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3 Sep 2007 : Column 1612W—continued


Armoured Fighting Vehicles: Expenditure

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the total expenditure was on the procurement and maintenance of armoured vehicles in each year since 1997. [148235]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The figures in the table detail expenditure, rounded to the nearest £10 million, on the procurement and maintenance of armoured vehicles; Challenger 2, CVR(T), FV430 Mk 2, FV430 Bulldog, Saxon GWR, Saxon Patrol, Warrior, Vector, Mastiff, Trojan and Titan. The complete financial records for maintenance prior to financial year 2003-04 are not held in one central location and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

£ million
Financial year Procurement Maintenance

1997-98

350

n/a

1998-99

330

n/a

1999-2000

190

n/a

2000-01

70

n/a

2001-02

70

n/a

2002-03

30

n/a

2003-04

60

160

2004-05

50

140

2005-06

70

130

2006-07

110

120

n/a = not available.

Maintenance expenditure includes repairs, upgrade and upkeep programmes, post design services and purchase of spares.

Procurement expenditure includes development, production, training, support equipment and initial spares.

Arms Trade

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what mechanisms are in place to prevent arms owned by the armed forces or deemed surplus to requirements becoming available on the black market. [153670]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Weapons owned by the armed forces are subject to the most stringent security procedures. In service weapons are always stored in secure armouries when not in use and access to these buildings is strictly controlled. Armoury stores are checked each day for quantity and each week for individual serial number, with random spot checks in addition. The process of issuing of weapons is also tightly controlled. Ammunition is subject to the same stringent checks and is stored in a secure compound separate from the weapons.


3 Sep 2007 : Column 1613W

Any weapons deemed surplus to requirements are returned to a secure storage facility, escorted either by unit personnel or moved via secure MOD approved hauliers. On arrival at the unit, a full check of NATO stock number, quantity and serial number will be undertaken, in addition to a full safety check.

Serviceable weapons that are no longer required by the armed forces are disposed of under Government Authority. Weapons classified as beyond repair are reduced to scrap and disposed of.

Army Base Repair Organisation: Manpower

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which posts are open to indirect employees as described in KT4 (Efficiency) in the Army Base Repair Organisation key targets of financial year 2007-08. [152994]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The posts that are open to employees that are defined as indirect, as described in ABRO’s Key Target 4 for 2007-08, include all management, supervisory and support roles, including planning and logistics.

Army Board

Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 11 June 2007, Official Report, column 752W, on the Army Board, if he will provide a breakdown of the internal flights taken by the Chief of the General Staff in 2006; and what the purpose was of each flight. [143451]

Derek Twigg: I am withholding information about the details of the individual flights as its disclosure would or would be likely to endanger the safety of an individual.

Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 11 June 2007, Official Report, column 752W, on Army Board, if he will provide a breakdown of the internal flights taken by the Adjutant General in 2006; and what the purpose was of each flight. [143452]

Derek Twigg: On closer examination of the records my officials have discovered that the total number of flights undertaken by the Adjutant-General in 2006 given in answer on 11 June 2007, Official Report, column 752W was overstated. The Adjutant-General took a total of 49 internal flights in 2006; 10 by RAF rotary and fixed wing aircraft, 34 by Army Rotary Wing aircraft and five commercial flights. I am withholding the details of the individual flights as its disclosure would or would be likely to be prejudicial to his personal security.

Army Board: Housing

Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 3 July 2007, Official Report, columns 953-4W, on the Army Board: housing, what the reasons are for the increase in the running costs of the housing provided by his Department for members of the Army Board since 1999-2000. [152866]


3 Sep 2007 : Column 1614W

Derek Twigg: The changes in the running costs of accommodation associated with the posts of Chief of the General Staff, Commander in Chief Land, Adjutant-General and General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland are due to a combination of factors including:

More detailed information on the specific contributions (negative or positive) of individual factors could be undertaken only at disproportionate cost.

Army: Horses

Mr. Pope: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much was spent by the British Army on purchasing, maintaining and transporting horses and ponies for polo in the last 12 months for which figures are available. [152627]

Derek Twigg: I refer the hon. Member to the answers I gave to the hon. Member for North Durham (Mr. Jones) on 10 May 2007, Official Report, column 348W and the hon. Member for Stratford-on-Avon (Mr. Maples) on 1 March 2007, Official Report, column 1539W.

Army: Uniforms

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether bearskin caps used by the British Army are sourced from bears killed specifically for the purpose of supplying the British Army. [153298]

Des Browne: To our knowledge, no pelts for use by the Guards have come from bears killed specifically for the purpose of supplying the British Army.

