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8 July 2008 : Column 1458Wcontinued
We have requested a total of an additional £3,374 million from the Treasury Reserve in the Winter and Spring Supplementary Estimates to cover the net additional costs of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2007-08.
Audited outturn figures will be published in the MOD's Annual Report and Accounts towards the end of July.
My right hon. Friend the Chancellor announced in his Budget speech that the estimated cost of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan would be at least £2 billion in 2008-09.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much was spent on council tax rebate for service personnel during the last six-month roulement. 
Derek Twigg: The amount spent on council tax rebate claims for the two major roulements, Iraq and Afghanistan, completed during the last six months, was £87,599.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what guidance is given to family liaison officers on the provision of advice to service families on their benefit entitlements; and if he will make a statement. 
Derek Twigg: The payment of benefits remains a matter for the responsible Government Department or local authority, most often Her Majestys Revenue and Customs or the Department for Work and Pensions. There are detailed rules covering eligibility for benefits, and advice on them is best provided by the relevant Departments, and authorities and their agencies. The Ministry of Defence works with these responsible bodies to ensure that their websites and guidance take into account the specific circumstances of Service personnel and their families.
Welfare support staff are instructed to refer families with specific queries, including benefits questions, to the most appropriate organisation to respond. This guidance given via specialist Ministry of Defence support staff and websites (such as the Service Community area of the Ministry of Defence website) is given to address certain aspects of benefits entitlement that are affected by Service life, such as moves overseas, although detailed advice should always be sought from the relevant department or agency. The Ministry of Defence also provides a worldwide information service (HIVE) which provides key information and signposting on the full range of Service community issues, including benefits.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 13 May 2008, Official Report, column 1519W, on armed forces training, how many of his Department's Fighting in Built-Up Areas training facilities were designed to replicate Afghan compounds. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 2 June 2008, Official Report, column 675W.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 13 May 2008, Official Report, column 1519W, on armed forces training, whether further Fighting in Built-Up Areas training facilities other than those listed are (a) under construction and (b) planned. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: There are facilities under construction on Salisbury Plain related to fighting in built-up areas (FIBUA) which will enhance the training facility.
Additional FIBUAs are planned for the Stanford training area in Norfolk and the Sennelager training area in Germany, both of which are at the planning application stage. The latter is also currently at the environmental appraisal stage.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 13 May 2008, Official Report, column 1519W, on armed forces training, in what year each of the Fighting in Built-Up Areas training facilities was constructed. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The following table shows the year in which each fighting in built up areas (FIBUA) was either constructed or adopted as a FIBUA training facility.
|Name||Location||County||Year of build|
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of (a) armoured vehicles, (b) other vehicles, (c) fixed-wing aircraft, (d) rotary-wing aircraft, (e) weapons systems and (f) unmanned aerial vehicles of each type were (i) in service, (ii) fit for purpose and (iii) out of service at the latest date for which figures are available. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The information is not held centrally, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what were the (a) fewest, (b) most and (c) mean number of days taken to up-armour each Cougar vehicle to a finished Mastiff were in Mastiff tranche 1 after arrival in the UK; and what were the (i) fewest, (ii) most and (iii) mean number of days taken between completion of up-armouring and arrival at UK port of embarkation. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The average time to upgrade the Cougar vehicle to a Mastiff for tranche 1 (including the up-armouring) was seven days. It is not possible to break-out the time spent specifically on up-armouring, as this work was conducted at the same time as other elements of the upgrade.
Once vehicles had been upgraded, they were moved to the UK embarkation point within 24 hours.
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what control his Department has over who the ultimate owners are of armoured personnel carriers being sold by his Department to Witham (Specialist Vehicles) Ltd; 
(2) how many decommissioned armoured personnel carriers have been sold abroad in each year since 2006; 
(3) how many Saxon armoured personnel carriers have been sold by his Department to Witham (Specialist Vehicles) Ltd. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Department does not sell armoured personnel carriers to Witham (Specialist Vehicles) Ltd. The company acts as the selling agent for surplus MOD vehicles under the terms of an incentive-based contract. The receipts from sale are shared in an agreed proportion between the company and the Department.
All surplus equipment sold into the commercial marketplace is demilitarised and declassified. In that event, when vehicles are purchased from Witham to be exported outside the United Kingdom, purchasers are obliged to comply with normal UK export licence regulations. The Department has no control over the ultimate owner of the vehicles.
Between 1 January 2006 and 3 July 2008, 44 Saxon vehicles were sold on behalf of the Department. The Department does not hold information on which of those vehicles purchased to date remain within the United Kingdom and which have been exported.
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons his Department is selling armoured personnel carriers. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Saxon General War Role (Saxon GWR) is being removed from service and sold because it no longer meets the requirements of the Army, and has been declared obsolete.
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many foreign military delegations visited the Defence Export Services Organisation between (a) 1 August 2005 and 31 July 2006 and (b) 1 August 2006 and 31 July 2007; and how many such delegations have visited UK Trade and Investment since 1 August 2007. 
Mr. Thomas: I have been asked to reply.
From 1 August 2005 and 31 July 2006, 194 foreign delegations visited the Defence Export Services Organisation (DESO) to attend two major defence exhibitions, one in September 2005 and one in July 2006, and two Multi- Nation Inward Missions (MNIM), which enable potential foreign customers to witness demonstrations of defence equipment and visit UK defence establishments. Most delegations will have included military personnel. From 1 August 2006 and 31 July 2007, 18 foreign delegations visited DESO on MNIM. There was no major defence exhibition during that time.
Since 1 August 2007, 74 foreign delegations have visited DESO and its successor organisation (from 1 April 2008), the UK Trade and Investment Defence and Security Organisation (UKTI DSO).
Information on other visits to DESO and UKTI DSO, taken from available records, is shown as follows:
|Number of countries|
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the average cost to his Department was of employing a press and media officer in 2007-08. 
Derek Twigg: MOD press office employs 10 information officers who are full-time press officers with no managerial responsibility. The median annual salary (not including national insurance contributions or superannuation) for an information officer is £28,989 as at 3 July 2008.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many times (a) Harrier GR7, (b) Harrier GR9, (c) Tornado GR4, (d) Tornado F3, (e) Typhoon and (f) Nimrod aircraft have been cannibalised in each year since 2003. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The removal of serviceable parts from one aircraft for use on another is a short-term, temporary measure to ensure that the maximum numbers of aircraft are available to the front line.
The number of these instances in each year since 2003 for the fleets requested is given in the following table. Harrier GR7 and Harrier GR9 cannibalisation statistics are not recorded separately, therefore the Harrier statistics are combined for both GR7 and GR9 marks. Typhoon cannibalisation statistics were not produced prior to 2005 due to operating under an industrial partnering agreement.
For Tornado F3, statistics are not available for RAF Leeming and RAF Coningsby in 2003 and 2004. No statistics are available in any year for the four aircraft Tornado F3 fleet based at RAF Mount Pleasant, therefore these have been excluded.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) Agusta 109A, (b) Agusta 109AM, (c) Apache Ah Mk1, (d) Gazelle AH1, (e) Lynx Mk7, (f) Lynx Mk9, (g) Lynx Mk3, (h) Lynx Mk8, (i) Merlin Mk1, (j) Sea King Mk4, (k) Sea King Mk5, (l) Sea King Mk6 (CR), (m) Sea King Mk7, (n) Chinook Mk2, (o) Chinook Mk2a, (p) Merlin Mk3, (q) Puma HC1, (r) Sea King Mk3 and (s) Sea King Mk3a there are in the helicopter fleet. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The numbers and types of helicopters currently in the helicopter fleet are shown in the following table.
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