Libya

20. Mr Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent representations he has received on the cost to the public purse of military operations in Libya. [110563]

Mr Gerald Howarth: We currently estimate the net additional cost of Operation ELLAMY at £199 million.

Scottish Independence: Defence Implications

21. Lindsay Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the potential effect on the defence industry of independence for Scotland. [110564]

Nick Harvey: Scotland has a strong, skilled defence industrial sector which will best be served by Scotland remaining part of the UK, which has the world’s fourth largest defence budget.

EU procurement laws provide an exception to the usual procurement process where the essential interests of national security are at stake, allowing contracts to be placed with domestic defence contractors without a competitive process.

Clearly, if Scotland was not part of the UK, its defence industries could not benefit from such procurement processes being used by the UK Government.

Army Regimental Structure

22. Graeme Morrice: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions he has had on the structure of regiments in the Army. [110565]

Nick Harvey: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave earlier today to the right hon. Member for Delyn (Mr Hanson).

Scottish Independence: Royal Navy Construction Projects

Ian Murray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the potential effect of independence for Scotland on Royal Navy construction projects. [110566]

Peter Luff: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave today to the hon. Member for Inverclyde (Mr McKenzie).

11 Jun 2012 : Column 92W

Adam Werritty

Nick Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will investigate whether Mr Adam Werritty was present at any meetings between (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department and representatives from Lockheed Martin to discuss the carrier variant of the Joint Strike Fighter. [109617]

Mr Philip Hammond: We have no records of any departmental meetings about the carrier variant of the Joint Strike Fighter involving Mr Werritty, Ministers and Lockheed Martin.

Equally, I am not aware that Mr Werrity ever attended any meeting on the carrier variant between officials and Lockheed Martin, although it is not possible to provide a definitive response to the question regarding officials within the Ministry of Defence without incurring disproportionate cost.

Aircraft Carriers

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what external assistance and technical consultancy his Department commissioned for the work to assess the costs, risks and technical feasibility of fitting cats and traps in the carrier programme; and how much it spent on each piece of work commissioned. [109912]

Peter Luff: The Ministry of Defence commissioned RAND Europe to provide an independent technical assessment of the in-build and refit conversion strategies that were under development during the Queen Elizabeth Class Conversion Development Phase. The cost of this work was £195,000 and is part of the £39 million committed to the Conversion Development programme that was announced at the time of the oral statement.

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many staff of his Department were employed on a (a) part-time and (b) full-time basis on work to assess the costs, risks and technical feasibility of fitting cats and traps in the carrier programme; and what estimate he has made of the cost of this work under each category of expenditure. [109913]

Peter Luff: Within the Ministry of Defence, the conversion of the Queen Elizabeth (QE) Class aircraft carriers is not considered to be a stand-alone project, but rather an extension of the core QE build project. The Ship Acquisition team which has responsibility for delivering the QE Class, currently has 64 personnel assigned to the carriers: of these 61 were providing support to both the core build and conversion investigations, and the remaining three personnel were supporting the conversion investigations on a full-time basis.

To the end of April 2012, we had committed up to £39 million on conversion appraisal investigations and £1 million on an Air-to-Air Refuelling Study.

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations Ministers in his Department have received on the technical difficulties of converting a Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier to a CATOBAR configuration; from whom and when. [110687]

11 Jun 2012 : Column 93W

Peter Luff: I refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave on 30 April 2012, Official Report, columns 1123-24W.

Discussions on converting an aircraft carrier to a CATOBAR configuration were held on an ongoing basis with the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, the US Department of Defense and US industry.

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people worked on the Concept Development Phase looking at the installation of catapult and arrestor gear in (a) the UK and (b) the US. [110785]

Peter Luff: Within the Ministry of Defence, the conversion of the Queen Elizabeth (QE) Class aircraft carriers is not considered to be a stand-alone project, but rather an extension of the core QE build project. The Ship Acquisition team, which has responsibility for delivering the QE Class, currently has 64 personnel assigned to the carriers: of these 61 were providing support to both the core build and conversion investigations, and the remaining three personnel were supporting the conversion investigations on a full-time basis.

To the end of April 2012, we had committed up to £39 million on conversion appraisal investigations and £1 million on an Air-to-Air Refuelling Study.

