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4 Dec 2003 : Column 127Wcontinued
Mr. Jack: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on technology transfer agreements which have been concluded between BAE systems and the US Administration on the Joint Strike Fighter Project. 
Mr. Ingram: BAE Systems has recently concluded negotiation of an updated technology transfer agreement, marking a significant step on the path towards achievement of its full participation in the Joint
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Strike Fighter development programme. With the involvement of the company, a plan has been drawn up to identify future key technology transfer milestones, in order to ensure that further updates are signed when required.
In the case of secondary legislation my Department was responsible for the making of 11 General Statutory Instruments which would have been considered by the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments or the Select Committee on Statutory Instruments. These instruments made a total of 53 pages.
(3) what recent changes there have been in NATO policy on low-flying military training. 
Mr. Caplin: NATO sets the minimum standards for low-flying military training but does not have a separate policy on how to achieve these standards. Nations are responsible for their own training to achieve what is required of them and make their own arrangements for any low-flying training which they deem necessary. There are no foreseeable changes to this position in 2004 and I have not been involved in discussions with NATO on this issue.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) Royal Navy, (b) Royal Air Force, (c) Army and (d) civilian MoD personnel are on deployment to (i) NATO HQ in Brussels (ii) NATO Southern Command and (iii) other NATO command centres; and if he will make a statement. 
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Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many military diplomatic personnel have been deployed to the United States in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether a 24-month gap between tours has been achieved for (a) the 1st Battalion, The Royal Scots and (b) the 1st Battalion The King's Own Scottish Borderers since 1997; and if he will make a statement; 
Mr. Ingram: The Army's Harmony guidelines recommend a tour interval of 24 months between each six month operational tour, per Army Battalion. Since 1997, the 1st Battalion, The Royal Scots and the 1st Battalion, The King's Own Scottish Borderers have both experienced a gap of at least 24 months between operational tours.
The 1st Battalion, The Royal Scots have undertaken two unaccompanied operational tours since 1997, with a gap of 36 months between them. In addition they have completed a two year residential (accompanied by families) tour in Northern Ireland.
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The Wheeled Tanker programme, which will provide 357 tankers to carry fuel (300) and water (57) at a cost of £171 million, is planned to come into service in February 2005 and will have a 15 year life.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the potential of network-centric warfare in the future tactics of the (a) United Kingdom and (b) United States armed forces; and what plans he has to adopt it. 
Mr. Hoon: Developing a networked capability is fundamental to achieving desired effects in joint and coalition warfighting. It offers the potential for dramatic increases in tempothe ability to make better quality decisions and act more quickly and with greater agility, control and precision.
The Ministry of Defence has commissioned research to assess the positive impact of Network Centric Warfare, which we in the United Kingdom refer to as Networked Enabled Capability. At this stage, the preliminary results of this study indicate that Networked Enabled Capability will have a very positive impact on the operational effectiveness of our armed forces. The study is due to report next year and it is anticipated that it will produce detailed results demonstrating the benefit. Additionally, the MOD is collaborating and providing data for a United States Department of Defense (US DOD) study which is looking at the benefit delivered by Networked Enabled Capability. The outcome of this work is expected in the summer of next year.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many soldiers from Scottish battalions have been stationed in Northern Ireland in each of the last 10 years; and what estimate his Department has made of the number of soldiers required in future years; 
|Date as at 31 October||Number of army personnel|
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disproportionate cost. I can, however, list those Scottish battalions that have served in Northern Ireland over the last 10 years. The minimum manning strength for an infantry battalion in Northern Ireland is 550.
|April 1992-December 1994||1st Battalion, The King's Owns Scottish Borderers|
|September 1992-March 1993||1st Battalion, The Royal Scots|
|November 1992-May 1993||1st Battalion, The Queen's Own Highlanders|
|May 1994-November 1994||1st Battalion, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders|
|June 1994-December 1994||1st Battalion, The Scots Guards|
|December 1994-April 1995||1st Battalion, The Highlanders|
|May 1995-November 1995||1st Battalion, The Black Watch|
|September 1995-April 1997||1st Battalion, The Highlanders|
|October 1995-March 1996||1st Battalion, The Royal Scots|
|November 1995-May 1996||1st Battalion, The King's Owns Scottish Borderers|
|May 1996-November 1996||1st Battalion, The Scots Guards|
|February 1997-February 1999||1st Battalion, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders|
|May 1997-November 1997||1st Battalion, The Royal Highland Fusiliers|
|June 1997-December 1997||1st Battalion, The Royal Scots|
|September 1997-March 1998||1st Battalion, The King's Owns Scottish Borderers|
|March 1998-March 2000||1st Battalion, The Scots Guards|
|June 1998-November 1998||1st Battalion, The Highlanders|
|December 1998-May 1999||1st Battalion, The Black Watch|
|March 1999-August 1999||1st Battalion, The Royal Scots|
|January 2000-April 2000||1st Battalion, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders|
|June 2000-December 2000||1st Battalion, The Highlanders|
|September 2000-April 2002||1st Battalion, The Royal Scots|
|March 2001-March 2003||1st Battalion, The Royal Highland Fusiliers|
|March 2001-March 2003||1st Battalion, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders|
|June 2001-November 2001||1st Battalion, The Scots Guards|
|September 2001-March 2002||1st Battalion, The King's Owns Scottish Borderers|
All military force structures are based on operational need given the current and future security environment in which the armed forces are likely to operate. Until there is agreement on Security Normalisation in Northern Ireland, it would be premature to come to any conclusions on the future composition of the Northern Ireland garrison.
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