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Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost to the public purse has been of visits by the Defence Information Infrastructure (Future) project programme to (a) Belize, (b) the Falkland Islands, (c) Germany, (d) Kathmandu, (e) Naples and (f) other overseas sites; if he will place in the Library the itinerary of each of these visits, detailing who was present, for how long the visit took place, and what progress was achieved as a consequence of each visit; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: Following the recommendation of the 2007 review of Gurkha Terms and Conditions of Service, the intention that Nepalese women should, in due course, be recruited into the Brigade of Gurkhas in the Corps unitEngineers, Signals and Logisticswas announced on 8 March 2007. Since then work has been done to test the recruitment, selection and training processes, and to identify options for the way ahead. This work is due to be considered by the Army Board early next year.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Secretary of State for Defence has made no recent representations to NATO with respect to cyber defence. The UK MOD is represented at various NATO Cyber Defence symposiums and workshops throughout the year. These meetings include the annual NATO Information Assurance Symposium and the two NATO Cyber Defence Workshops that are held bi-annually.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what definition his Department uses of (a) cyber terrorism and (b) cyber warfare; and what assessment he has made of the cyber threats posed to the UK. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 27 October 2008]: Although we do not have specific definitions for the term cyber terrorism and cyber warfare, we have produced assessments and developed policies in specific areas related to this terminology.
The MOD works in close co-operation with those Government Departments and agencies engaged in assessing threats to the UK. The classification of these assessments prohibits disclosure of their content.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contribution his Department has made to the development of (a) the NATO Cyber Defence legal framework and (b) the cyber security doctrine and strategy. 
(a) NATO does not currently have a Cyber Defence legal framework although they plan to have in the future. The scope and contents of this framework are to be discussed by the NATO Cyber Defence management board meeting this week. The MOD will assist in the development of this document through its drafting process.
(b) The NATO Cyber Defence Policy and the Cyber Defence Concept were approved by the North Atlantic Council (NAC) earlier this year. The NATO Cyber Defence Management Authority (CDMA) was given approval by the NAC in March 2008 and the Concept of Operations for the CDMA are to be approved in this month. The MOD assisted in the development of these documents through their drafting process to final version.
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 27 October 2008, Official Report, column 635W, on Iraq: peacekeeping operations, (1) what issues were covered in the discussions with Jaish-al-Mahdi; 
[holding answer 3 November 2008]: Discussions with senior figures in Jaish-al-Mahdi in Basra commenced in the summer of 2007 and continued until the end of the year. In a similar manner to other dialogue between the coalition, the Government of Iraq and militia groups, these discussions covered a wide range of issues, including the local security situation, future economic and redevelopment plans and the future role of militia groups within a democratic Iraq. The benefits of this strategy were demonstrated by the fact that on 4 December 2007 all the major parties in Basraincluding the Sadristssigned a document that committed them to supporting the rule of law in the city and the
Iraqi Security Forces as its guardian. Across Iraq, dialogue between the coalition, the Government of Iraq and militia groups continues.
Mr. Quentin Davies [holding answer 30 October 2008]: The Future Lynx programme remains on schedule to achieve an in-service date of 2014 (for the Army's Battlefield Reconnaissance helicopter) and 2015 (for the Navy's Surface Combatant Maritime Rotorcraft).
We continue to work closely with AgustaWestland to identify and explore opportunities to improve speed of delivery, reduce costs and increase operational availability and the contract includes mechanisms to incentivise this process. We are not, however, presently exploring specific opportunities to significantly advance the above dates.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) aircraft and (b) helicopters his Department has leased from commercial contractors in each year since 2003; and what the total cost in each year was. 
Aircraft leasing costs are not identifiable uniquely from other associated costs, as they may form part of Multi-Activity Contracts which include flying hours, engineering support, simulator hours and in some cases civilian flying instructors and station/airfield support. On this basis, the overall costs for each financial year, were as follows:
The four C-17 aircraft were leased between 2001 and June 2008, after which the leases were ended. As each lease has ended, the last concluding in September 2008, MOD has taken ownership of the aircraft. In accordance with the contractual agreement I am withholding the in-year costs. However, the cost of the lease and support package for a seven-year contract between 2001 and 2008 was £769 million.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many training flying hours crews of the (a) Hercules C-130, (b) Tristar, (c) VC-10 and (d) C-17 Globemaster aircraft flew on average in each year since 2001. 
I undertook to write to you in answer to your Parliamentary Question on 27 October, (Official Report, column 639W) about training flying hours.
The majority of flying training is achieved during routine flying hours and all flying tasks include an element of aircrew training, therefore it is not possible to show average flying training hours separately. The average number of flying hours per year per crew since 2003 for the categories of aircraft requested are detailed in the table below. Average flying hours per year per crew are not available before 2003. All figures in the table have been rounded to the nearest five:
|Financial year||Hercules C-130||TriStar||VC-10||C-17 Globemaster||Average flying hours per crew|
Mr. Hutton: NATO has come a long way in recognising the importance of expeditionary capabilities in dealing with the broad range of security threats the alliance is likely to face. It continues to make progress, but not as quickly as weand otherswould like. The alliance needs to do more to provide the capabilities it needs for current and future operations, such as strategic and intra-theatre lift and contributions to the NATO Response Force. The UK and other allies have sought to find innovative ways of developing such capabilities through initiatives to make more helicopters and strategic lift available for operations, but ultimately these capabilities depend on sufficient investment by allies in defence, and prioritisation on the capabilities the alliance needs most. NATO Defence Ministers met in London in September to inject more dynamism into this transformation process. NATO's agreement in Budapest the following month to increase targets for the deployability of allies' land forces is a welcome step in the right direction.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a redacted copy of JSP 440 Supplement 1: The Defence Manual of Security, Directive for the Security of Nuclear Weapons and Special Nuclear Materials. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: Joint Service Publication (JSP) 471, Defence Nuclear Accident Response, and JSP 538, Regulation of the Nuclear Weapon Programme, require exercises to be conducted to demonstrate Nuclear Accident Response capabilities. The Defence Nuclear Weapon Regulator assesses nuclear weapon transport accident response exercises in accordance with the criteria in JSP 471 and JSP 538, including the Nuclear Accident Response Organisation Standardisation Test.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what guidance his Department has issued on the conduct of risk assessments of potential routes for nuclear warhead convoys; and what factors are taken into account in such assessments. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: Guidance on the selection of nuclear weapon convoy routes is set out in Joint Services Publication 483, Nuclear Weapon Logistic Movement and Associated Nuclear Accident Response. Factors in the assessment of routes include the type of road, its surroundings and its proximity to hazards. All potential routes for nuclear warhead convoys are assessed by a qualified team to ensure the safety and security of the operation and the public.
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