Since 2001 it has been MOD policy to refurbish rather than replace bearskin caps, wherever possible. As a result no pelts have been purchased in recent years by the contractors who make the caps for the Department. Previously, when pelts have been purchased, they have been bought from regulated fur traders operating under the jurisdiction of the Canadian authorities.

AWE Aldermaston: Floods

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what flood protection measures were taken in respect of AWE Aldermaston during the recent heavy rainfall; what assessment he has made of the robustness of these protection measures; and if he will make a statement. [153484]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: AWE Aldermaston has flood protection systems in place that have been agreed with the Environment Agency. These include a series of small reservoirs that were installed in the early 1990s to
3 Sep 2007 : Column 1615W
allow run-off water from the site to be collected and assessed prior to a managed discharge. Water flowing from areas of the site such as roads and car parks are diverted to local watercourses.

I can confirm that these protection arrangements worked well and performed as designed.

Ballistic Missile Defence

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the Space Based Infra Red System at RAF Menwith Hill will be in operation. [153744]

Des Browne: On current plans, facilities at RAF Menwith Hill for routing satellite data will be ready for operation early in 2008. The operational date for the Space Based Infra Red System is a matter for the US.

Bombs: Peacekeeping Operations

Mr. Caton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many CRV-7 rockets fitted with cluster munition warheads UK armed forces have used in (a) Afghanistan and (b) Iraq since October 2001. [147523]

Des Browne: No CRV-7 rockets fitted with sub-munition warheads have been used by UK armed forces against operational targets in either Afghanistan or Iraq. However, a number of CRV-7 M261 high explosive multi-purpose sub-munition rockets have been fired on a range in Afghanistan as part of routine training.

The UK does not consider the CRV-7 multi-purpose sub-munition to be a cluster munition because of its direct fire capability and small number of sub-munitions.

Defence Equipment: Spare Parts

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many instances there were of spare parts lost in transit during financial year 2006-07; and what the value was of each loss. [148229]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The reported value of recorded losses in transit for financial year 2006-07 was £2.9 million, consisting of 2,058 items. Data is not held in such a way that enables the separate identification of "spare parts".

Defence Medical Services: ICT

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reason the launch of the Defence Medical Information Capability Programme medical IT system has been postponed; and if he will make a statement. [149657]

Derek Twigg: The launch of the Defence Medical Information Capability Programme (DMICP) has not been postponed; the system was rolled out at the first Army pilot site in February 2007 and is currently in service at 12 sites. The roll out is proceeding to schedule, and the system is expected to be in service in all medical and dental centres in the UK and Germany and certain other fixed sites overseas by the middle of 2008.


3 Sep 2007 : Column 1616W

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects the Defence Medical Information Capability Programme will be connected to the National Care Records Service. [149660]

Derek Twigg: The Defence Medical Information Capability Programme is due to be connected to the National Care Records Service by December 2010.

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what provisions have been made for service personnel to opt out of the Defence Medical Information Capability Programme. [149661]

Derek Twigg: In agreement with the General Medical Council (GMC), the Defence Medical Services (DMS) can decide to hold every individual medical record in electronic, rather than paper format.

Service personnel cannot opt out of this system. They may, however, ask that their record can only be seen by a clinician who is directly involved in their health care. Robust provisions have been made to ensure that individual records can be locked down so that their existence in the system is not apparent to those not entitled to see them. In addition, individuals will be able to opt out of allowing their record to be shared on the NHS National Care Record Service, and to place certain other restrictions on access to their records.

All those whose records may be held in Defence Medical Information Capability Programme (DMICP) are being alerted to these facts before DMICP is rolled out at their medical centre. Medical staff have been briefed on the procedures and will advise their patients on the risks of restricting access to their records.

Departments: BAE Systems

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 5 July 2007, Official Report, column 1132W, on Department: BAE Systems, how many and what percentage of applicants were (a) granted permission to join BAE and (b) took up posts with BAE in each of the last 10 years; how many were of those granted permission (i) civilian and (ii) military staff; what ranks each held; and how many were from the Defence Export Services Organisation. [149676]

Des Browne [holding answer 16 July 2007]: Applications received and approved to join BAE Systems in the 10 years since 1997 are as follows:


3 Sep 2007 : Column 1617W
Number of applications to join BAE Systems Number approved or approved with conditions Number not approved (2-year waiting time imposed) Of those approved, military Of those approved, civilian

1997

24

21

3

16

5

1998

15

14

1

13

1

1999

8

8

0

4

4

2000

14

14

0

0

14

2001

26

25

1

17

8

2002

21

21

0

15

6

2003

14

14

0

9

5

2004

7

6

1

6

0

2005

14

14

0

10

4

2006

21

21

0

13

8

Total

165

158

6

103

55


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