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12 Jan 2009 : Column 82W—continued

Armed Forces: Journalism

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost to the public purse has been of embedding journalists in the armed forces in each year since 1997. [246741]


12 Jan 2009 : Column 83W

Mr. Kevan Jones: A key requirement for the MOD as a Department of State is to communicate its activities to ensure openness and transparency of government. In order to assist this we have routinely embedded journalists in operational theatres. No charges have been applied to embedded news journalists.

In all instances where journalists are embedded this is undertaken using existing facilities. Nominal or marginal costs in the field such as food and field accommodation are not significant and are not accounted for centrally.

Armed Forces: Labour Turnover

Christopher Fraser: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many newly-commissioned officers joined (a) the Army, (b) the Royal Navy and (c) the Royal Air Force in each year since 1987. [244592]


12 Jan 2009 : Column 84W

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The information requested is as follows.

Officers can become commissioned:

Newly-commissioned officers can not be derived directly from centrally held records, but the majority of officers become commissioned when they complete training.

The following table shows the number of officers completing training and joining the trained strength of the UK Regular Forces(1) by Service from 1999-2000 to 2007-08. Prior to 1999-00 these data could not be derived directly from centrally held records.

1999-2000 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08

Naval Service

450

420

400

480

470

420

360

(1)410

(1)300

Army

560

530

540

590

600

640

630

(1)620

1610

RAF(3)

510

520

570

560

570

550

380

(2)450

(2)440

(1) Denotes data provisional and subject to review
(2) Denotes estimated
(3) RAF figures for financial years 2006-07 and 2007-08 are estimates derived from the relationship of Untrained to Trained flows with net Gains to Trained Strengths pre the Joint Personnel Administrative (JPA) system.
Note:
Numbers are rounded to the nearest 10.
Source:
DASA (Quad-Service)

Christopher Fraser: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many officers left the (a) Army, (b) Royal Navy and (c) Royal Air Force in each year between 1987 and 1997. [244593]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The following table shows the number of officers leaving the UK Regular Forces(1)( )1987-88 to 1996-97 by Service.

1987-88 1988-89 1989-90 1990-91 1991-92 1992-93 1993-94 1994-95 1995-96 1996-97

Naval Service

760

750

820

800

730

830

1,000

670

700

930

Army

1,810

1,690

1,960

1,860

1,930

2,470

2,270

1,940

1,290

1,100

RAF

1,130

1,270

1,200

1,050

900

990

1,200

960

1,190

1,370

Note:
Numbers are rounded to the nearest 10.
Source:
DASA (Quad-Service)

Armed Forces: Uniforms

John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many orders for military uniforms his Department has placed with Turner Virr in the last 10 years. [245282]

Mr. Quentin Davies: Turner Virr has been awarded 33 contracts for the supply of military uniforms in the last 10 years.

John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the procurement strategy for army uniforms is; and if he will make a statement. [245283]

Mr. Quentin Davies: Our aim in procuring clothing for the armed forces is to achieve best value for money through the use of competition. Requirements are advertised and competed in accordance with the Public Contracts Regulations 2006.

Armed Forces: Weapons

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department records the number of (a) armoured vehicles, (b) aircraft, (c) helicopters and (d) weapons systems removed from service as a result of battle damage in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003. [245089]


12 Jan 2009 : Column 85W

Mr. Quentin Davies: Such information is held, but I am withholding it as its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has spent on repairing (a) armoured vehicles, (b) aircraft, (c) helicopters and (d) weapons systems damaged owing to their use in Iraq and Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. [245091]

Mr. Quentin Davies: This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Armoured Fighting Vehicles

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to the answer of 10 November 2008, Official Report, column 775W, on armed forces: weapons, when he expects upgrading and modification of the warrior chain gun for (a) Warrior and (b) Challenger 2 MBT fleets to take place. [244615]

Mr. Quentin Davies: The upgrade and modification programme of the Chain Gun Control Unit has already started. To date approximately 80 per cent. of the Warrior fleet and all but a small number of the Challenger 2 fleet have been upgraded. The process of identifying the outstanding vehicles is ongoing with a target for completion of January 2009.

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to the answer of 10 November 2008, Official Report, column 775W, on armed forces: weapons, whether the instances of undemanded firing of the Warrior chain gun referred to resulted in (a) injuries and (b) deaths. [244616]

Mr. Quentin Davies: Of the four confirmed incidents of chain gun undemanded firing since 2000, sadly two resulted in death or injuries. An incident in 2003 caused serious injury to a British servicemen and an incident in 2004 tragically resulted in the death of an Iraqi civilian and injury to another.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many armoured vehicles were in-service in the Army in (a) 1997 and (b) 2008, broken down by type. [245098]

Mr. Quentin Davies: The information requested is shown in the following table:


12 Jan 2009 : Column 86W
Vehicle In service 1997 In service 2008

Challenger 1 Main Battle Tank

426

0

Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank

0

345

Challenger 2 Driver Training Tank

0

22

Challenger Armoured Repair and Recovery Vehicle

81

81

Trojan

0

28

Titan

0

28

Centurion Beach Recovery Vehicle

5

0

Beach Recovery Vehicle

0

4

Warrior

794

793

Saxon (GWR and Patrol)

660

147 Patrol

Samson

52

52

Spartan

640

495

Scimitar

341

325

Samaritan

69

50

Sultan

272

205

FV430

1,833 (Mk2 only)

1,487 (Mk2 and Bulldog)

Mastiff

0

108

Jackal

0

130

Vector

0

166 plus 12 ambulances

Viking

0

116

Panther

0

100


The Saxon GWR was declared obsolete on 31 March 2008 and the vehicles were disposed of. Spartan, Scimitar, Samaritan, Sultan and FV430 numbers have reduced due to revised Total Fleet Requirements.

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Supacat M-WMIK have been supplied to UK armed forces in (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan; how many of them were armoured to become Jackals in each case; and how many M-WMIKs are operating unarmoured in each country. [245229]

Mr. Hutton: Specific operational information on the number of Jackals (M-WMIK) supplied to UK armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan is withheld as its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces. All Jackals deployed on operations are armoured.

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the dimension specifications are for (a) the Cheetah Force Protection vehicle and (b) the Snatch Land Rover. [246135]

Mr. Quentin Davies: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 1 September 2008, Official Report, column 1448W.


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