Armed Forces Covenant

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when his Department plans to publish the next military covenant report. [110099]

Mr Robathan: An interim report was published in December 2011.

The first statutory report on the armed forces covenant will be published towards the end of 2012.

Armed Forces: Personnel

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) established strength, (b) current manning and (c) number of personnel from the Commonwealth is in the (i) Royal Armoured Corps, (ii) Infantry, (iii) Army Air Corps, (iv) Royal Artillery, (v) Royal Engineers, (vi) Royal Signals, (vii) Royal Logistic Corps, (viii) Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, (ix) Royal Army Medical Corps, (x) Adjutant General Corps, (xi) Intelligence Corps and (xi) Brigade of Gurkhas. [109795]

Nick Harvey: The establishment and strength information for the relevant Corps, as at 1 April 2012, is provided in the following table:

 EstablishmentStrengthStrength of Commonwealth and other non-UK personnel

Royal Armoured Corps/Household Cavalry

5,424

5,520

290

Infantry

25,009

24,080

2,240

Army Air Corps

2,032

2,015

85

Royal Artillery

7,219

7,355

720

11 Jun 2012 : Column 94W

Royal Engineers

9,104

9,450

500

Royal Signals

7,619

7,545

165

Royal Logistic Corps

13,737

14,080

1,840

Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

8,981

9,700

420

Royal Army Medical Corps

3,541

2,990

195

Adjutant General Corps

6,106

6,025

460

Intelligence Corps

1,920

1,650

10

Brigade of Gurkhas

2,848

3,650

3,650

The term “Commonwealth and other non-UK strength” comprises individuals from Commonwealth countries, the Republic of Ireland and Nepal.

Armed Forces: Pensions

Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the (a) war and (b) disability pension of a soldier is stopped if that soldier is sentenced to imprisonment following conviction of a criminal offence. [109955]

Mr Robathan: War disablement pensions paid under the War Pensions Scheme are normally withheld if an individual's term of imprisonment is more than 12 months. However, they are restored upon release and 12 months of basic pension arrears paid.

If, as a result of the suspension of pension payments, hardship can be proved, up to half of the pension can be paid to dependants.

Armed Forces: Redundancy

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether he proposes that any personnel who have served or are serving in Afghanistan will be made redundant as a result of his planned Army restructuring; [109868]

(2) whether he is taking steps to support those who have served or are serving in Afghanistan during his Army restructuring; [109872]


(3) if he will make it his policy that personnel who are serving or who have served in Afghanistan will be protected from redundancy resulting from his Army restructuring. [109873]

Mr Robathan: Policy for Army redundancy states that those personnel who are deployed on combat operations that qualify for the operational allowance; are within six months of an operational allowance earning deployment; or are on their post operational leave at the time of notification of selection, may only be made redundant if they apply. We will continue to keep this policy under review with regard to any future redundancies.

All Army personnel will be supported through the Army restructuring process, whether they are serving or have served in Afghanistan or not. An extensive

11 Jun 2012 : Column 95W

communications plan that will inform personnel of the outcomes of the restructuring process will be implemented at the appropriate time.

Armoured Fighting Vehicles

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to take a decision on the future procurement of a further tranche of the Light Protected Patrol Vehicle Foxhound. [110296]

Peter Luff: Future tranches of the Foxhound Light Protected Patrol Vehicle will be subject to confirmation of our wider requirement. An announcement regarding the second tranche of Foxhound will be made shortly.

AWE

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how much was spent by the Atomic Weapons Establishment on research by UK universities in each of the last three years; [109337]

(2) whether research undertaken on behalf of the Atomic Weapons Establishment in UK universities is funded through his Department's Management and Operation contract. [109338]

Peter Luff: The majority of the research and development work undertaken on behalf of the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) at UK universities is funded via the Ministry of Defence (MOD)'s Management and Operations contract with AWE. In addition to this funding there is a short term agreement, jointly funded by the MOD, the Home Office and the Cabinet Office, for enhanced detection and nuclear forensics work of which a proportion of the agreement funds work undertaken in UK universities.

