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Low Flying

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Mr. Ivor Caplin): The ability to fly fast and low continues to be an essential skill in our armoury of tactics. Training for aircrew to achieve and maintain these skills is vital.

The amount of low flying training carried out in the United Kingdom Low Flying System (UKLFS) during the training year April 2002 to March 2003 was the minimum necessary for aircrew to reach and maintain these skills. Hours booked for low flying training in the UKLFS (excluding the Rotary Wing Dedicated User Areas, where different booking arrangements apply) during this period amounted to an overall increase of 2.6 per cent. compared to the previous training year. The increase may be linked to preparations for operations, and an increase in the flying of Apache aircraft in preparation for their introduction into service. Since detailed records of hours booked began in 1995, the annual total has reduced by some 29 per cent.

The distribution of low-flying training across the UK has not changed significantly over previous years. It is spread as widely as practicable, but for a variety of reasons including population distribution, and geographic and climatic considerations, it is inevitable that some parts of the country will see more low flying than others.

I have today placed in the Library of the House a report giving a detailed account of low flying training in the UK Low Flying System for the period April 2002 to March 2003.

Further copies of the report can be obtained from the Vote office or it can be viewed on the MOD's web site: www.mod.uk/issues/lowflying

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Service Children's Education

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Mr. Ivor Caplin): The Chief Executive of Service Children's Education has been set the following Key Targets for 2003–04:

To meet the following percentage of pupils achieving Level 2 or above at the end of Key Stage 1 in:

Reading91 per cent.
Writing93 per cent.
Mathematics95 per cent.

To meet the following percentage of pupils achieving Level 4 or above at the end of Key Stage 2 in:

Reading85 per cent.
Writing69 per cent.
English80 per cent.
Mathematics81 per cent.
Science91 per cent.

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To meet the following percentage of pupils achieving Level 5 or above at the end of Key Stage 3 in:

English79 per cent.
Mathematics79 per cent.
Science78 per cent.
ICT68 per cent.

For Year 11 pupils in SCE to meet the following Key Stage 4 (GCSE) targets:

Pupils achieving 5 or more GCSEpasses at Grades A*–G96 per cent.
Pupils achieving 5 or moreGCSE passes at Grades A*–C57 per cent.

To maintain the following three-year rolling average percentage of achieving 5 or more higher (A*–C) in GCSE of 54 per cent.

For pupils in SCE to meet the following Key Stage 5 (CA5 Level) targets:

Subject entries achievingpasses at grades A–E100 per cent.
Subject entries achieving passes at grades A–C65 per cent.

To maintain the following three-year rolling average of subject entries achieving passes at grades A–C at 'A' Level of 65 per cent.

OfSTED UK LEA performance—to meet the following standards in OfSTED reports of inspections of SCE schools:

Quality, School Climate,Management & Efficiency—Grade 3 or above.100 per cent.
Standards—Grade 3 or above96 per cent.
School climate—Grade 2or above96 per cent.
Standards—Grade 2or above65 per cent.
Quality, Management &Efficiency—Grade 2 or above85 per cent.

To respond in full to customers seeking education advice from SCE(UK) within the following timescales:

93 per cent. within 10 working days of receipt.
Remainder within 20 working days of receipt.

The Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 2 value added score for SCE will show an index of at least 100.

Customer Satisfaction:

To demonstrate customer satisfaction with SCE schools through a result of 69 per cent. or greater satisfaction from the Army Continuous Attitude Surveys.
To develop customer performance criteria on the efficiency and effectiveness of SCE Headquarters for incorporation as a Key Target for 2004 and beyond.

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Army Training and Recruitment Agency

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Mr. Adam Ingram): The Chief Executive of the Army Training and Recruitment Agency has been set the following Key Targets for 2003–04.


Army Personnel Centre

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Mr. Adam Ingram): The Chief Executive of the Army Personnel Centre has been set the following Key Targets for 2003–04.


Disposals Process (Review)

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Mr. Adam Ingram): A business review of the disposals process is to be carried out by the Ministry of Defence. The Review will commence shortly and complete in the autumn.

The aim of the review is to examine the function, operation, funding and organisation of the disposals process, to identify the key objectives, and to determine whether the current arrangements are most appropriate for future needs.

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The review team will consult with a range of stakeholders during the course of the review including MOD and Single Service sponsors, TUs, other Government Departments and other relevant bodies. The Ministry of Defence is interested to hear the views of other organisations or individuals who would like to make a contribution to the review. Those wishing to do so should send their contributions by 31 July 2003 to:

The Disposals Process Business Review Team

Ministry of Defence

2nd Floor

St Giles Court

1–13 St Giles High Street

London WC2H 8LD

Or by email to:

[email protected]

Armoured Vehicles

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Mr. Adam Ingram): We regularly re-visit existing plans for capability enhancements to ensure they remain tailored to the security environment in which we need to operate. As such, we judge that the Multi-Role Armoured Vehicle (MRAV) is not ideally suited to the type of operations envisaged under the Strategic Defence Review New Chapter and other developing policy work. This, coupled with recent operational experience in the Balkans, Sierra Leone, East Timor, Afghanistan and latterly Iraq, has demonstrated the need for rapid deployability in expeditionary operations. MRAV is not considered able to meet this capability requirement which will be pursued through the Future Rapid Effect System (FRES). FRES will be a very significant component of the long-term transformation of the land battle through its contribution to network-enabled capability. We have written to the German and Dutch Governments to inform them of our decision to withdraw from the MRAV collaborative project.

In parallel with our decision to withdraw from the MRAV programme, we are pleased to announce the results of the competition for the Future Command and Liaison Vehicle (FCLV). The Alvis Vickers Limited Multirole Light Vehicle has been selected to deliver the solution to the Army's requirement for enhanced speed, reliability, flexibility and protection for a wide range of users in combat or peacekeeping operations: FCLV will also provide support for the RAF Regiment. It will play a key role in the Joint Rapid Reaction Forces by providing versatile, airtransportable vehicles, which will be among the first deployed in a crisis and will spearhead the way for troops in combat or peacekeeping operations. FCLV will replace a mixed fleet of ageing vehicles which were acquired as a stopgap following the withdrawal of the Ferret Scout Car. This contract is worth over £200 million and is a good result for the United Kingdom AFV industry.


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