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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many UK armed forces bases have been
established in Southern Iraq in each year since 2003; what the (a) location and (b) names of each is; and on which date each was vacated. 
|Base name||Year established||Location||Date of vacation|
Mr. Hutton: The following table contains details of all reported attacks against multi-national force bases in MND(SE) since the period requested. To distinguish between attacks against UK bases and those of other coalition partners would incur disproportionate costs.
|Total number of reported attacks( 1)|
|(1 )The data cut-off point is 18 December 2008.|
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what estimate he has made of the effect on the project cost of a later than originally planned in-service date of the Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability programme; 
(2) when he expects the main decisions on funding for the (a) Fleet Tanker, (b) Fleet Solid Support and (c) Joint Sea-Based Logistic elements of the Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability programme to be made. 
We have reviewed the Fleet Tanker element of the MARS programme and have concluded that there is scope for considering alterative approaches to its procurement. We expect to determine a way forward in 2009, after which the main investment decision will be taken. The later classes of MARS ship, Fleet Solid Support and Joint Sea Based Logistic, are at an earlier stage of their procurement than the Fleet Tankers. It is, therefore, too early to determine when their main investment decisions will be taken.
|Aircraft type||Fleet number|
These figures are used for planning purposes and the actual numbers of aircraft in service on 31 March 2009 will be dependent on a combination of delivery plans, withdrawals from service and aircraft lost through accidents or other circumstances.
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what fleets of helicopters are available to UK armed forces in (a) Afghanistan and (b) Iraq; and what future (i) enhancements to the helicopters and (ii) changes to the number of helicopters are planned by his Department. 
Mr. Hutton: We currently have Apache, Chinook, Lynx and Sea King helicopters deployed in Afghanistan and Merlin, Puma and Lynx helicopters deployed in Iraq. I am withholding the number of helicopters we have deployed or will deploy as release would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of our armed forces.
As I set out in my written ministerial statement on 11 December 2008, Official Report, columns 65-67W, we intend to upgrade 12 Lynx Mk9 helicopters with new T800 engines in order to enhance the capability of those helicopters to operate effectively in Afghanistan. We already have work in hand to revert eight Chinook Mk3 aircraft to deliver additional capability from late 2009 and I have set out our intention to deliver additional Apache capability to Afghanistan and switch the Merlin Force there once its mission in Iraq is complete.
Mr. Quentin Davies: Under the revised arrangements for the Future Lynx project announced on 11 December 2008, Official Report, columns 65-66WS, we now plan to buy 34 Future Lynx helicopters for the Army and 28 for the Royal Navy. These new arrangements will provide increased commonality leading to greater versatility and flexibility. The In-Service dates remain as 2014 and 2015 respectively.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans his Department has to allow French (a) fixed-wing and (b) rotary-wing aircraft on (i) HMS Prince of Wales and (ii) HMS Queen Elizabeth. 
Mr. Quentin Davies:
While there are currently no plans for French aircraft to operate from HMS Prince
of Wales or HMS Queen Elizabeth, it is standard practice for fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft from allied nations to embark each other's ships for training purposes.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what estimate he has made of the cost of (a) adopting and (b) maintaining annually the (i) Nimrod MRA4 platform and (ii) American Rivet Joint for his Department's purposes; 
The MRA4 aircraft is being procured to provide maritime patrol, anti-shipping, anti-submarine and search and rescue capability. It will take over from the Nimrod Maritime Reconnaissance (MR2) aircraft. The cost of the programme for the nine MRA4 aircraft currently on order is some £3.6 billion. Support costs are currently being examined. When it comes into service, the MRA4 will carry Stingray torpedoes but through life it can be adapted to carry an extensive range of weapons and equipment including anti-ship and anti-submarine weapon systems. Its current estimated service life is 25 years. We estimate that there are around 800 jobs associated with MRA4 production at Woodford working for the contractor, BAE Systems.
The US Rivet Joint system provides an integrated airborne electronic surveillance capability. It is not equipped with attack weapons. The costs of adopting and maintaining the Rivet Joint aircraft to meet the UK's Helix airborne electronic surveillance requirement are being assessed, along with those of using the Nimrod MRA4 and Nimrod R1 platforms, as part of the preparations for a main investment decision expected in 2009. The Helix programme envisages the provision of capability out to the 2025 period.
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many Airwave handsets issued to the Nuclear Accident Response Organisation have been lost in each year since their introduction; and how many handsets issued to the organisation have been disabled by the service provider through (a) loss, (b) breakage and (c) other reasons in each such year; 
(2) how many Airwave handsets issued to (a) the Ministry of Defence Police and (b) the Ministry of Defence Guard Service have been lost in each year since their introduction; and how many handsets issued to each service have been disabled by the service
provider through (i) loss, (ii) breakage and (iii) other reasons in each such year; 
(3) how many Airwave handsets issued to armed forces units based on the UK mainland have been lost in each year since their introduction; and how many handsets issued to UK-based forces have been disabled by the service provider through (a) loss, (b) breakage and (c) other reasons in each such year. 
|n/a = Not applicable.|
MGS received Airwave Radios in 2006.
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