|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
20 Nov 2003 : Column 1251Wcontinued
Mr. Caplin: Members of HM forces have no authority to direct traffic on public highways. However, they may supervise and control military traffic on public highways to ensure that it does not impede civilian traffic and that it complies with the appropriate traffic regulations.
20 Nov 2003 : Column 1252W
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many acknowledgement letters and cards were dispatched by his Department in each year since 1997 for which figures are available; and what the estimated average cost was per letter and card. 
Mr. Caplin [holding answer 8 May 2003]: Details of the cost and number of acknowledgement letters and cards dispatched by the Ministry of Defence is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However the Department routinely sends a letter of acknowledgement for each piece of ministerial correspondence it receives. During the period 1 January 2003 to 31 October 2003, the MOD received 4,879 pieces of ministerial correspondence. The Cabinet Office, on an annual basis, publishes a report to Parliament on the volume of Members' correspondence received by Departments. The report for 2002 was published on 15 May 2003, Official Report, columns 1821W. Copies of previous reports are available in the Library of the House.
Mr. Ingram: We have received a number of representations from Members of Parliament and relatives of the military policemen about the deaths of the six Royal Military Policemen at Al Majar Al Kabir. We keep the nominated next of kin of the deceased informed of progress in the continuing investigations into the deaths.
Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the armaments that can be used against (a) mechanised columns, (b) ammunition storage sites and (c) surface to air missile sites. 
20 Nov 2003 : Column 1253W
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) which (a) Infantry, (b) Royal Artillery, (c) Royal Armoured Corps, (d) Royal Engineers and (e) Royal Signals units have not met their harmony guidelines in the past two years; 
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many armoured Land Rovers are deployed with UK forces in Iraq; and whether this will be affected by the Ministry of Defence's decision to sell some of its stock of armoured Land Rovers. 
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which (a) Infantry, (b) Royal Artillery, (c) Royal Armoured Corps, (d) Royal Engineers and (e) Royal Signals units have had less than 12 months between tour intervals in the past five years. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 10 November 2003]: The Army's Harmony guidelines recommend a tour interval of 24 months between each six month operational tour for Army battalions, which equates to one tour in each 30 month period. Between first May 2001 and 31 October 2003 infantry battalions undertook an average of about 1.3 tours. This is primarily the result of the Army's commitments on Operation Telic in Iraq and we therefore expect the situation to improve as commitments reduce.
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions there have been between the UK Government and the Australian Government on future strategic tanker and offensive air system programmes; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: Ministry of Defence officials have discussed future offensive air systems with the Australian Government on a number of occasions. The United Kingdom and Australian Government are co-operating on work to demonstrate new technologies
20 Nov 2003 : Column 1254W
that will allow cruise missiles to be safely launched from large transport aircraft. This work is part of the UK's Future Offensive Air System project, and is being carried out by MBDA UK Ltd.
Officials have also provided occasional briefings to Australia about our requirement and planned PFI procurement strategy for the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA). FSTA was also discussed briefly during a meeting that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence held with Senator Robert Hill, Australian Defence Minister, on 12 November 2003.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of RAF C-130J aircraft had been planned to be out of service in 2003 owing to maintenance; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: The planned number of C-130J aircraft on routine, scheduled maintenance at any one time is normally one aircraft, equating to 4 per cent. of the 25 aircraft fleet. However, due to the heavy use of the fleet on Operation TELIC, this has been increased to a planned average of 1.5 aircraft; this equates to 6 per cent.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what percentage of RAF C-130J aircraft (a) are and (b) have been judged to be below mission readiness owing to chronic engine problems in each month in 2003; 
Mr. Ingram: "Chronic engine problems" has been taken to refer to significant faults such as turbine failures and generator problems that have caused engine rejections. Faults such as low oil pressure and other routine faults have not been included.
As at 0800 on 30 October 2003, nine RAF C-130J aircraft were out of service. Of these nine, two aircraft were back in service 24 hours later. The average number of aircraft unavailable due to routine maintenance and engine problems during the first 10 months of 2003 is provided in the following table. Some aircraft may have undergone routine maintenance at the same time as being out of service for engine related problems.
The figures in the table are not whole numbers because they are calculated as the number of aircraft that were unserviceable during the month multiplied by the proportion of the month that each aircraft was out of service. As an example, if one aircraft was unserviceable for 40 per cent. of the month then this would give an average of 0.4, as in January. These figures have then been expressed as a percentage in the second table.
|Month||Average numberof aircraft unserviceable for engine problems||Average number of aircraft in scheduled maintenance|
20 Nov 2003 : Column 1255W
|Month||Percentage of fleet|
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|