|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what measures his Department has taken in order to improve medical monitoring of UK personnel deployed in and around Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: The symptoms of all International Security Assistance Force personnel requiring medical attention are recorded and categorised. These data are then processed to enable the early identification of any possible health problems.
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 21 January 2002]: The Trident refit complex forms part of the overall Project D154 works at Devonport, which will provide new and upgraded facilities for the refitting of the Royal Navy's SSNBs and SSNs. A revised incentivised cost-sharing arrangement has recently been agreed with the dockyard owner, DML, for the overall project. The Ministry of Defence's share of costs to completion are estimated to be in the region of £638 million to £659 million excluding VAT.
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if the Trident refit complex at Devonport will be completely finished and certificated for use before the arrival of HMS Vanguard; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 21 January 2002]: Not all the facilities within the Trident refit complex at Devonport are required to be available for the arrival of HMS Vanguard. There is an agreed programme in place to ensure that facilities will be brought on line as required within the overall Vanguard Class (Trident) submarine refitting programme. Each facility will be commissioned and the necessary approval obtained from the nuclear regulatory authorities to meet this programme. There is no question of a particular facility being used without the appropriate regulatory approval.
31 Jan 2002 : Column 499W
Dr. Moonie: The UK has already purchased some remanufactured Raytheon Tomahawk land attack missiles to replace those used during the Kosovo campaign. A further purchase of these missiles is planned and negotiations with the US Government are in progress. Joint UK/US studies have also established the feasibility of a horizontally launched version of the next generation of the missile, Tactical Tomahawk, although no decision on purchase of these missiles has yet been taken.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the technical difficulties are with the sonar upgrade to the Swiftsure and Trafalgar submarines; how much it will cost to complete the enhancement programme; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Moonie: The final phase of the Swiftsure and Trafalgar update programme is in progress and enhancements are being incrementally incorporated into the latest Trafalgar class submarines. The first submarine installation of the final phase has been completed and has commenced sea trials. The final submarine upgrade fit is currently planned to be completed by 2009.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many bids are being considered for the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft; which companies have submitted bids; what costings have been submitted; what time scales have been proposed; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Moonie: Two consortia have submitted bids for this prospective PFI programme, in response to an Invitation to Negotiate. They are: Air Tanker Ltd. comprising Cobham, Thales, Halliburton, EADS and Rolls Royce; and the Tanker and Transport Service Company Ltd. consisting of BAE Systems, Boeing, Serco and Spectrum capital. We are now in the early stages of detailed contract negotiations. When these are complete, both consortia will be invited to confirm or revise their bids. I am withholding details of their bids in accordance with Exemption 13 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information. We currently anticipate taking a formal investment decision in 2002, when we will select a preferred bidder if PFI remains the best value money solution. Contract award is scheduled for 2003 with the aim of providing the service from around 2007.
31 Jan 2002 : Column 500W
Dr. Moonie: The Ministry of Defence uses a range of software, both embedded in Defence equipment and in the office environment. The majority of the software products used in the office environment are commercially available and therefore potentially compatible with those used by many other organisations both inside and outside Government. The MOD has a number of electronic connections with other Government Departments with which it conducts business, including via the Government secure intranet.
Dr. Moonie: The current fleet of tank transporters will be replaced with the Heavy Equipment Transport (HET) service being introduced under the private finance initiative. A full service, provided by 92 HET vehicles, will be introduced over a 12-month period beginning in 2003. In the interim the Service Demonstration phase, which commenced in December 2001, will provide assurance that all aspects of the Ministry of Defence's capability requirement have been satisfied.
Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence began a Strategic Review of RAF Brize Norton, RAF Lyneham and RAF St. Mawgan in November 2001. The report is due to be completed by summer 2002, after which time, I expect to make an announcement.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the Ministry of Defence notified the Dartmoor National Park Authority of plans to erect new military lookout huts on Dartmoor National Park. 
31 Jan 2002 : Column 501W
replacements were taken in accordance with past guidance and practice, and the Dartmoor National Park Authority has confirmed that there has been no procedural failure.
The replacement of existing look out huts around the military training area on Dartmoor has taken place three times since 1994 using the 18/84 Planning Consultation Procedure. Programmed replacements are discussed with the appropriate planning authority as much as two years in advance of requirements, before submission of formal applications under this procedure. Information consultation also takes place through the Dartmoor Steering Group and its subsidiary working party.
Dr. Moonie: The annual outlay of the Ministry of Defence for the use of the Duchy land on Dartmoor for military training is made up of a number of items, including liabilities under the Duchy licence and payments to other landowners. These are deemed commercial in confidence and I am therefore withholding this information in accordance with Exemption 13 of Part II of the Government Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|