AWE has spent between £8 million and £9 million on payments to UK universities for research and development work undertaken on their behalf in each of the past three financial years. In addition, following an agreement reached earlier this year, approximately £1 million over a four year period will be paid to UK universities for work undertaken in respect of detection and nuclear forensics.

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the asset valuation of Atomic Weapons Establishment (a) Aldermaston and (b) Burghfield is. [109605]

Peter Luff: The total net book value of assets at the Atomic Weapons Establishment sites at Aldermaston and Burghfield, as at 31 March 2012, was £2.172 billion. Of this amount, it is assessed that £1.707 billion relates to assets at Aldermaston, and £465 million at Burghfield. This includes an apportionment of assets under construction that are valued at £1 million or below, which have not yet finally been attributed to either site.

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether (a) the Atomic Weapons Establishment and (b) his Department have conducted a Review, Learn, and Improve analysis of the decision to cancel Project Hydrus at the Atomic Weapons Establishment. [109623]

11 Jun 2012 : Column 96W

Peter Luff: The Nuclear Weapons Capability Sustainment Programme (NWCSP) which included Project Hydrus is kept under regular review. For example, there was an internal Ministry of Defence (MOD) review held in 2010 which informed the Strategic Defence and Security Review, a HM Treasury Major Project Review in 2011 and a further Major Project Review currently under way with an HM Treasury Panel meeting planned for 13 June 2012. Since the decision to cancel Project Hydrus, neither the Atomic Weapons Establishment nor the MOD have conducted a specific Review, Learn, and Improve analysis of the decision to cancel Project Hydrus at the Atomic Weapons Establishment.

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many French representatives are permanently stationed (a) at the Atomic Weapons Establishment and (b) in his Department's Strategic Systems Executive. [109624]

Peter Luff: There is one French representative currently stationed at the Atomic Weapons Establishment who is engaged on a joint UK and French hydrodynamics programme; and there are no French representatives currently stationed in the Chief Strategic Systems Executive.

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when Project Pegasus at the Atomic Weapons Establishment is (a) scheduled to receive Main Gate approval and (b) scheduled to enter into commission. [109341]

Peter Luff: Project Pegasus received Main Gate approval on 14 September 2011. On current plans, commissioning is scheduled for January 2018, and the facility is scheduled to be operational in December 2019.

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a copy of the Memorandum of Agreement between the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) and the US Y-12 National Security complex on co-operation and exchange of information on AWE's enriched uranium facility and Y-12's uranium processing facility. [109342]

Peter Luff: Information on nuclear weapons and propulsion matters is exchanged under the 1958 Mutual Defence Agreement Treaty (MDA) between the UK and the USA.

There is no specific Memorandum of Agreement between the Atomic Weapons Establishment and the US Y-12 National Security Complex on co-operation and exchange of information on uranium facilities.

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on which dates representatives of the Government have met representatives of the US Administration to discuss co-operation on the enriched uranium facility at the Atomic Weapons Establishment and the uranium processing facility at the Y-12 National Security Complex; and if he will place a copy of the minutes of such meetings in the Library. [109343]

Peter Luff: There have been no meetings between Government representatives from the UK and the US on this matter.

11 Jun 2012 : Column 97W

However there are regular routine lower level discussions between staff of Atomic Weapons Establishment and their US counterparts.

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many representatives of the US Administration are permanently stationed at (a) the Atomic Weapons Establishment and (b) his Department's Strategic Systems Executive. [109344]

Peter Luff: There are no representatives from the US Administration permanently stationed at the Atomic Weapons Establishment.

The Polaris Sales Agreement 1963, as modified in 1982, mandates that both the UK and US have liaison representatives in support of their nuclear weapons programmes in each other's nations. In the UK Ministry of Defence, the Chief Strategic Systems Executive area has one US Navy Commander as the US liaison officer, who is assisted by four civilians from the US Department of the Navy.

Chiefs of Staff

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects the next (a) First Sea Lord and (b) Chief of the Air Staff to assume their roles. [109562]

Mr Robathan: Appointments to the posts of Chiefs of Staff will be published in due course in the normal way.

