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Mr. Hanley : Military air crew continue to report such air misses with the same frequency as before.

RAF Institute of Aviation Medicine

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 26 July, Official Report, column 749, what was the title of the research contract carried out for the RAF Institute of Aviation Medicine by a British university between 1985 and 1991 ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Hanley : The title of the contract was "Circadian rhythms during irregularities of work and rest". The object of the research was to determine the nature and the extent of changes in the amplitude and phase of the circadian rhythm that occur in response to the organisation of the sleep-wake cycle.

Harrier

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the dates of all major accidents to Harrier aircraft since its entry into British military service providing, in each case, an indication of whether the cause was (a) aircrew error, (b) servicing error, (c) natural, operating and medical causes, (d) technical failure or (e) not positively determined ; and which of the accidents occurred during low-level flying.

Mr. Hanley : The information requested is as follows :


Date               |Type              |<1>Cause          |<2>Low flying                        

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

6 June 1979        |Harrier GR3       |AE                |No                                   

12 June 1979       |Harrier GR3       |TF                |No                                   

18 July 1979       |Harrier GR3       |AE                |Yes                                  

21 September 1979  |Harrier GR3 X2    |AE                |<3>No                                

4 October 1979     |Harrier GR3       |NOM               |Yes                                  

8 November 1979    |Harrier GR3       |NOM               |No                                   

                                                                                               

12 March 1980      |Harrier GR3       |NOM               |Yes                                  

14 October 1980    |Harrier GR3       |TF                |No                                   

28 October 1980    |Harrier GR3       |NOM               |Yes                                  

1 December 1980    |Sea Harrier FRS1  |AE                |No                                   

                                                                                               

26 May 1981        |Harrier GR3       |AE                |No                                   

14 July 1981       |Harrier GR3       |NPD               |Yes                                  

25 August 1981     |Harrier GR3       |SE                |Yes                                  

                                                                                               

12 February 1982   |Harrier GR3       |NPD               |Yes                                  

6 May 1982         |Sea Harrier FRS1  |NOM               |No                                   

6 May 1982         |Sea Harrier FRS1  |NOM               |No                                   

23 May 1982        |Sea Harrier FRS1  |NPD               |No                                   

29 May 1982        |Sea Harrier FRS1  |NOM               |No                                   

8 June 1982        |Harrier GR3       |NPD               |No                                   

29 June 1982       |Harrier T4        |AE                |No                                   

6 November 1982    |Harrier GR3       |TF                |No                                   

                                                                                               

21 January 1983    |Sea Harrier FRS1  |AE                |No                                   

23 February 1983   |Harrier T4 and GR3|AE                |<4>No                                

22 March 1983      |Harrier GR3       |NPD               |No                                   

3 May 1983         |Harrier GR3       |SE                |No                                   

14 June 1983       |Sea Harrier FRS1  |NPD               |No                                   

20 October 1983    |Sea Harrier FRS1  |TF                |No                                   

28 October 1983    |Harrier GR3       |NPD               |No                                   

19 November 1983   |Harrier GR3       |NPD               |No                                   

                                                                                               

16 March 1984      |Sea Harrier FRS1  |TF                |No                                   

3 June 1984        |Harrier GR3       |TF                |No                                   

29 November 1984   |Harrier GR3       |NOM               |Yes                                  

1 December 1984    |Sea Harrier FRS1  |NOM               |Yes                                  

                                                                                               

7 February 1985    |Sea Harrier T4    |AE                |No                                   

18 February 1985   |Harrier T4        |NOM               |<5>Yes                               

19 November 1985   |Harrier GR3       |NOM               |No                                   

                                                                                               

16 April 1986      |Sea Harrier FRS1  |AE                |No                                   

17 June 1986       |Harrier GR3       |TF                |No                                   

28 June 1986       |Harrier GR3       |AE                |No                                   

                                                                                               

15 October 1987    |Sea Harrier FRS1  |NOM               |Yes                                  

2 November 1987    |Harrier GR3 X2    |AE                |<6>No                                

                                                                                               

20 May 1988        |Harrier GR3       |AE                |No                                   

18 August 1988     |Harrier GR3       |NPD               |No                                   

                                                                                               

20 June 1989       |Harrier T4        |AE                |No                                   

4 October 1989     |Sea Harrier FRS1  |AE                |No                                   

29 October 1989    |Sea Harrier FRS1  |SE                |No                                   

1 December 1989    |Sea Harrier FRS1  |TF                |No                                   

                                                                                               

