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Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Future Medium Helicopter project is currently in its concept phase. As with all Defence projects, it is not until Main Gate approval has been obtained that decisions such as final aircraft numbers and in-service dates are confirmed. It is therefore too early to determine the number of aircraft which will be procured or when they will come into service.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: An assessment phase contract was awarded in 2007 to Eurocopter to examine the scope to extend the service life of the Puma HC1. A decision on whether to extend the service life of the Puma beyond 2012 will not be taken until the Main Gate approval for this project.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Ministry of Defence and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) are jointly undertaking the Search and Rescue Helicopter programme, which will deliver the future UK capability. This programme is currently in its assessment phase. As with all Defence projects, it is not until Main Gate approval has been obtained that details of the future service such as final aircraft numbers can be confirmed.
Derek Twigg: NHS-led pilots are running at four sites offering a best practice, culturally sensitive, veterans mental health service; another two will begin shortly. The service offers wider support of public and charitable providers and is being linked to the Governments Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme. A current focus is raising awareness among local health professionals and potential clients. An evaluation team has been appointed with the aim that, in due course, best practice should be rolled out across the UK.
We need to be clear that Afghanistan is not a safe environment for those seeking to bring it the opportunities and development that it so desperately needs. If it was we would not need the armed forces there to create the security space required for reconstruction and development.
However, we should also be clear that, notwithstanding a number of tragic incidents in the past few weeks, and in the context of a difficult campaign, our military commanders assess that the underlying security dynamics in Afghanistan are slowly improving. In particular Helmand province is a considerably more secure and stable province than it was a year ago.
Regardless of the difficulties aheadand there will be difficultiesI confidently expect that we will continue to make progress in our vital mission in Afghanistan with both the security and non-security lines of operation of our mission there.
Derek Twigg: The MOD is committed to the role that all Cadet forces play in society offering as they do a vast range of personal development and educational opportunities for young people. We support the combined Cadet forces alone with over £11 million of funding each year. The current pilot scheme for the expansion of the CCF, involving six schools, is well under way, and we are working closely with the Department for Children, Schools and Families in order to build on this success in the future.
pay is reviewed by the Independent Armed Forces Review Body;
Golden Hellos are paid to direct entrants to specialist areas where there is greatest shortfall;
financial retention initiatives are paid to nurses in operational pinch-point specialties;
personnel are encouraged to train and remain in operational pinch-point specialties;
medical deployments are managed on a tri-service basis; and
reserves and civilian agency contractors are used where appropriate.
David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment he has made of the performance of the ATLAS consortium in delivering the contract to network the IT systems of his Department and the armed forces; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The performance of the ATLAS Consortium in delivering the Defence Information Infrastructure is continually assessed via the programme's comprehensive governance structure; general ATLAS performance is currently deemed satisfactory. Robust commercial arrangements ensure that payments to the ATLAS consortium reflect its performance and when appropriate, payment has been withheld. The Ministry of Defence and ATLAS have already made considerable progress, delivering accounts for over 100,000 users at over 500 Defence sites.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The current estimate of the total cost overrun on major equipment projects is £3,036 million. We have taken major equipment projects to be all those with a procurement value greater than £20 million that have passed their main investment decision point but yet to reach their In-Service Dates.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many injuries to personnel have been sustained in transit as a result of (a) collisions and (b) other accidents in Snatch Landrovers since 2003. 
These figures are based on either bids for funding (Sea Cadet Corps and Army Cadet Force) or the likely bid (Air Training Corps) and therefore cannot yet be confirmed as allocated funding.
Des Browne: The following table shows the number of UK Service personnel deployed on operations by location at 6 July 2008. The number of personnel in theatre will naturally fluctuate on a daily basis for a variety of reasons, including leave (rest and recuperation), temporary absence for training, evacuation for medical reasons, the roulement of forces and other factors.
|Number of personnel deployed by location( 1)|
|(1) Countries with 10 or more personnel are shown separately. Other countries with fewer than 10 personnel per country include Georgia, Nepal, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo and Liberia. (2) Figures for Iraq and Afghanistan have been rounded to the nearest 100 for operational security reasons. Other figures have been rounded to the nearest 10. Due to rounding methods used, the total may not equal the sum of the individual locations.|
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of the increase in his Department's expenditure on fuel costs in the last 12 months has arisen as a result of (a) an increase in unit costs and (b) an increase in the volume of fuel purchased. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: It is not possible to determine precisely the proportion of the increase in the Department's expenditure on fuel(1) costs attributable to either volume or price. Over the period 2005-06 to 2007-08, however, fuel volumes consumed in Defence are estimated to have risen by around 5 per cent. Over the same period, the Department's expenditure on fuel rose by around 25 per cent., suggesting that price was the overwhelming factor in the increase in costs.
(1 )Defined as petroleum-based liquid fuels meeting internationally recognised specifications that are used to power ships and vehicles.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his Department's estimate is of the number of television sets installed in (a) single living and (b) service family accommodation in the UK. 
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many civil actions have been brought against his Department relating to illnesses and injuries sustained (a) on operations abroad and (b) whilst serving in the UK in each year since 1997; and what the cost to the Department in each year was. 
Derek Twigg: Claims are not recorded on the Department's claims database in a format that differentiates between illnesses and injuries sustained on operations abroad and while serving in the UK. However, the number of civil claims for personal injury brought against my Department by members of HM forces since 1997-98 is set out as follows. Financial data regarding the cost to my Department in terms of compensation and associated legal costs relating to this category of claimant are also set out as follows. A figure for 1997-98 is however unavailable due to the way such financial data were recorded at that time.
|Service personnel personal injury claims||Compensation and associated legal costs (£ million)|
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