Chinook Helicopters

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his statement of 14 May 2012, Official Report, columns 261-65, on what the projected manufacture costs of the 14 new Chinooks announced in the Ministry of Defence budget is. [109720]

Peter Luff: The approved level of funding for the 14 Chinook Mk 6 aircraft (excluding support costs) is £841 million inclusive of VAT. This includes the contract with Boeing for the development and manufacture of the aircraft and other contracts, for example, to support test and evaluation activities and the safe introduction to service of the aircraft. The total value of the procurement, including the first five years of support costs, is approximately £1 billion.

Complaints

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many complaints about the work of his Department and each of its agencies and non-departmental public bodies were received in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and if he will make a statement. [108944]

Mr Robathan: This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Cyprus: Military Bases

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the annual cost is of the British military bases in Cyprus by type of expenditure. [109810]

11 Jun 2012 : Column 98W

Mr Philip Hammond: The annual cost of the British military bases in Cyprus, based on expenditure in 2011-12 is set out in the following table. Each category is rounded to the nearest £5 million.

CategoryExpenditure (£ million)

Personnel

130

Inventory/other consumption

10

Other cash RDEL costs

10

Facilities Management

30

Minor New Works

35

Total

215

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his Department has spent on housing for service personnel in Cyprus since May 2010. [109780]

Mr Robathan: The total amount spent on service family accommodation in Cyprus since May 2010 to date is some £67 million, including new build projects and facilities management.

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost to the public purse was of the review of British military bases in Cyprus conducted by Lord Ashcroft of Chichester. [109808]

Mr Philip Hammond: There were no additional costs to the Ministry of Defence other than minimal travel and subsistence costs. Lord Ashcroft of Chichester, as independent adviser to the study, received no remuneration from the public purse.

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whom Lord Ashcroft of Chichester consulted as part of his review of British military bases in Cyprus. [109809]

Mr Philip Hammond: Lord Ashcroft of Chichester and the Cyprus review team consulted widely with a number of organisations, international bodies and partners as well as within the Ministry of Defence and other Government Departments.

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many service personnel are currently stationed in British military bases in Cyprus; and how many are planned to be stationed there in May (a) 2013, (b) 2014 and (c) 2015. [109811]

Mr Philip Hammond: There are around 2,700 service personnel based in British Forces Cyprus. This figure is subject to variation as personnel change location, units rotate or personnel are deployed on operations.

There are currently no plans to significantly vary the number of service personnel based in Cyprus.

Debts Written Off

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much bad debt was written off by his Department in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and if he will make a statement. [110219]

11 Jun 2012 : Column 99W

Mr Philip Hammond: Information on bad debts written off is published in the Ministry of Defence annual report (see Note 11 for 2010-11).

The figure for 2011-12 will be included in the 2011-12 annual report, which is due for publication before the summer recess.

Defence: Fuels

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when his Department expects to make a decision on the future management of the fuel storage and distribution facility at Yonderberry managed by Defence Fuels Group. [109518]

Peter Luff: The facility at Yonderberry is part of the naval oil fuel depot (OFD) at Thanckes. Responsibility for management and operation of OFD Thanckes transferred from the Ministry of Defence (MOD) Defence Fuels Group to the Oil and Pipelines Agency in summer 2011 although the site remains in MOD ownership. The Oil and Pipelines Agency is a public corporation sponsored by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence. Provisions for the possible sale of the agency are contained within the recently published draft energy Bill.

Defence: Procurement

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the oral statement of 14 May 2012, Official Report, column 262, on defence budget and transformation, over what period the equipment and support budget is balanced. [109464]

Mr Philip Hammond: The budget is balanced over the 10-year planning cycle. This runs from financial year 2012-13 to financial year 2021-22.

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his oral statement of 14 May 2012, Official Report, column 262, on defence budget and transformation, what the remaining 55% of his Department's total budget is worth over the corresponding period. [109465]

Mr Philip Hammond: Based on an agreed planning assumption, 55% of the defence budget in financial year 2021-22 will be around £22.5 billion. However, the actual budget will be set during future spending reviews.

