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Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions since 1 January 2001 British aircraft have been involved in air to ground action over Iraq. [31845]

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Mr. Ingram [holding answer 31 January 2002]: Between 1 January 2001 and 23 January 2002 UK aircraft patrolling the No Fly Zones released ordnance in self- defence against military targets in the Iraqi Integrated Air Defence System on 15 occasions.

I regret that due to an error in our records, an incorrect figure of 14 was given in response to a previous question on 16 January 2002, Official Report, column 314W.

War Widows

Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to change arrangements which enable war widows to visit the graves of their husbands overseas; and if he will make a statement. [32064]

Dr. Moonie [holding answer 31 January 2002]: Since 1985, the Government have operated the War Widows Pilgrimage Scheme to help those War Widows who lost their husbands overseas between 1914 and 1967 to make one visit to their husband's grave, provided they have not done so before, at public expense. It is administered on behalf of the Ministry of Defence by The Royal British Legion and the MOD contributes seven-eighths of the costs of a visit. Over the past 17 years, this scheme has enabled over 4,000 widows to make this very special journey and there are no plans to change the arrangements.

Computer Theft

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what work his Department has undertaken to explain the reasons for the change in the level of computer theft over the past five years. [31881]

Dr. Moonie [holding answer 31 January 2002]: Between 1995 and 1999, there were 594 reported thefts of all types of Ministry of Defence computer equipment, including items such as processor boards, keyboards and printers. A total of 267 items were reported stolen in 2000, and 312 items in 2001.

Our first priority has been to concentrate on reducing the risk of further computer theft and losses, and of enhancing computer security to limit the damage should they occur. From an initial review of the available historical data we assess that there are two main reasons for this increase in the number of reported incidents:

Naval Incident (24 January)

Mr. Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the incident involving a Spanish Government vessel and a British naval vessel on 24 January. [31807]

Mr. Tynan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the incident involving a Spanish Government vessel and a British naval vessel on 24 January. [31808]

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Mr. Ingram [holding answer 31 January 2002]: On 24 January two Spanish Navy patrol vessels entered British Gibraltar territorial waters during an operation by the Royal Navy to tow a suspected unexploded World War 2 bomb into deep water, following its discovery by the Mine Countermeasures Vessel HMS Grimsby during a routine survey. One of the Spanish vessels withdrew once the operation had been completed. The second remained in Gibraltar waters overnight, closely monitoring HMS Grimsby which continued her survey operation. Following contacts between the British Embassy in Madrid and the Spanish Government, this vessel left Gibraltar waters the following morning.

Combat Effectiveness Gender Study

Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he will publish the outcome of the Gender Study; and if he will make a statement. [32063]

Mr. Hoon [holding answer 31 January 2002]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 1 November 2001, Official Report, column 767W.

International Security Assistance Force

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what terms of engagement the International Security Assistance Force will operate under; and if he will make a statement. [32132]

Mr. Hoon: We never comment on the Rules of Engagement for UK forces. However, I can say that they will be robust and consistent with our obligations under national and international law, as will those of the forces of other contributing countries.


Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the cost of transporting two Tornados to the Falklands by (a) Antonov 124 and (b) C-17; what assessment he has made of the cost of using the (i) Antonov 124 and (ii) C-17 in operations in Afghanistan; and how many times the Antonov 124 has been leased by the RAF since the operational use of C-17s began. [32146]

Mr. Ingram: A full assessment has been made of the transportation of Tornado aircraft from the UK to the Falkland Islands. This included options for air-to-air refuelling, airlift charter, ship and C-17. Given all of the constraints, the C-17 was deemed to be the most suitable operational option and the one that gave the best value for money and best value for effort.

Until mid-January 2002, the threat assessment presented by surface-to-air missiles, specifically to identifiable military aircraft, limited our use of RAF aircraft operating into Afghanistan. The use of civilian Antonovs was less restricted. We therefore, chartered Antonovs for the essential operational movement of vehicles, equipment and supplies. While the C-17 is now being used for airlift to Afghanistan, the size of the task necessitates the continued charter of Antonov aircraft.

The Antonov has been chartered by MOD on 35 occasions since the delivery of the C-17 in May 2001. All of the tasks have been in support of operations. The C-17

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has been used extensively for Operation Bessimer in Macedonia, Exercise Saif Sareea II and other operational tasks associated with Operation Veritas.

It is not, therefore, a question of a simple cost comparison between the use of C-17 or Antonovs. Both were needed to support operations.

Defence Evaluation and Research Agency

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the staff budget is for DERA in (a) the UK and (b) Scotland; what the value of DERA's total assets is; and what percentage of the assets are in Scotland; [32458]

Dr. Moonie: As part of the public-private partnership for the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA), the DERA Trading Fund Agency was disestablished on 1 July 2001. From its constituent parts two new organisations were created: QinetiQ plc, a wholly Government owned company, and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), an agency of the MOD.

