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17 Jul 2001 : Column: 146W
Mr. Ingram: The settlement for defence announced in the Spending Review last year planned for the first sustained growth in defence expenditure for more than a decade. In 200304 defence expenditure is expected to represent 2.3 per cent. of GDP.
Dr. Moonie: The question of granting pardons to those executed during the First World War, mostly for desertion, was the subject of a detailed review by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, then Minister of State for the Armed Forces. The legal difficulties in considering pardons, particularly the lack of evidence available today, were explained in his statement to this House on 24 July 1998 , Official Report, columns 137286.
Mr. Hoon: At this stage in the procurement of CVF, the Future Joint Combat Aircraft and Future Organic Airborne Early Warning capability, the estimated size of the air group personnel to be embarked on the CVF has yet to be determined. The actual composition of the air group will depend on the number and the type of aircraft embarked and is the subject of on-going work.
17 Jul 2001 : Column: 147W
Mr. Ingram: The Army currently has 17 pilots trained to fly various versions of the Apache helicopter. Of these 17 pilots, two are currently on exchange tours with the US Army, two are on test flying duties and 13 are undergoing further training on the UK Apache at the School of Army Aviation at Middle Wallop.
Dr. Moonie: The Army expects to have an initial operating capability, consisting of the first operational Apache squadron, in August 2004. A full task force capability based on an attack helicopter regiment is planned for early 2005.
Dr. Moonie: The UK, France and Sweden signed the Meteor Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the Paris Air Show. We very much hope that the remaining three partner nations will sign the MOU by the end of September 2001. On that basis, we plan to place a demonstration and manufacture contract for Meteor by the end of 2001, subject to agreeing satisfactory terms with Matra BAe Dynamics, the Prime Contractor.
17 Jul 2001 : Column: 148W
Tomahawk capability; which submarines are scheduled to receive this capability; and when the conversion work will take place. 
HMS Splendid and HMS Triumph are now Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) capable, and HMS Trafalgar will be declared TLAM capable following trials later this summer. Work to equip HMS Spartan, HMS Trenchant and HMS Turbulent with TLAM capability is currently under way as part of their major upkeep periods. It is currently planned that the remaining three submarinesHMS Talent, HMS Tireless and HMS Torbaywill become TLAM capable by about 2006.
Dr. Moonie: Matra BAe Dynamics Ltd., the prime contractor for ASRAAM, encountered a number of technical problems which meant that the in service date of April 2001 was not met. We are working with the company to agree a programme which will bring the missile up to an acceptable standard. When we agree a revised programme we will set a new date for ASRAAM's entry into service. Until that time, Tornado F3, Harrier GR7 and Sea Harrier FA2 aircraft will continue to have an effective short-range air to air capability using Sidewinder missiles.
Mr. Ingram: As of today, there are 28 front-line RAF Harrier GR7 pilots trained and qualified for carrier operations. Available records suggest that since the Harrier GR7 began carrier operations in 1997, approximately 76 GR7 pilots have been trained in the role.
Dr. Moonie: There are no savings accrued from our decision not to proceed with the industrialisation and production phase of the MR(TRIGAT) programme. The funding allocated to MR(TRIGAT) has been transferred to the Infantry Anti-Tank Guided Weapons programme, which will ensure that future capabilities in this area are fully met.
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Mr. Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the information technology contracts in excess of £500,000 let by his Department or its predecessor since April 1991, giving in each case the original estimated cost and original estimated completion date, the actual cost and actual completion date and the names of the contractors involved and consultants retained by his Department. 
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