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Future Surface Combatant

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what consideration is being given to the replacement of the Type 23 frigate with the Future Surface Combatant; and if he will make a statement. [35717]

Dr. Moonie: We currently plan for the Future Surface Combatant (FSC) to succeed the current Type 22 and Type 23 classes of frigate. The assumption is that FSC will be an operationally versatile, affordable warship that can be deployed through life across the full spectrum of defence missions. The project has already begun.

Offshore Protection Vessels

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the three offshore protection vessels that are to be procured and their (a) capabilities and (b) cost. [35716]

Dr. Moonie: The first vessel is due to enter service with the Royal Navy around the end of this year, with the others following at roughly six-monthly intervals. They will replace the five vessels of the Island class, the capability and availability of which they will match. The new vessels are being built, following competition, by Vosper Thorneycroft at Southampton. They will be leased to the RN and will be maintained by the shipbuilder for five years, subject to extension. The vessels will be based at Portsmouth as part of the Fishery Protection Squadron. The total cost of this innovative lease package is approximately £60 million.

Equipment Sales

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the benefit to the UK was from the sale of naval equipment and platforms in each year since 1997. [35722]

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Dr. Moonie: Information in the Ministry of Defence publication UK Defence Statistics 2001 at Table 1.13 shows that for each of the years since 1997, the value of export orders in the sea sector was as follows:

YearTotal (£ million)

In addition to the economic benefits from the sale of naval equipment and platforms, the Government's policy of supporting legitimate defence exports contributes to our wider defence and international security interests, including by reducing the costs of Royal Navy procurement. Defence exports help support a strong defence industry and contribute to the security of our friends and allies overseas.

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many warships and submarines have been sold to foreign states since 1997; what type they were; and which states bought them. [35720]

Dr. Moonie: Information relating to defence exports in categories published in the UN Nations Conventional Arms Register (UNCAR) and exports of surplus Government defence equipment is set out in Part III of the Government's annual report on Strategic Export Controls. Details of individual exports of new equipment, other than those in UNCAR categories and small arms, are not published for reasons of commercial and customer confidentiality. A summary of information taken from the annual reports on Strategic Export Controls published since 1997 is set out in the table.

Exports of naval vessels and submarines 1997–2000

One type 22 frigateBrazil
Four (56 m) Barzan fast strike craftQatar
Four River Class minesweepersBrazil
Two LEKIU frigatesMalaysia
One Upholder submarineCanada

In addition to those transfers recorded in the Government's annual reports, three Royal Navy Peacock class patrol craft previously based in Hong Kong were transferred direct to the Philippines in 1997, and a refurbished ex Royal Navy Hunt class mine counter measure vessel was transferred to Greece in 2000 under a commercial arrangement with Vosper Thorneycroft UK Ltd.


Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the names of staff who have been seconded

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to his Department from the private sector since May 1997, indicating (a) the names of the organisation from which each has come, (b) their responsibilities and civil service grades within his Department, (c) the organisation responsible for paying their salary and (d) the start and end dates of their secondment. [35840]

Dr. Moonie [holding answer 12 February 2002]: Secondments and attachments form a valuable part of interchange, through which the civil service and other organisations exchange people and good practice to mutual benefit.

The Ministry of Defence has a significant programme of interchange, involving all parts of the economy. Since May 1997, 57 staff have been seconded to the MOD from private sector companies; of these 15 were in place prior to May 1997 and continued beyond that date. Three of the secondees were at Senior Civil Service level, though the majority were brought in at middle management level (civil service grades HEO to Grade 6). The MOD reimbursed the parent company for 46 of the 57 secondments.

It is our practice to respect the privacy of our personnel, including those on secondment, and to withhold the names of individuals except where the seniority of the individual or the nature of the post warrants a formal announcement. I am therefore withholding that information under Exemption 12 (Privacy of an Individual) of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

I will however write to the hon. Member with the other details of these secondments as requested, and a copy will be placed in the Library of the House.

Ministerial Boxes

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence by what means ministerial boxes are conveyed from private offices in his Department to (a) himself and (b) his fellow Ministers; how frequently and at what expense private courier firms are employed for such a task; and which courier firms have been used for such duties. [36279]

Dr. Moonie: Ministerial boxes originating from this Department are transported to the Ministers' homes either by Government car or by a service provided by the Royal Mail.

Statutory Instruments

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the statutory instruments issued by his Department in the last 12 months, indicating (a) the purpose of each and (b) the cost of each to (i) public funds, (ii) businesses and (iii) individuals. [36236]

Dr. Moonie: The HMSO Statutory Instrument Registrar can provide a list of statutory instruments issued by individual Departments. Statutory instruments which have been originated by Departments but eventually made by the Privy Council are listed only under the Privy

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Council Office. However, between 1 January 2001 and 7 February 2002, the Ministry of Defence issued the following 11 statutory instruments:

Any costs to public funds arising from the above instruments are minimal. As the Ministry of Defence is not a regulatory body there are few, if any, costs to businesses and individuals. Any costs relating to instruments made by MOD are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Claymore Mines

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if records are kept of locations in which Her Majesty's armed forces deploy Claymore mines; and if such records include details of in which mode of operation the Claymore is deployed. [36937]

Mr. Ingram: The locations in which Claymore mines are deployed are recorded. Claymore mines are used only in the command detonated mode of operation, which requires a soldier to initiate the munition.

45 Commando Royal Marines

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what mission has been given to (a) HMS Ocean and (b) W and Z companies of 45 Commando Royal Marines. [36587]

Mr. Hoon: HMS Ocean, with W and Z companies of 45 Commando Royal Marines embarked, has been deployed in support of the continuing campaign against international terrorism. HMS Ocean will relieve HMS Illustrious and HMS Fearless and elements of 45 Commando will relieve elements of 40 Commando. The deployment of HMS Ocean ensures that the UK capability in the region is maintained.

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