At 1 January 2002, Dstl employed 3,037 staff in total. Of these, 54 were employed in Scotland. Dstl's current staff budget is £102.7 million of which £1.2 million relates to Scotland. The total value of Dstl assets at end of January 2002 amounted to some £257 million, with just over £0.5 million of this in Scotland, which represents some 0.2 per cent. of the total Dstl assets.

Procurement Expenditure

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the total expenditure is for procurement for each of the services; and how much of the procurement budget for each is spent in Scotland. [32461]

Dr. Moonie: Figures for the amount the Ministry of Defence spends on defence equipment and non-equipment for the years 1998–99 to 2001–02 are published by the Defence Analytical Services Agency in UK Defence Statistics (available in the Library of the House). These data, which are given in the table, are broadly split by type ie whether it is air, land, sea or 'other' equipment for the years where this information is available. The 'other' category refers to equipment not specific to a particular environment. This division (air, land, sea and other) does not necessarily match the particular end destination of the equipment (ie RAF, Army and Navy). For example, not aerospace equipment is used by the RAF.

During 1999–2000, we estimate that the MOD spent some £600 million on defence equipment directly with contractors based in Scotland. A breakdown of this into air, land, sea and 'other' is not available.

1.3 principal headings of the Defence budget(18),(19),(20)
VAT-inclusive at current prices (£ million)

Total expenditure/budget22,47522,54923,538r
Expenditure on personnel(21)8,5538,5098,754r
of the armed forces6,2866,2576,500r
of the retired armed forces(21)***
of civilian staff2,2672,2522,255r
Expenditure on equipment9,8899,715r10,008r
Other expenditure4,0004,325r4,775r
Works, buildings and land1,7591,7991,918
Miscellaneous stores and services2,2742,526r2,857r
Adjusted defence budget(23)22,47522,64923,538r
at 2000–01 prices(23),(24)23,41922,97323,538r
Expenditure on personnel(21)(25)38.1(25)37.7(25)37.2r
of the armed forces(25)28(25)27.7(25)27.6r
of the retired armed forces(21)(25)*(25)*(25)*
of civilian staff(25)10.1(25)10(25)9.6r
Expenditure on equipment(25)44.0(25)43.1r(25)42.5r
Other expenditure(25)17.9(25)19.2r(25)20.3r
Works, buildings and land(25)7.8(25)8.0r(25)8.2r
Miscellaneous stores and services(25)10.1(25)11.2r(25)12.1r

(18) Over the last 20 years the coverage of the defence budget has changed in that:

from 1983–84, it has included accommodation (maintenance and rental) and home publicity;

from 1990–91, it has included rates on the Defence portion of the UK Civil Estate included in the defence budget;

from 1991–92, it has included services provided by the Treasury Solicitor and the Inland Revenue;

from 1993–94, it has included provision for charges for pension cover for currently serving service and civilian personnel but excluded pension payments to retired service personnel; and

from 1994–95, it has excluded provision for the Security and Intelligence Services.

(19) All figures in table 1.1 and estimates in table 1.3 were derived from the Supply Estimates for each year. Estimates are 'latest agreed' at time of going to press.

(20) Figures for 1999–2000 onwards, do not include the air, land sea split for equipment expenditure due to a change in accounting practice.

(21) From 1990–91 to 1994–95, includes financial assistance to pre-1973 war widows.

(22) From 1995–96, military aid to overseas countries has been excluded from the NATO definitions.

(23) The 'Adjusted Defence Budget' takes account of major definitional changes in defence spending and of major transfers of responsibility to and from Government Departments. It therefore provides a more consistent and reliable guide to trends. This is the basis upon which defence spending figures are present in the MOD Departmental Report, the Statement on the Defence Estimates and certain Treasury publications. Totals for 1999–2000 represent final outturn and for 2000–01 estimated outturn. Figures in this line also exclude the element of receipts from the sale of the Married Quarters Estate that were appropriated onto Defence Votes.

(24) These constant price totals have been calculated using the GDP deflator.

(25) Percentage of total expenditure/budget.


1. Defence votes differed from defence budgets:

by excluding the funding of major works on the Civilian Estate until 1988–89;

by Appropriations-in-Aid and expenditure not classified as public expenditure; and

from 1993–94 charges for pensions cover for serving service personnel are Appropriations-in-Aid of Defence Vote 4, (Defence Vote 2 from 1999–2000) and reflected in the 'other adjustments' line of Table 1.1.

2. Expenditure are based on current market prices; the Defence figure in 1990–91 is net of contributions (about £2.1 billion) from abroad in respect of UK defence activities in the Gulf war.

3. Figures for 1996–97 and 1997–98 include the element of receipts (£304 million and £700 million respectively) from the sale of the Married Quarters Estate that were appropriated on to defence votes.


MOD Corporate Financial Controller (Corporate Financial Management).

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Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much was spent in defence procurement in the last year for which figures are available in (a) the UK and (b) Scotland. [32454]

Dr. Moonie: The information requested is contained in the document "Defence Statistics 2001", a copy of which is available in the Library of the House. Table 1.9 contains data on defence expenditure on equipment by region and nation of the UK.

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