Mr. Quentin Davies: Our plan for a new fleet of reconnaissance vehicles will form part of the Future Rapid Effect System (FRES). Outline plans for this requirement were stated by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence in his recent written ministerial statement on 11 December 2008, Official Report, column 65WS. As part of the wider FRES programme, the FRES Reconnaissance family of vehicles is in its assessment phase. The first variant into service is expected to be the FRES Scout.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the clearing date is for each of the four Astute-class SSNs (a) under construction and (b) due for construction at Devonshire Hall, Barrow. 
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what budget line was used for the £227 million expenditure on Astute overheads identified in the Ministry of Defence Major Projects Report 2007 from the Committee of Public Accounts, HC 433; and what effect this allocation had on expenditure on the UK nuclear deterrent programme in each year from 2005-06 to 2007-08. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: The MOD Major Projects Report 2007 (HC433) noted the transfer of £227 million from the Astute budget line to another within the Submarine Production Integrated Project Team. This funding, which was used for the generation and sustainment of nuclear skills necessary to support the submarine-building industry, was not additional expenditure but an existing part of the Astute programme.
The transfer had no direct effect on spending on the UKs nuclear deterrent. A sustainable submarine industry is, however, essential for the effective delivery of the future submarine programme, so this expenditure will have indirect benefits.
Mr. Kevan Jones: There are currently four voluntary Turtlewatch groups operating on the SBAs. Three groups in the Western Sovereign Base Area (WSBA) and one group in the Eastern Sovereign Base Area (ESBA).
Of the three WSBA groups, Episkopi patrols and monitors beaches focused around the Episkopi station area, which includes non-military and military controlled land. This group is predominantly led by British ex-pats and consists of 80-100 members with some serving military personnel assisting in their own time. In addition some beaches in the Episkopi area are monitored by Pissouri turtlewatch, and both Pissouri and Episkopi turtlewatch work together in this respect.
Akrotiri turtlewatch monitors beaches around the Akrotiri peninsular, which includes military and non-military controlled land. This group has a larger proportion of military personnel contributing and the key co-ordinators are serving. Akrotiri turtlewatch is also working with Glasgow university and up to 12 students assist with monitoring every year.
Patrols are undertaken by these groups on an almost daily basis on known or potential turtle nesting grounds between May and September to identify turtle tracks and nest sites. Once a nest is located it is protected from stray dogs and foxes by placing a metal cage and tape around the general area of the nest. Around hatching time the nest is observed from a distance and after three days following the first hatch, the nest is excavated to ensure all the hatchlings can escape to the sea.
Since 2007 all data relating to turtle nests, hatches and deaths etc. are collated by the Sovereign Base Area Administration (SBAA Environment Department) for use in developing SBA environmental policy and assessing the impact of foreshore activities.
Mr. Kevan Jones: The number of military personnel taking part in the Turtlewatch activities is difficult to determine accurately, given the voluntary nature of the work. But, British Forces Cyprus work closely with volunteer organisations to monitor and safeguard protected species and habitats around the Sovereign Base Areas.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) Territorial Army members and (b) reservists have participated in the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: As at 18 December 2008 there were 246 members of the Territorial Army deployed as a formed TA unit on Operation TOSCA, the UK contribution to UNFICYP. In the nine years previous to the current deployment, TA personnel were only sent as individual augmentees. Approximately 10 TA augmentees per year were deployed during this period.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much the Government has contributed to the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus in (a) monetary support, (b) troops and (c) senior officers in (i) 2008-09 and (ii) each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Our assessed contributions to the UN in respect of the costs of the UNFICYP mission for 2008-09 are 2,740,207 USD (until payment is made and exchange rates are known, it is not possible to provide a sterling figure). The following table shows our assessed contributions over the previous three years:
|Assessed contribution (£)
We also contribute to the mission through the provision of personnel. Since March 2005 our contribution has been steady at approximately 274; this comprises 245 Other Ranks, 16 Junior Officers (Captain and below) and 13 Senior Officers (Major and above). Our contribution includes the Chief of Staff to the mission.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate (a) he and (b) the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus have made of the (i) number and (ii) strength of Turkish forces in north Cyprus; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his Written Ministerial Statement of 11 December, Official Report, column 65WS, on defence equipment, whether the defence budget will be required to repay the full cost or half the cost of urgent operational requirement purchases over £635 million in financial year 2009-10. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: We have agreed with HM Treasury an estimate for Reserve expenditure on other UORs in 2009-10 of £635 million. This is in addition to the funding that will be provided from the Reserve for the Protected Mobility package for 2009-10. I can confirm that any excess UOR spend over the estimate of £635 million will be repaid in full (100 per cent.) from the Defence budget in two years time (FY2011-12).
Mr. Quentin Davies: The effects of changing costs are taken into account in the Departments regular planning rounds. We are currently conducting Planning Round 2009, which will conclude in the first half of this year. We are also engaged in work which is designed to give a better indication of the overall impact of price variation on the Defence programme.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people are employed by the Defence Estates; how many of those are employed in Scotland; what the equivalent figures were for (a) 2004-05, (b) 2005-06, (c) 2006-07 and (d) 2007-08; what the personnel costs of the agency are in 2008-09; and what they were in (i) 2004-05, (ii) 2005-06, (iii) 2006-07 and (iv) 2007-08. 
|Personnel costs (£ million)
|Total average staff (number)
|Employed in Scotland (number)
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much and what proportion of its staffing budget for 2007-08 the Defence Logistics Organisation spent in Scotland; and what the equivalent figures were for (a) 2004-05, (b) 2005-06 and (c) 2006-07. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: The Defence Logistics Organisation ceased to exist as a discrete budgetary area in April 2007 when its functions were merged with those of the Defence Procurement Agency to form Defence Equipment and Support. Personnel costs, broken down as requested to show the proportion spent in Scotland, are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many of those people are employed by the Defence Vetting Agency; how many of those are employed in Scotland; what the equivalent figures were for (a) 2004-05, (b) 2005-06, (c) 2006-07 and (d) 2007-08; what the staffing costs of the agency are in 2008-09; and what they were in (i) 2004-05, (ii) 2005-06, (iii) 2006-07 and (iv) 2007-08. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: The information is shown in the following table. These figures are sourced from the Defence Vetting Agency and show all staff employed within the period. As such they may differ from statistics published by the Defence Analytical Services Agency which include only staff employed on 1 April each year and are subject to rounding.
|Defence Vetting Agency
|UK personnel numbers
|Scotland personnel numbers
|Total personnel costs (£000)
|(1) To December 2008