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the oral statement of 14 May 2012, Official Report, column 263, on Defence budget and transformation, which armoured fighting vehicles are included in his plans. [109484]

Peter Luff: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) plans to spend some £5.5 billion on the Army's core armoured vehicle programme over the next 10 years. Within this programme, we have already approved the demonstration and manufacture of the Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme and the Demonstration Phase of the Scout Specialist Vehicle. The armoured vehicle programme

11 Jun 2012 : Column 100W

also resources the further stages of Scout Specialist Vehicle manufacture, and in due course a Utility Vehicle and improvements to Challenger 2.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence made clear in his statement to the House on 14 May 2012, Official Report, columns 261-64, that, in order to avoid a repeat of the mistakes of the past, the MOD will not commit funding to programmes before it is necessary to do so.

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what revisions his Department has made to the funding profile of the Solomon programme following Defence Intelligence provision of a Single Intelligence requirements definition paper which aligned the provision of capability to desired military requirements in 2015 and 2020. [109515]

Peter Luff: Over the last two planning rounds, the Solomon funding profile has been refined to closely match the Ministry of Defence’s Capability Management plan to provide enabling intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance capabilities to the Defence Intelligence community.

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 23 May 2012, Official Report, column 721W, on defence: procurement, what assumption was made in Planning Round 2012 of the annual increase after 2015 in his Department's spending other than on equipment and equipment support. [110648]

Mr Philip Hammond: In Planning Round 12 we assumed that spending other than on equipment and equipment support would remain flat in real terms from 2014-15 to the end of the 10 year PR period.

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 23 May 2012, Official Report, column 721W, on defence: procurement, whether additional funding will be provided by HM Treasury to cover the cost of the assumed 1 per cent annual increase to the equipment and equipment support budget from 2015. [110650]

Peter Luff: Yes.

Falkland Islands: Rescue Services

Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will ensure that there is military support helicopter provision available in the Falkland Islands once the search and rescue privatisation has been completed; and if he will make a statement. [109583]

Nick Harvey: The Ministry of Defence is currently examining the provision of support helicopter capability in the Falkland Islands from 2016 onwards. This work is at an early stage and no decisions have been taken.

Future Large Aircraft

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the effect on delivery of the propeller gear box problems affecting A400M aircraft. [110062]

11 Jun 2012 : Column 101W

Peter Luff: The A400M development fleet continues to undergo rigorous testing, including that of the engine and gearbox, as part of the ongoing flight test programme leading to civil and military certification. During a planned flight from South East Asia back to Europe, there was a gearbox incident which resulted in the automated shutdown of the engine. The aircraft landed safely in Oman where a replacement engine was delivered and fitted, after which the aircraft continued its journey back to its base in France. Detailed investigation work into the cause of the problem is under way, the outcome of which will be reported to A400M nations. The current assessment by Airbus Military (the prime contractor) is that this incident will not have any impact on either aircraft production activities or the delivery schedule.

Germany: Armed Forces

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress he has made in re-basing those elements of the armed forces currently based in Germany. [109914]

Nick Harvey: The process of rebasing the armed forces currently stationed in Germany began with the BORONA programme, which will rationalise the Germany estate with the closure of Rhine Garrison and Minister Station, and the consequent relocation of units both within Germany and the UK. The BORONA programme is on track to deliver the moves by summer 2015 as planned.

The Army announced in November 2011 a number of initial moves including moves following units, currently based in Germany, back to the UK:

7 Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps from Bielefeld to Kendrew Barracks, Cottesmore in summer 2013

43 Close Support Squadron, Royal Logistic Corps from Gutersloh to Abingdon in January 2012.

The timing of further moves is dependent on the announcement of the Army's work on restructuring and the subsequent basing discussions.

Gibraltar: Spain

Mr Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what steps the Royal Navy has taken in response to incursions into the waters around Gibraltar between 14 and 20 May 2012; [109413]

(2) what his policy is on intervention by the Royal Navy in the event of an incursion into the waters around Gibraltar by the Guardia Civil; [109414]

(3) what standing orders are given to Royal Navy vessels charged with protecting and patrolling the waters around Gibraltar. [109415]

Nick Harvey [holding answer 24 May 2012]: A part of the Royal Navy’s role in Gibraltar is to deter and challenge all marine incursions which threaten the integrity of British Gibraltar territorial waters. In line with standing orders, appropriate warnings have been issued in response to each recent incursion by Spanish state vessels. In addition, protests are being made through diplomatic channels.