8 May 1990         |Sea Harrier FRS1  |AE                |No                                   

17 October 1990    |Harrier GR5       |SE                |No                                   

                                                                                               

10 May 1991        |Sea Harrier FRS1  |NPD               |Yes                                  

29 May 1991        |Harrier GR7       |TF                |No                                   

25 September 1991  |Harrier T4        |NOM               |Yes                                  

30 September 1991  |Harrier GR5       |AE                |No                                   

                                                                                               

14 May 1992        |Harrier GR3       |NOM               |No                                   

28 May 1992        |Sea Harrier FRS1  |NPD               |No                                   

7 August 1992      |Harrier GR5       |TF                |No                                   

                                                                                               

28 June 1993       |Harrier GR7       |NYD               |Yes                                  

<1> AE - Air crew error.                                                                       

SE - Servicing error.                                                                          

NOM - Natural, operating and medical hazards.                                                  

TF - Technical failure.                                                                        

NPD - Not positively determined.                                                               

NYD - Not yet determined (board of inquiry not yet complete).                                  

<2> Low flying column: Indicates whether the aircraft was engaged in low-flying training or    

not, it does not include accidents during take-off or landing or during low-level aerobatics   

displays.                                                                                      

<3> Mid-air collision involving two Harrier GR3s.                                              

<4> Mid-air collision involving Harrier T4 and Harrier GR3.                                    

<5> Mid-air collision involving Harrier GR3 and German Federal Marine F104 aircraft.           

<6> Mid-air collision involving two Harrier GR3s.                                              

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the accident to a Harrier GR7 aircraft on 28 June.

Mr. Hanley : The report of the RAF board of inquiry into this accident is not yet complete. A summary of the board's findings will be published in due course.

Flag and Cope Thunder Exercises

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the dates and number and type of aircraft involved of all RAF participation in Flag and Cope Thunder Exercises in North America since 1989.

Mr. Hanley : The information requested is as follows :


Column 290


Dates                                                        |Aircraft Types                                                                                                           

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Red/Green Flag                                                                                                                                                                         

April 1989                                                   |9 Tornado GR1s                                                                                                           

April 1990                                                   |9 Tornado GR1s                                                                                                           

April 1991                                                   |10 Harriers                                                                                                              

January-February 1992                                        |8 Tornado GR1s                                                                                                           

October-November 1992                                        |8 Tornado GR1s, 6 Tornado F3s, 2 Victors, 1 C-130                                                                        

                                                                                                                                                                                       

Cope Thunder/Distant Frontier                                                                                                                                                          

April-May 1990                                               |4 Tornado GR1s                                                                                                           

April-May 1992                                               |8 Tornado GR1s, 6 Tornado F3s, 1E-3D, 1 VC10 Tanker, 1 C-130                                                             

April-May 1993                                               |9 Tornado GR1s, 8 Tornado F3, 1 C-120                                                                                    

Maple Flag                                                                                                                                                                             

Records of RAF participation in Maple Flag exercises in Canada are not held centrally. The exercise takes place in May-June each year, and RAF participation usually comprises either  

eight Jaguars or Harriers, which usually attend in alternate years.                                                                                                                    

MiG Aircraft Collision

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what powers he has to conduct an investigation into the accident involving two MiG-29 aircraft at RAF Fairford on 25 July.

Mr. Hanley : The accident involving two MiG-29 aircraft at RAF Fairford occurred on 24 July 1993 during the international air tattoo (IAT). An RAF board of inquiry was convened because the accident occurred on MoD property, at a flying display which was being conducted under military flying regulations. The investigation was held with the agreement of both the IAT management and the Russian authorities.

Departmental Land

Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many acres of land are owned by his Department in the United Kingdom ; and what is their estimated capital value.

Mr. Hanley : The size of the defence estate in the United Kingdom is approximately 600,000 acres of freehold and leasehold land. It has never been subject to formal valuation.

Departmental Property

Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many houses are owned by his Department ; what is their capital value ; and how many are vacant.

Mr. Hanley : As at 30 September 1993 the Ministry of Defence owned 72,178 service married quarters, of which 10,124 were vacant, and 677 civilian houses, of which 134 were vacant. The majority of the vacant properties were either undergoing or awaiting major maintenance work and modernisation, held for future deployments, awaiting units returning from overseas, already allotted to service families or under consideration for disposal. In addition 1,843 married quarters--1,150 of them vacant--and 512 civilian houses--61 of them vacant--were in the process of being sold. The overall capital value of the MOD's housing stock has not been assessed.


