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Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the likely effects of France's re-integration into the military structure of NATO on future development of European Security and Defence Policy. 
Mr. Hutton: Since the inception of European Security and Defence Policy the UK's policy has been that the EU and NATO are both important organisations in dealing with international crisis management but that they need to be complementary and not duplicate each other.
President Sarkozy has regularly emphasised this need for complementarity between EU and NATO. France's intention to rejoin NATO's military structures is welcome and should help to reinforce the importance of this approach.
Mr. Hutton: In the 1998 Strategic Defence Review we announced that we will have only one submarine on patrol at a time, carrying a reduced load of 48 warheads. Before the Strategic Defence Review, the announced ceiling was 96.
Mr. Hutton: Of the four Vanguard class submarines, two have already completed long overhaul periods (refuelling) (LOP(R)). The LOP(R) for HMS Vanguard started in February 2002 and was completed after three years and six months; the LOP(R) for HMS Victorious was started in January 2005 and was completed after three years and eight months.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the probable duration of major ballistic missile submarine refits when no mid-life refuelling of the reactor is required. 
Mr. Hutton: All Vanguard class submarines have been, or will be, fitted with long life reactor cores that will last for the remainder of their operational life without the need for refuelling. These cores are being fitted as part of the submarines' long overhaul periods (refuelling) (LOP(R)s).
Vanguard class submarines with long life cores will subsequently undergo long overhaul periods (LOPs). Work is still under way to determine the composition of the work package for a LOP; it is therefore too early to-estimate their duration.
Mr. Alan Reid: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he plans to take to ensure the compatibility of the new generation of Trident submarines with future generations of Trident missiles planned for entry into service in 2042; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hutton [holding answer 26 March 2009]: It is our intention that both the future UK and US submarines will share a common missile compartment within which the missiles will be carried. In the event that the US decides to develop a successor to the Trident D5 missile, there is no risk that it will be incompatible with this common compartment and hence with the future UK submarine.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the (a) missile launch tubes and (b) missile compartments in UK and US ballistic missile submarines have conformed to a common design since the adoption by the UK of a submarine-based nuclear deterrent. 
Mr. Hutton: Since the adoption by the UK of a submarine-based nuclear deterrent, the UK has conformed to a common design for the missile launch tubes for both the Polaris and Trident systems. Missile compartments for both systems conform to US specifications necessary to incorporate the US-supplied weapon system. There are, however, agreed variations to reflect UK-specific requirements.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many UK personnel have visited the Nevada test site in each year since 2002; and what the (a) dates and (b) purposes were of each joint UK/US experiment undertaken at the Nevada test site since January 2002. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: The total number of UK personnel visiting the Nevada test site under the auspices of the joint United Kingdom/United States Mutual Defence Agreement (MDA) is provided in the following table.
Two specific sub-critical plutonium experiments were conducted in 2002 and 2006, the purpose of which was to gather scientific data essential for the maintenance and reliability of both US and UK nuclear weapons without having to conduct underground nuclear tests. The increased activity in 2005 coincides with preparations for the second of these experiments.
The increased activity in 2008 reflects a number of unrelated visits associated with stockpile maintenance activities and a specific classified project relating to nuclear counter-terrorism, details of which I am withholding in the interests of national security.
In addition to these visits, a number of other non-MDA related visits will have taken place. Statistics covering these visits are not centrally held and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Royal Navy vessels participating in counter-piracy operations are provided with detailed rules of engagement (ROE) setting out the measures they may take in relation to pirate vessels, including the seizure of suspected pirate vessels and equipment. These ROE are in accordance with international law, including the United Nations convention on the law of the sea (UNCLOS), and are kept under regular review.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The use of RAF Menwith Hill by the United States Visiting Force and US Agencies is governed by the terms of the NATO Status of Forces Agreement of 1951 and other confidential arrangements between the UK and US.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Space-Based Infrared Red System (SBIRS) facilities at RAF Menwith Hill are ready for operation. The operational date for SBIRS is a matter for the United States, but is unlikely to be before 2010.
Mr. Hutton: In support of the US missile defence system, the UK provides missile early warning information from the radar at RAF Fylingdales, and allows the US to route early warning satellite data via a satellite downlink at RAF Menwith Hill.
Mr. Kevan Jones:
Veterans Day was introduced in 2006 and grew successfully year on year. In 2008 following publication of the Report of Inquiry into National
Recognition of our Armed Forces the decision was taken for Veterans Day to evolve into Armed Forces Day; the inaugural Armed Forces Day will take place on 27 June 2009. The amounts awarded to community led Veterans Day events are provided for each year in the following table, which do not include the costs associated with the provision of other support such as bands, display aircraft or armed forces personnel.
|MOD funding (£)|
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the out-of-service dates are for each mine countermeasures vessel; and what the projected in-service dates are for each successor vessel. 
|Name||Out of service date|
Mr. Quentin Davies: The planned future number of destroyers is six Type 45 Daring class. The number of frigates to be procured under the Future Surface Combatant programme will be decided as part of the main investment decision. The planned future number of attack submarines is seven Astute class.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the crew totals are for (a) Astute and (b) Trafalgar-class submarines, (c) Type 45 and (d) Type 42 destroyers, (e) current aircraft carriers, (f) future aircraft carriers, (g) future surface combatants and (h) Type 23 frigates. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 13 November 2007, Official Report, column 129W, to the hon. Member for Woodspring (Dr. Fox). Manning levels of ships are adjusted according to their task and detailed statistics on these manning judgments are not held centrally.
|Northern burn care network|
|S evere/complex patient number|
National burn injury database.
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