11 Jun 2012 : Column 102W

Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the recent activity of the Royal Navy has been in response to the actions of the Spanish Guardia Civil in British Territorial Waters off Gibraltar; and if he will make a statement. [109543]

Nick Harvey: The Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron will continue to deter and challenge all marine incursions which threaten the integrity of British Gibraltar Territorial Waters. In line with standing orders, appropriate warnings have been issued in response to each recent incursion.

The Ministry of Defence remains absolutely committed to ensuring the defence and security of Gibraltar, its residents and British Gibraltar Territorial Waters.

Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many times vessels from the Spanish Guardia Civil have entered British Territorial Waters or any Gibraltarian port in the last seven days. [109544]

Nick Harvey: Between 21 May and 28 May 2012, Guardia Civil vessels entered British Gibraltar Territorial Waters 38 times. Of these 29 were "innocent passages" as defined in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The remaining nine were subject to appropriate warnings by the Royal Navy and protests through diplomatic channels.

Harrier Aircraft

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many redundancies were made in the (a) Royal Navy, (b) RAF and (c) MOD civilian workforce following the Government's decision to sell the Harrier fleet. [109077]

Nick Harvey: 12 former Royal Navy Harrier pilots have been made redundant following retirement of the Harrier fleet. It is not possible to attribute other Royal Navy, RAF or Ministry of Defence civilian staff departures solely to the decision to sell the Harrier fleet as other issues, including the Government's decision to reduce service and MOD civilian manpower, were taken into account in calculating the numbers for redundancy and Voluntary Early Release.

HMS Plymouth

Oliver Colvile: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information his Department holds on the present structural condition of HMS Plymouth. [109859]

Peter Luff: The Ministry of Defence holds no current information about the structural condition of the former HMS Plymouth, a Rothesay Class 12 Frigate, which left service with the Royal Navy in 1988 and was subsequently sold.

Horn of Africa

Alun Michael: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what support his Department plans to provide to Somaliland and countries in the Horn of Africa in the remainder of this Parliament. [110554]

11 Jun 2012 : Column 103W

Mr Gerald Howarth: The Ministry of Defence plans to continue its close engagement with the Somaliland Army and Coastguard, building capacity in Somaliland's institutions as a priority. The UK will continue to play a major role in the growing international efforts to bring peace and stability to all areas of Somalia and the Horn of Africa region.

Israel

Mr Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he has taken to ensure products from illegal Israeli settlements are not purchased by (a) his Department and (b) the armed forces, whether directly or through third parties. [109477]

Peter Luff: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) follows UK and EU guidelines when purchasing goods and services from suppliers: these guidelines do not currently differentiate between products emanating from Israel or the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what role the National Security Council played in the decision to procure the short takeoff and vertical landing variant of the Joint Strike Fighter. [109915]

Peter Luff: The National Security Council took the decision to revert to the short take off vertical landing variant having taken into account the recommendation of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence.

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many units of the F35B his Department plans to procure; and over what period. [110784]

Peter Luff: The Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) programme is currently within the Development Test phase. The Ministry of Defence is following an incremental acquisition policy for JSF. The overall numbers of F35B aircraft will not be determined before the next Strategic Defence and Security Review at the earliest.

Littoral Warfare

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the total cost was of the Goalkeeper weapon system purchased for Albion Class amphibious assault vessels. [110057]

Peter Luff: The Goalkeeper close-in weapons system entered service with the Royal Navy in 1989. The total purchase price of the Goalkeeper weapon system that is now carried on the Albion class of vessels was around £33 million. This figure is based on the 1989 purchase cost (at historic outturn prices) and includes the purchase cost of the Goalkeeper systems and the Gun Magazine Loading systems that operate alongside it. The historical costs for on-board spares and ship fitting are not held.

11 Jun 2012 : Column 104W

Departmental Meetings

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what dates (a) he, (b) Ministers and (c) senior officials in his Department have met representatives of (i) the Institute for Public Policy Research, (ii) the Taxpayers' Alliance, (iii) the Institute of Economic Affairs, (iv) ResPublica, (v) the Centre for Social Justice and (vi) Policy Exchange; and if he will publish the minutes and agendas of these meetings. [108973]

Mr Philip Hammond: Details of Ministers' and the most senior officials' meetings with external organisations are published on a quarterly basis and can be accessed on the MOD website at:

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/AboutDefence/CorporatePublications/FinancialReports/Expenses/

I have attended a dinner organised by Policy Exchange for the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Dempsey. We are not aware of any other meetings held by Ministers with any of the six named organisations.