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Civil Servants--Service Personnel Ratio

Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the ratio of civil servants in his Department to service men and women (a) five years ago and (b) at the latest date for which the information is available.

Mr. Hanley : As at 1 April 1988 there were 317,000 United Kingdom regular forces and 143,000 full-time equivalent United Kingdom-based MOD civil servants of which 33,600 were in the administration group, the remainder being specialist non-industrial staff and industrial staff. At 1 September 1993 the total were 267,200 United Kingdom regular forces and 128,000 full-time equivalent United Kingdom-based MOD civil servants of whom 33,000 were in the administration group. These give ratios of administration group MOD United Kingdom-based civil servants to United Kingdom regular forces of 1 : 9.43 at 1 April 1988 and 1 : 8.1 at 1 September 1993.

Digitised Charts

Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statment on the preparation, investment and achievement in the hydrographics department's production of digitised charts; and what assessment has been made of the extent to which this work will enable the United Kingdom to compete succesfully in the world market for such charts.

Mr. Hanley : Responsibility for the subject in question is a matter for the Hydrographic Office Defence Support Agency under its chief executive, Rear Admiral J. A. L. Myres. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from J. A. L. Myres to Mr. David Nicholson, dated 29 October 1993 :

PARLIAMENTARY QUESTION--0820G

You recently asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he would make a statement on the preparation, investment and achievement in the Hydrographic Department's production of digitised charts, and what assessment has been made of the extent to which this work will enable the United Kingdom to compete successfully in the world markets for such charts.

The Minister has asked me, as Chief Executive of the Hydrographic Office, to reply directly to you.

Vessels are required under international law to carry charts when at sea. It has been recognised for some time that the use of digital versions of the current paper charts in conjunction with ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems) has the potential to increase significantly the safety of navigation and the protection of the marine and littoral environment, and also to reduce vessels' running costs. However, to translate this concept into reality, it was recognised that it was first necessary to reach international agreement on a wide range of associated technical, organisational, financial and legal aspects. I am pleased to say the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (HO) has played, and continues to play, a major role in these international discussions and in the formulation of the resulting standards for the exchange of digital data which were formally endorsed and promulgated by the International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO) at its 1992 Conference.

At the same time, the HO's fully-costed and formally-endorsed 10 year information System Strategy aims both to maximise the use of digital data and digital techniques in order to increase the efficiency of its operation, and to meet existing and future requirements to supply digital as well as paper charts to our customers. I am glad to say that the implementation of this strategy is proceeding to timetable.

Conscious of the requirements and needs of the emerging market for digital data and products, I can also detail two


Column 292

initiatives which the HO is actively pursuing. The first of these is the Admiralty Raster Chart Service (ARCS) in which we are collaborating with two British private sector companies. The enclosed press release provides details of the service which will be demonstrated for the first time in public next month at the Europort Exhibition. The second is the United Kingdom Coastal Zone Mapping Project (CZMP) which we are developing in collaboration with our sister Agency, Ordnance Survey. I am sure you will recall my invitation to you to attend a technical symposium in Westminster on 9 March 1993 at which we introduced the project to potential customers and sought their comments ; sadly you were unable to attend. The CZMP seeks to provide the digital geographic template to allow the more effective management of the many aspects of the coastal zone, in line with the recommendations of the House of Commons Select Committee Report on the Environment (Coastal Zone Protection and Planning) under the chairmanship of Sir Hugh Rossi.

The intention is, and I firmly believe the reality will be, that the HO's pre-eminent position in supplying paper charts to the international maritime community will be successfully carried forward into the digital era.

Public Record Office

Mr. Davidson : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for how long access to his Department's archives in the Public Record Office in Hayes has been blocked because of contamination of records by asbestos dust; what action is being taken to remedy the situation; and when applications for disability pensions and other matters will be able to be progressed.

Mr. Hanley : Following discovery of asbestos contamination the archive at Hayes has been closed to normal working since 24 June 1993, although restricted access for urgent matters has been maintained through the use of contractors or archive staff wearing protective clothing.

Responsibility for decontamination lies with Property Holdings of the Department of the Environment. Work has commenced on the removal of asbestos lagging and sealing the asbestos-sheet roofs, while tenders have been sought for cleaning the archive and all the records.

