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11 Mar 2004 : Column 1653Wcontinued
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many personnel from other countries are serving in the (a) Army, (b) Royal Navy and (c) Royal Air Force; and from which countries they come. 
(16) Denotes less than five
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Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment has been made of the operational effectiveness of Challenger 2 main battle tanks when crews are wearing individual protective equipment against nuclear, biological and chemical attack. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 5 March 2004]: The effect on the operational effectiveness of Challenger 2 tanks when their crew members are wearing individual protective equipment against nuclear, biological and chemical attack depends on a number of related and variable factors. These include the ambient temperature and the effectiveness of the crew cooling system; the length of time the equipment has been worn at high protection state; the amount of prior training undertaken by the crew; their physical fitness levels; and the psychological stresses imposed during battle. The requirement to operate Challenger 2 tanks in individual protection equipment is reflected in annual training.
Mr. Ingram: Following the announcement last summer of our intention to procure Hawk 128 to meet our Advanced Jet Trainer requirement, detailed contractual negotiations with BAE SYSTEMS are continuing. Subject to a satisfactory conclusion, we are planning on placing an order for 20 aircraft with options for up to a further 24. The first aircraft would be delivered during 2008.
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Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the humanitarian projects that United Kingdom forces have (a) completed and (b) not yet completed in Iraq since 1 May 2003. 
Mr. Ingram: United Kingdom forces have undertaken over 700 reconstruction projects in Iraq since the end of major combat operations. For a list of projects I refer my hon. Friend to my letter reference: D/MIN(AF)/5234N dated 10 March a copy of which is available in the Library of the House in response to question number 137519 from the hon. Member for Moray (Angus Robertson).
Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what force protection measures are in place to protect the operatives of non-governmental organisations and humanitarian organisations within the UK sphere of military operations in Iraq. 
Mr. Ingram: The UK does not routinely provide force protection to humanitarian or non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Such organisations are directly responsible for assessing the risks to their staff. UK local commanders do discuss security and other practical issues with them on a regular basis.
Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the status of UK forces in Iraq will be after 31 July; what legal mandate will govern their presence and operations; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 9 March 2004]: The status of UK forces in Iraq and the legal mandate that will govern their presence and operations after the handover of authority to an Iraqi government remain under consideration.
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Mr. Ingram: Members of the armed forces may only use blindfolds on apprehended individuals for reasons of operational security, such as movement through military sensitive areas. No other forms of sensory deprivation are permitted.
Mr. Charles Kennedy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what arrangements are in place for providing compensation to the (a) residents and (b) businesses of Skye and Wester Ross in the event of a nuclear incident involving a nuclear submarine using the Z Berths at Aultbea and Broadford; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: The Government underwrite the nuclear risks associated with the consequences of the operation of its nuclear submarines. The indemnification of these risks is not limited either financially or geographically and depending on the location and type of incident, would cover the local residents and businesses on the Isle of Skye and at Wester Ross.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many procurement contracts were placed by his Department with companies based in Scotland in financial year (a) 200203, (b) 200102 and (c) 200001; what the (i) most expensive and (ii) least expensive contracts were; and what the total value of contracts was. 
|Number of new contracts let||724||604||600|
|Total value of these contracts||£250 million||£1.2 billion||£850 million|
|Most valuable new contract let||£59 million||£395 million||£418 million|
It is not possible to provide meaningful data on the least valuable contracts let in each of these years because certain types of MOD contract are set up with a nominal value (normally £1) under which goods or services are then 'called-off' and paid for during the contract term.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many research contracts were placed by his Department with research institutions based in Scotland in fiscal year (a) 200203, (b) 200102 and (c) 200001; what the total value of these contracts was; and what the total value of research contracts placed within the UK was. 
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