Members: Correspondence

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to the answer of 30 April 2012, Official Report, column 716W, on the Armed Forces, when he plans to write to the hon. Member for Houghton and Sunderland South. [109336]

Mr Robathan: I have arranged for the requested information to be placed in the Library of the House today.

Military Aircraft

Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects the Joint Precision Aerial Delivery System to be in operation. [110585]

Peter Luff: The Ministry of Defence is planning for the Joint Precision Aerial Delivery System to enter service in Afghanistan in August 2012. Delays to the procurement of this capability were partly due to complications in receiving the release of critical software from overseas.

Military Aircraft: Training

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many service personnel his Department plans to train to operate STOVL aircraft. [108872]

Peter Luff [holding answer 22 May 2012]: Planning for the training of service personnel to operate the Short Take Off Vertical Landing variant of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft is under way but final numbers will depend on the total number of JSF aircraft to be acquired and this will not be confirmed until the completion of the next Strategic Defence Review in 2015 at the earliest. There will be a sufficient number of trained pilots to operate the aircraft when they enter service.

11 Jun 2012 : Column 105W

Military Bases

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has budgeted for conversion of RAF bases to accommodate troops returning from Germany and Cyprus (a) up to 2015 and (b) between 2015 and 2020. [109373]

Mr Robathan: Determining the cost of accommodating troops returning from Germany and Cyprus is part of ongoing work on the future structure of the Army, but significant savings are expected to be made.

Mutual Societies

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the number of full-time equivalent staff who will transfer from his Department, its non-departmental public bodies and executive agencies workforce to a mutual in (a) 2011-12 and (b) 2012-13; and if he will make a statement. [110199]

Mr Robathan: No mutuals have been created by the Ministry of Defence or the non-departmental public bodies it sponsors and no proposals are being taken forward. As a result, there were no staff transfers in 2011-12 and we do not expect there to be any this year.

NATO

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what NATO standardisation agreements the UK is party to. [109767]

Nick Harvey: The UK has ratified and is fully implementing 744 Standardisation Agreements (STANAGS) within the current NATO portfolio and has ratified and is implementing with reservations a further 198.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how the UK will achieve the NATO Smart Defence initiative for organising theatre entry points for allies. [109768]

Nick Harvey: This UK-led initiative will lead to the establishment of a NATO team that is able to deploy rapidly to establish and co-ordinate a port of disembarkation (sea, land or air) for Allied operations. A statement of requirement has been agreed for the aerial port element of the programme, which will act as the initial proof of principle for multinational co-operation in this area before the work is broadened out to meet the full requirement.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which NATO (a) education and (b) training institutes are located in the UK. [110045]

Mr Gerald Howarth: There are no NATO education or training institutes located in the UK.

11 Jun 2012 : Column 106W

NATO: Armed Forces

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how he plans to work with his NATO counterparts to achieve the goals of the Connected Forces Initiative. [109792]

Nick Harvey: NATO Defence Ministers meet regularly to review progress across a number of areas within the Alliance. The next formal meeting of all the Defence Ministers is in October 2012 and will include reports on how issues, such as the Connected Forces Initiative, are being implemented by the Allies.

NATO: Unmanned Air Vehicles

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what consideration he has given to becoming a full member of the NATO Allied Ground Surveillance System; [109789]

(2) if he will estimate the value of UK industrial participation in the NATO Allied Ground Surveillance System; [109790]

(3) how much has been spent on the NATO Allied Ground Surveillance System project to date. [109791]

Nick Harvey: Our requirements for airborne surveillance are met mainly by the SENTINEL system which has been in service since 2009 and provides a capability comparable to the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) system. SENTINEL has been accepted by NATO as a contribution in kind to its wider surveillance requirements.

We have not, therefore, elected to join the 14-nation consortium that is acquiring AGS, and have no visibility of the expenditure incurred.

In accordance with NATO convention, only nations that contribute directly to the financing of a capability are entitled to share in the industrial benefits.