Priority will be given to that part of the archive containing service records and we are hopeful that unrestricted access will be possible from about mid-December.

United States Bases

Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many United States military bases have been closed in the United Kingdom in each of that past five years; and if he will list them.

Mr. Hanley : The bases and facilities made available to the United States visiting forces and which have been returned to Ministry of Defence control in each of the past five years are as follows :


Base                    |Facilities             |Date                                           

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1988:                                                                                           

Bramley                 |Storage/Support        |January 1988                                   

                                                                                                

1989:                                                                                           

RAF Ridgewell           |Storage/Support        |August 1989                                    

                                                                                                

1990:                                                                                           

RAF Wethersfield        |Standby Deployment Base|October 1990                                   

                                                                                                

1991:                                                                                           

RAF Chessington         |Contingency Hospital   |September 1991                                 

RAF Hullavington        |Storage/Support        |September 1991                                 

RAF Kirknewton          |Contingency Hospital   |September 1991                                 

RAF Lanark              |Contingency Hospital   |September 1991                                 

                                                                                                

1992:                                                                                           

Aberdeen                |Communications Site    |November 1992                                  

NAD Broughton Moor      |NATO Armaments Depot   |June 19921992                                  

Greatworth              |Communication Site     |February 1992                                  

RAF Greenham Common     |Standby Deployment Base|September 1992                                 

Holy Loch               |Storage/Support        |June 1992                                      

RAF Inverbervie         |Communications Site    |October 1992                                   

RAF Kemble              |Storage/Support        |June 1992                                      

RAF Locking             |Contingency Hospital   |October 1992                                   

Martlesham Heath        |Communications Site    |July 1992                                      

RAF Sculthorpe          |Standby Deployment Base|October 1992                                   

West Murkle             |Communications Site    |October 1992                                   

                                                                                                

1993:                                                                                           

RAF Bentwaters          |Main Operating Base    |September 1993                                 

RAF Burtonwood          |Storage/Support        |August 1993                                    

Forss                   |Communications Site    |September 1993                                 

Framlingham             |Storage/Support        |September 1993                                 

NAD Glen Douglas        |NATO Armaments Depot   |October 1993                                   

RAF Kinnaber            |Communications Site    |January 1993                                   

RAF Macrihanish         |Storage/Support        |April 1993                                     

Mormond Hill            |Communications Site    |January 1993                                   

RAF Woodbridge          |Main Operating Base    |August 1993                                    

Redundancies

Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much money has been paid in redundancy payments to members of the British armed forces in each of the last three years.

Mr. Hanley : The current redundancy programme began in financial year 1992-93. In that year a total of some £97,000,000 was spent on special capital payments. In the current year it is estimated that some £281,000,000 will be spent. In addition personnel who have served for 12 years or more are eligible for an immediate pension and terminal grant-- for those with less than 12 years service these are preserved until age of 60. These payments would be made whether the individual left on redundancy or at the end of their agreed service. Expenditure on pension, terminal grants and commutation of pension was some £135,000,000 in 1992-93 and is estimated to be £247,000,000 for 1993-94.

Civil Servants (Retirements)

Mr. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what conditions will be placed on early retirees to prevent their subsequent re- employment as civil servants or consultants by their previous departments.

Mr. Aitken : Early retirees may be re-engaged to carry out essential work which cannot otherwise be continued or completed. They may also be taken on as consultants to undertake work for which no expertise exists, or can be made available, from within the Department. There are no proposals to impose conditions to prevent such employment.


Column 294

Business Development Advisers

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list all the business development advisers appointed by his Department since 1979 giving details of the periods of their appointment.

Mr. Hanley : Since 1979 many different areas of the Ministry of Defence have appointed, or otherwise sought the views of, external consultants to advise on aspects of their business; and such appointments have been for widely varying periods of time. Full information on such appointments is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Officers' Housing

Sir Cranley Onslow : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the justification for his Department's proposal to build a house for a brigadier on green belt land off School lane, Pirbright, and 11 officers' married quarters, also on green belt land, west of Caterham close, Pirbright.

Mr. Hanley : The possible reroling of Queen Elizabeth barracks Pirbright is at present being considered. A review of married quarter holdings identified a possible shortfall of 11 officer quarters and one type 2 quarter. As a preliminary measure the local planning officer's views were sought and an application was submitted regarding the suitability of using MOD land for the construction of quarters should the need arise. The planning application has now been withdrawn. Possible further uses for the barracks continue to be examined but at this stage no conclusions have been reached.

