Select Committee on Defence Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


APPENDIX 13

Supplementary answers from the Ministry of Defence to questions following the oral evidence session (30 January 2001)

Q1:  In what circumstances would the UK's annual report on Strategic Exports include (a) transfers from the UK to its Framework Agreement partners, and (b) exports to third party countries (by other Framework Agreement partners) of equipment which subsumes components or sub-systems provided by the UK [QQ 42-43]?

  A1:  The UK's Annual Report on Strategic Exports will record all new licences issued for the transfer of military goods from the UK to its partners in the Framework Agreement, including licences issued for the transfer of components and/or sub-systems provided for incorporation into defence equipment for onward export by a partner to third party countries. The Annual Report does not provide details of defence exports from other countries.

Q2:  What arrangements will there be to make export destination lists transparent to the parties to the Framework Agreement, and to Parliament [QQ 44-48]?

  A2:  Discussions are continuing on the appropriate level of transparency to be given to export destination lists. Export destination lists contain potential export opportunities identified by defence companies involved in armaments programmes and are, therefore, commercially sensitive. As far as the Government is aware, no Party to the Agreement publishes its advice to defence companies on potential export destinations in advance of the relevant export licence applications being submitted. This practice is also in keeping with representations received from British trade associations.

Q3:  Does the MoD have a definitive list of areas with which it anticipates that the UK has most to gain from collaboration research [QQ 71-72]?

  A3:  MoD does not have a definitive list of areas where it has the most to gain from international research collaboration given that such a list would quickly become outdated as a result of rapid development in technology. Our current practice is to seek out research programmes that can be carried out more efficiently through co-operation on a case-by-case basis. The Framework Agreement gives us the possibility by exchanging more detailed planning information to find more opportunities through a more structured approach.

  While the Department does not have a definitive list, it does, however, keep in view a wide range of technological research in which we excel and where we know that our partners have similar, or possibly better, expertise. These technologies include the following:

    —  Energetic Materials and Plasmas.

    —  Structural Materials and Structural effects Analysis.

    —  Sensor systems.

    —  Computer Applications and Information processing.

    —  Design Aspects—platform weapons.

    —  Photonic/optical Materials and Devices.

    —  Electronic and Electrical devices.

    —  Signature control and Signature Reduction.

    —  Computing Technologies.

    —  Operating Environmental issues.

    —  Communications and CIS Related technologies.

    —  Integration and other Systems Issues.

    —  Guidance and control systems (Weapons and Platforms).

    —  Propulsion and Power plants.

    —  Electronic Material.

    —  Manufacturing Process/Design tools techniques.


 
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