|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Des Browne: UK forces trained and mentored the 10(th) Division of the Iraqi army from the establishment of its Headquarters in Basra in May 2005 until its move to Dhi Qar province in September 2007. Since then, our Coalition partners have performed a residual mentoring role with the 10(th) Division.
The appropriate duration and shape of the training and mentoring support that the Coalition provides to the Iraqi army is determined by a range of factors specific to each Division. These factors include the previous military experience of the Divisions recruits, the timing of the Divisions formation, the security challenges it faces and the availability of equipment. The Coalition does not therefore seek to calculate an average period for the full training and mentoring of Iraqi army Divisions.
As the Prime Minister said in his statement on 22 July 2008, Official Report, columns 660-3, subject to conditions on the ground, our military commanders expect the 14(th) Division in Basra to be fully trained during the first months of next year. On completion of our remaining military tasks in Basra, we aim to make the transition to a long term bilateral relationship with Iraq, the details of which we will be discussing with the Government of Iraq over the coming months.
Des Browne: Excellent progress has been made in ensuring British forces serving on operations are provided with world class equipment. We have delivered equipment valued at more than £10 billion to the armed forces in the last three years, with over £3.6 billion of Urgent Operational Requirements being approved for Iraq and Afghanistan since the beginning of operations, including for vehicles, personal protection and Electronic Counter Measures.
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 16 June 2008, Official Report, columns 623-4W, on Iraq: peacekeeping operations, whether it is the policy of the Government that a renewed mandate for coalition forces in Iraq should include a timetable for withdrawal of coalition forces. 
Des Browne: We have always made clear that adjustments to UK force levels in Iraq are made on the basis of progress in fulfilling our main military tasks and the conditions on the ground, and not on arbitrary timetables.
As the Prime Minister set out on 22 July 2008, Official Report, columns 662-63, we expectsubject to
conditions on the groundto be able to make the transition to a long-term bilateral military relationship in the first months of 2009, following the completion of our main military tasks.
|¹ 20 CR2 MBT are being used as a source of spares. A further 20 remain in storage pending a disposal decision.|
I undertook to write to you in answer to your Parliamentary Question on 29 November 2007, Official Report, column 580-781W, about the numbers of aircraft, broken down by type that were withdrawn from service each year since 1997. I apologise for the delay in replying.
Information on the numbers of aircraft withdrawn from service in each year is not held centrally in a consistent format. Nevertheless, determined efforts were made to collate available information. This exercise revealed a number of discrepancies in the data and despite a detailed and prolonged analysis, it was not possible to resolve these.
Definitive information is known to exist in the engineering files for individual aircraft; however, to extract this information would require the retrieval from archive and examination of several hundred files and this could be done only at disproportionate cost.
However, I am able to provide information on aircraft withdrawals for 2005-06 and 2006-07. This is shown in the table below.
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) unit cost and (b) in-service date of the (i) Harrier GR3, (ii) Sea Harrier FRS1, (iii) Tornado F3, (iv) Harrier GR5, (v) Jaguar GR1 and (vi) Tornado GR1 was. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth:
The aircraft listed entered service between the mid-1970s and late 1980s. Because of the long period of time that has since elapsed, the unit cost
of these aircraft is no longer centrally recorded and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Official in-service dates are similarly no longer centrally recorded. Such information as is available is provided in the following table:
|Aircraft type||Date entered service|
|(1) Delivery dates for first tranche of aircraft.|
(2) First squadron became operational.
(3) First aircraft entered service with Operational Conversion Unit.
(4) First aircraft entered service with No. 9 Sqn.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which unmanned aerial vehicles in operation or on order have an attack capability; what weapons they are equipped to carry; and how much has been spent to acquire a munitions inventory for such vehicles. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Reaper is the only unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in operation or on order that has an attack capability. Reaper UAVs are capable of carrying 500 lb laser guided bombs and Hellfire air-to-surface missiles. Reapers weapons are being procured from the United States Government through a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) case and the actual costs will depend on operational use.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Approximately £34.7 million was spent on research into unmanned aerial vehicles during 2007-08. I am withholding further details as its release would prejudice commercial interests.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of the programme cost of the Watchkeeper unmanned aerial vehicle is represented by (a) research and development, (b) the air vehicle, (c) the sensors package, (d) ground stations and (e) through-life support. 
The Watchkeeper Concept and Assessment Phases (equivalent to the latter stages of research) cost £65 million.
The total cost of Watchkeeper air vehicles (excluding sensors) is £50.99 million.
The total cost of sensors is £30.4 million.
|Type of UAV||In-Service||On Order|
|(1) Hermes 450 UAVs are provided by Thales Aerospace under a service provision contract. The contract specifies monthly flying hours rather than numbers of air vehicles but the required service is typically achieved with 10 air vehicles.|
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Watchkeeper Initial Operating Capability is expected to be achieved no later than February 2011. The current programme forecast is December 2010. Initial Operating Capability is defined as 'one (Army) sub-unit trained and equipped to support a Medium Scale of Effort deployment'.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|