabin satellite phone. It will therefore cost £2.20 for 20 minutes of call time; £3.30 for 30 minutes of call time; £4.95 for 45 minutes of call time; and £9.90 for 90 minutes of call time. Personnel calling from an Iridium satellite telephone will pay £17.80 for 20 minutes; £26.70 for 30 minutes; £40.08 for 45 minutes; and £80.10 for 90 minutes. Personnel calling from an INMARSAT system will pay £23.40 for 20 minutes; £35.10 for 30 minutes; £52.65 for 45 minutes; and £105.30 for 90 minutes. Iridium and
INMARSAT charges are set by 3rd party satellite services providers and not by the MOD communications contractor. Steps are being taken to migrate welfare users off these tariffs and on to a rate comparable to a telephone cabin. There are no peak rate times for personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan as all calls are charged as listed regardless of the time of day.
Des Browne: The costs of operations are calculated on a net additional basis and audited figures are published each year in the MODs annual report and accounts. The total annual costs of operations in Iraq for the years 2002-03 to 2006-07 were as follows:
An estimated cost of £1,648 million for 2007-08 was included in the spring supplementary estimates published in February. Final costs for the year, following an audit by the National Audit Office, will be published in the MODs annual report and accounts in July.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Answer of 12 May 2008, Official Report, columns 1311-13W, on Iraq: peacekeeping operations, whether the Answer (a) is based solely on the headquarters element of each battalion listed and (b) includes the deployment of subordinate units down to the (i) company and (ii) platoon from each battalion listed. 
Des Browne: The information provided assumed that a unit deployment consisted of a regimental headquarters and more than two sub units (i.e. a company, or equivalent) deploying for four months or more. This is consistent with the methodology applied to the measurement of operational tour intervals.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: This information is not held in the format requested. However, there is good reason to believe that a significant proportion of the equipment and armaments being used by insurgents against UK forces in Basra Province is of Iranian origin or has been transited through Iran.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 16 May 2008, Official Report, column 1804W, on Kosovo: peacekeeping operations, if he will place in the Library a copy of the technical agreement papers. 
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the oral statement by the Prime Minister of 12 December 2007, Official Report, columns 303-5, on Afghanistan, how many Sea King helicopters have been deployed to Afghanistan since December 2007. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a copy of the joint United Kingdom-France memorandum distributed among the
EU Political and Security Committee in early May 2008 on the critical shortfalls in capability which constrain the deployment of European helicopters on military operations. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The UK and French ambassadors to the EU Political and Security Committee sent a joint letter to the committee on 25 April explaining the proposed UK French helicopter initiative. I shall place a copy in the Library of the House.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions members of his Department had with their European counterparts on the joint UK-France initiative to improve European helicopter capability for military operations at the 15 May 2008 European Defence Agency seminar. 
Des Browne: 21 member states attended the European Defence Agency (EDA) seminar on 15 May 2008. The seminar took the form of two syndicate workshops covering helicopter crew training and helicopter upgrades.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Joint UK-France Summit Declaration of 27 March, if he will make a statement on the joint UK-France initiative to improve European helicopter capability for military operations. 
Des Browne: I refer the hon. Member to the written ministerial statement my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister made following the NATO Bucharest summit on 24 April 2008, Official Report, column 112WS, and to my written ministerial statement on Helicopters on Operations on 20 May 2008, Official Report, column 16WS.
Richard Younger-Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) Chinook, (b) Merlin, (c) Puma and (d) Sea Kings are in the helicopter fleet; how many are available for use; and how many pilots serving with the armed forces are qualified to pilot each type of helicopter. 
|Helicopter Type||Departmental total (total fleet)||Number available (forward fleet)||Number current and qualified pilots|
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|