Sir Cranley Onslow : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many of the officers' married quarters in Caterham close and Dawneys road, Pirbright are currently occupied by personnel who are not employed at Pirbright camp.

Mr. Hanley : Six of the quarters are occupied by personnel not employed at Pirbright camp. They are entitled to occupy these quarters because Pirbright is used as a dormitory area for headquarters London district.

IMS Ltd.

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the size of the staff and the net cash assets or liabilities of IMS Ltd. when it was wound up ; and to where those staff and assets or liabilities were transferred.

Mr. Aitken : International Military Services (IMS) is a private limited company. It ceased trading in July 1991 and is in the process of being run down with the aim of going into liquidation once its obligations have been met. Information relating to the trading operations of the company is commercially confidential. The company publishes its accounts for public scrutiny in accordance with company law.

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library tables showing the size and geographical location of (a) IMS Ltd. and (b) the defence export sales organisation.

Mr. Aitken : Yes.


Column 295

Export Sales Agreements

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether advice or assistance has been offered to the Malaysian Government on the construction of air and naval base facilities in that country since 1984.

Mr. Aitken : Yes.

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what were the products exported to, and projects commenced in, Brunei under the United Kingdom-Brunei defence export sales agreement since 1984 ; and which were the lead British enterprises involved in each case.

Mr. Aitken : In 1989 a defence protocol agreement was signed between the Governments of the United Kingdom and Brunei. To date, there have been no purchases by Brunei as a result of this agreement.

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what were the products exported to, and projects commenced in, Malaysia under the United Kingdom-Malaysia defence export sales agreement since 1984 ; and which were the lead British enterprises involved in each case.

Mr. Aitken : A memorandum of understanding was not signed until September 1988. Under the terms of this MOU the Malaysian Government agreed to purchase various military equipments from the United Kingdom. The terms of the MOU cannot be released for reasons of commercial confidentiality, but since its signature contracts have been signed with a total value in excess of £1 billion.

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what were the products exported to, and projects commenced in, Saudi Arabia under the Al Yamamah agreements ; and which were the lead British enterprises involved in each case.

Mr. Aitken : The Al-Yamamah programme has included the provision to Saudi Arabia of Tornado aircraft, Hawk and PC-9 training aircraft, minehunters and major defence construction projects, together with associated equipment, infrastructure and extensive manpower and logistic support. An agreement for the supply of further Tornado aircraft was concluded this year. This is a Government-to-Government programme under which British Aerospace acts as prime contractor to the Ministry of Defence.

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what were the products exported to, and projects commenced in, Jordan under the United Kingdom-Jordan defence export sales agreement with, in each case, the lead British enterprise involved, since 1984.

Mr. Aitken : It is not our practice to comment on detailed matters concerning individual defence exports. However, in this case the information concerned has been released to the Scott inquiry. Exceptionally, therefore, I can provide the information the hon. Gentleman requests, which is as follows :


Project                           |Lead British                                                       

                                  |enterprise                                                         

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 1. 120mm and 105 ammunition      |Royal Ordnance                                                     

