Supplementary memorandum from the Ministry
of Defence (18 November 2002)
What measures would be involved in the "limited
desertification" of Challenger 2 (CR 2) and possibly other
vehicles, subsumed within the bids for the current equipment programme,
and what would be the cost of such measures? How many of each
vehicle type would be enhanced in this way? What would be the
timescales for such modification?
Modifications involved in a "limited desertification"
of CR2 would include oil health monitoring, extended and better
sealed side skirts and longer life air filters. The current equipment
planning round is examining options to modify up to two armoured
brigades (246 tanks.) The cost of such measures is estimated to
be in the region of £15 million. We are also working on modifications
to overcome the problems the AS90 has encountered with operating
in high temperatures . Again, the current planning round is examining
options to modify up to three regiments of AS90 (96 vehicles)
to bring them up to full A1 environmental compliance. The estimated
cost should be in the region of £20 million. There are no
plans for similar modifications to the Warrior AFV.
What desertification measures have been introduced
since the conclusion of Saif Sareea II? What is the current desertification
state of the Challenger 2?
The problems experienced by Challenger 2 (CR
2) on Exercise Saif Sareea II were mainly related to the ingestion
of large quantities of sandy dust (the filters on CR 2 were being
challenged by up to 25kgs of dust per hour.) Investigations continue
into how best to mitigate this, including recently completed trials
by the MoD's Armoured Trials and Development Unit exploring in-house
dust reduction measures. In addition, the design authority, Vickers
is working on permanent dust reduction measures; these are being
trialed at the moment and the results should be available by the
end of the year.
The current "desertisation state"
of the CR2 remains unchanged since it was accepted into service.
However we have identified measures to improve CR2's performance
in desert conditions which can be implemented in a short timescale.
What are the options being considered for HMS
Nottingham's future, and when will such decisions be made?
The options for HMS Nottinghams's future
are to pay her off or to undertake repairs. A decision has yet
to made. She will be repaired only if it is cost effective to
do so, taking operational and capability requirements fully into
account. To inform the decision, three companies were invited
to attend the ship in Australasia to assess the damage and to
compete, without commitment to the MoD pending a decision on the
way forward, for any potential repair work. The competition was
restricted to the three dockyard companiesDevonport Management
Ltd (DML) at Devonport, Babcock Support Services Ltd (BSSL) at
Rosyth and Fleet Support Ltd (FSL) at Portsmouthwith the
necessary in depth knowledge and experience of repairing and maintaining
Type 42 Destroyers in their systems.
Assessments of the three prospective tenders
and the decision on the Nottingham's future are expected to be
announced the week before the Heavy Lift Ship makes landfall in
the UK around 12 December. If the decision is to undertake repairs,
the expectation is that the Heavy Lift Ship will deliver Nottingham
to the nearest suitable point to the selected repair yard.