 2. Mod Kit for APFSDS            |IMS                                                                

 3. MBT spares                    |VDS                                                                

 4. MBT spares                    |Royal Ordnance                                                     

 5. MBT spares                    |David Brown vehicle transmissions                                  

 6. Training Simulator            |Invertron Sim Systems                                              

 7. Mine Plough. Dozer Blade      |Pearson Engineering                                                

 8. Giant Viper and Trailers      |Royal Ordnance                                                     

 9. Trackway 30 and 60            |Laird (Anglesey)                                                   

10. Trackway 60                   |Laird (Anglesey)                                                   

11. Trackway Vehicles             |Leyland                                                            

12. Medium Girder Bridge          |Fairey Engineering                                                 

13. C/Mine Flail vehicle          |Aardvark                                                           

14. Water Purification Eqpt       |Stella-Meta Filters                                                

15. Medical Equipment             |IMS                                                                

16. Land Rover Vehicles           |Land Rover                                                         

17. Land Rover/Fighting Veh       |Land Rover                                                         

18. Land Rover Vehicle            |Glover Webb                                                        

19. Armoured Land Rover           |Shorts                                                             

20. MRA 7 Tellurometer            |Tellumat                                                           

21. Laser Range Finder LP6        |USI                                                                

22. Motorcycle                    |Armstrong Motorcycles                                              

23. Director Artillery            |Hall and Watts                                                     

24. Rapid Runway Repair Eqpt      |IMS                                                                

25. Generators                    |Mirrless Blackstone                                                

26. VHF Advanced Radios           |Marconi Secure Radio                                               

27. EOD Equipment                 |IMS                                                                

28. Fire Protection Eqpt          |Graviner                                                           

29. LAW 80                        |Hunting Engineering                                                

30. Radar                         |Marconi Radar                                                      

31. Radars                        |Marconi Radar                                                      

32. Cranes                        |Grove Coles                                                        

33. Workshop Eqpt                 |Air-tec                                                            

34. Workshop Eqpt                 |Kennedy Int.                                                       

35. FS Avionics update            |Smiths Industries                                                  

36. EW Eqpt (Gnd/Air)             |Racal                                                              

37. Cables                        |BICC                                                               

38. Cables/Transmission Eqpt      |STC                                                                

39. Hawkeye Spares                |Hawkeye Systems                                                    

40. Hawkeye Support Eqpt          |Hawkeye Systems                                                    

41. Camouflage Nets               |Bridport Aviation                                                  

42. Camouflage Nets               |Bridport Aviation                                                  

43. Thermal Imager units          |Thorn EMI                                                          

44. Communications Eqpt           |IMS                                                                

45. HF/Misc Comms Eqpt            |Marconi Comms                                                      

46. Laser Training Eqpt           |Centronic                                                          

47. Engineering Eqpt              |IMS                                                                

48. Air Cargo Loader              |Avialift Products                                                  

49. Additional L/Rovers           |Land Rover                                                         

50. Tank Transporters             |Foden Trucks                                                       

51. Retreading Facility           |Avon Tyres                                                         

52. Additional L/Rovers           |Land Rover                                                         

53. A/C Combat Simulator          |British Aerospace                                                  

54. Fast Patrol Boats (30m)       |Vosper Thornycroft                                                 

55. Fast Patrol Boats (13m)       |RTK Marine                                                         

56. 20 and 30mm Ammunition        |BMARC                                                              

57. Oversight Services            |MOD UK                                                             

58. Engineering Consultancy       |Rendel, Palmer + Tritton                                           

59. 17A2 GPMG                     |IMS                                                                

60. Target Drones                 |TTL                                                                

A small proportion of the equipment contracted for under these arrangements has not been delivered.

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the date of the settlement of the defence exports sales agreements with Jordan, Malaysia, Brunei and the Al Yamamah agreement with Saudi Arabia since 1984 ; which was the British agency responsible for administering these agreements ; and what was the value of the total order placed for each agreement in both current and standard prices.

Mr. Aitken : Two memoranda of understanding covering the sale of defence equipment with Jordan have been agreed, the first on 19 September 1985 and the second


Column 297

on 9 June 1987. Administration of the contracts placed under these arrangements was provided by International Military Services. The former Prime Minister and the Malaysian Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir, signed a memorandum of understanding in September 1988, and a defence protocol was signed between the Governments of the United Kingdom and Brunei in 1989. The original formal understanding and the memorandum of understanding between Her Majesty's Government and the Saudi Arabian Government concerning Project Al Yamamah were concluded, respectively, in 1985 and 1986. A further formal understanding was concluded in 1988. All these agreements are administered by the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence.

The exact value of orders placed under such agreements is confidential to the Government concerned.

Eurofighter

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what problems are being experienced with the installation of flight control systems in the Eurofighter by Deutsche Aerospace ; what delays to the project have resulted ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Aitken : I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Fife, North-East (Mr. Campbell) on 1 November at column 67.

Pathfinder Initiative

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the successful and unsuccessful bids submitted to him under the Pathfinder initiative ; and what was the cash value of each successful bid.

Mr. Aitken : This is a matter delegated to the Defence Research Agency under its framework document. I have therefore asked the chief executive to reply direct to the hon. Member.

Letter from Mr. J. Chisholm to Mr. Jim Cousins, dated3 November 1993 :

In today's written answer the Minister of State for Defence Procurement informed you that I would be replying to your question about Pathfinder.

The DRA received over 640 bids in response to its Pathfinder initiative. So far 43 proposals with a total value of over £15.4 million have been accepted. A further 133 proposals with a total value of £42.7 million have been accepted in principle and negotiations are continuing to determine how these can best be incorporated into the existing research programme.

For reasons of commercial confidentiality I am not able to provide a list of all the bids received or their values. I would, however, hope to be in a position to give further details of the successful bids--though not the values--once formal contracts have been negotiated and the permission of the individual companies obtained. Some of this information should be available by the time of the second Pathfinder Conference which will be held at Farnborough on 24 and 25 November and I will write to you then with an update.

British Aerospace

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with British Aerospace on the national security implications of any proposals to out-source information technology being put forward by that company.


Column 298

Mr. Aitken : My officials have had discussions with representatives of British Aerospace and have agreed that out-sourcing of their information technology work may be possible provided that certain well-defined security conditions are complied with.

Ferranti

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what competitive considerations for defence procurement there are in the proposed takeover of Ferranti by GEC ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Aitken : My Department is examining the competition implications of the proposed acquisition by GEC of Ferranti International and will, if necessary, advise the regulatory authorities in the usual manner. Advice of this nature is confidential.

GEC Marconi

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State forDefence what contracts he has placed with GEC Marconi since 15 July ; and what is their value.

Mr. Aitken : Our latest centrally held records show that GEC Marconi Ltd. was awarded 72 MOD contracts with a total value of approximately £6.57 million in the period 15 July 1993 to 30 September 1993.

Nuclear Weapons

Mr. Hutton : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the efforts being made and planned by his Department to develop computer simulation programmes and other methods of testing nuclear weapons not involving underground detonations of a nuclear device.

Mr. Aitken : I refer the hon. Member to my answer on 2 November 1992 at column 53.

Mr. Hutton : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the military role of British sub-strategic nuclear weapons.

Mr. Hanley : I refer the hon. Member to the statement made by my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Defence during the debate on the Statement on the Defence Estimates on 18 October 1993, Official Report, col. 34.

Mr. Hutton : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the contribution made to the military doctrine of NATO by British sub-strategic nuclear weapons.

Mr. Hanley : The contribution of British nuclear weapons to the overall deterrence and security of the allies is recognised in the alliance's strategic concept, a copy of which is in the Library of the House. A significant proportion of the sub-strategic weapons assigned to the alliance are British.

Mr. Hutton : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department designates a nuclear weapon as sub-strategic on the basis of (a) range, (b) yield or (c) the military role allocated to the weapon.

Mr. Hanley : The designation "sub-strategic" relates to the type of action to which the weapon would contribute.


Column 299

Anglo-French Nuclear Co-operation Council

Mr. Hutton : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether it is intended that the Government of the United States will participate in the Anglo-French Nuclear Co-operation Council ; and what discussions he has had with the United States Government on this matter ;

(2) if he will make a statement on the function and organisation of the Anglo-French Nuclear Co-operation Council ; and if he will place the documents relating to the establishment of this council in the Library ;

(3) what matters will be discussed in the Anglo-French Nuclear Co-operation Council ;

(4) if the documents relating to the business of the Anglo-French Nuclear Co-operation Council will be placed in the Library.

Mr. Hanley : The Franco-British Joint Commission on Nuclear Policy and Doctrine was set up in autumn 1992. It brings together senior officials from the British and French Foreign and Defence Ministries, reporting as necessary to Ministers. The commission has carried out a comparison of the two countries' approaches to the role of deterrence, nuclear doctrines and concepts, anti-missile defences, arms control and non-proliferation. Further joint work on these subjects is in hand. The focus of the commission's work has been to deepen the dialogue on nuclear policy issues between the United Kingdom and France rather than to arrive at agreed Franco-British public positions on those issues. It has not so far produced papers appropriate for placing in the Library of the House. There are no plans for the United States to participate in these bilateral discussions : we have similar discussions with the United States both bilaterally and within NATO.

NATO Nuclear Planning Group

Mr. Hutton : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the remit of NATO's nuclear planning group includes discussion of nuclear arms control and nuclear non-proliferation issues.

Mr. Hanley : Issues relating to nuclear arms control and non- proliferation are discussed at nuclear planning group meetings to the extent that they affect the responsibilities of NATO Defence Ministers.

Mr. Hutton : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on his Department's view of the purpose and remit of NATO's nuclear planning group.

Mr. Hanley : The purpose of the nuclear planning group is to enable alliance Defence Ministers to discuss matters relating to NATO's nuclear posture, including questions of policy, doctrine, plans and procedures.


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