Navy: International Co-operation

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with which other navies Royal Navy vessels can operate a network-enabled data exchange. [109772]

Peter Luff: The Royal Navy can operate with a range of network-enabled data exchange systems with other international navies ranging from internet-based systems to bespoke military-protected networks with closer coalition allies. The systems used for such communications will vary according to the navy in question and the nature of the information exchanged.

Nimrod Aircraft

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will estimate the cost to the public purse of dismantling the Nimrod MRA4 fleet by Metal and Waste Recycling Limited. [109083]

Peter Luff: The Nimrod MRA4 airframes were dismantled on the Ministry of Defence (MOD)'s behalf by Metal and Waste Recycling Ltd at a cost of around £500,000. As part of the contractual arrangements with the company, the MOD received receipts from the sale

11 Jun 2012 : Column 107W

of the dismantled airframes to the value of just over £1 million. We expect to save around £2 billion by not bringing Nimrod MRA4 into service.

Nuclear Weapons

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the terms of reference were for the review of the Nuclear Weapons Capability Sustainment Programme in 2010; what changes were made to the programme as a result of the review; and what savings in costs have been made as a result of the review. [109339]

Peter Luff: The terms of reference were to re-validate the programme, policy assumptions and cost of the Nuclear Warhead Capability Sustainment Programme and to review programme risk against Continuous At Sea Deterrence. This study was completed in preparation for the Trident Value for Money Review, the conclusions of which were reported in the Strategic Defence and Security Review 2010.

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the safety case for the road transport of nuclear weapons was last amended and approved. [109340]

Peter Luff: The Transport Operational Safety Case for the Truck Cargo Heavy Duty Mark 3 (TCHD Mk3) vehicle for the road transportation of Defence Nuclear Material was approved on 21 July 2011; the vehicle entered into service shortly afterwards. This was the first Transport Operational Safety Case written for the TCHD Mk3 vehicle and has not required an amendment since its approval.

Departmental Administration Costs

Mr Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much was spent on the administration of his Department in (a) 2009-10, (b) 2010-11 and (c) 2011-12. [109842]

Mr Philip Hammond: This information can be found in the Ministry of Defence’s annual report and accounts for 2009-10 and 2010-11.

The annual report and accounts for financial year 2011-12 will be published this summer.

Ordnance Board: Disclosure of Information

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to the answer of 16 October 2001, Official Report, column 1141W, on the Ordnance Project Board, if he will place in the Library a copy of the Ordnance Board Report Board Project G/220A dated 23 February 1982; for what reasons no letter was placed in the Library by his Department on the review conducted to determine whether some or all of the information could be released into the public domain; and if he will make a statement. [107816]

Peter Luff: The information will take time to locate and review. I will write to the hon. Member as soon as it is available.

11 Jun 2012 : Column 108W

Substantive answer from Peter Luff to Caroline Lucas:

I undertook to write to the hon. Member in response to her parliamentary question answered on 21 May 2012, Official Report, column 440W about the disclosure of Ordnance Board Report Board Project G/220A dated 23 February 1982.

The document has been retrieved and, because the document is classified, a review board has been conducted to consider whether the Ordnance Board Report Board Project G/220A dated 23 February 1982 can be released into the public domain. The review board concluded that the report can now be released for the following reasons:

The system referred to in the report is due to be taken out of service by January 2013 at which point the report would have become unclassified.

The system is not used within the UK, but is held as a standby system in other areas of the world. It is expected to be superseded by a new weapon and ammunition in the near future and is therefore unlikely to be used.

Records indicate that, in 2001, a review was conducted to determine whether some or all of the information requested by Kevin McNamara MP could be released. The results of the review concluded that disclosure of this information would harm the conduct of international relations or affairs. Accordingly, the document was withheld under Exemption 1 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, which relates to defence, security and international relations but records do not indicate whether a copy of the outcome of the review was placed in the Library at the time.

A copy of the report has now been placed in the Library of the House.

Patrol Craft

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the total cost was for the Scanter 4100 air search radar purchased for the River Class Offshore Patrol Vessel. [110061]

Peter Luff: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has not purchased Scanter 4100 radars for its River Class Offshore Patrol Vessels. HMS Clyde, the only River Class Offshore Patrol Vessel to be fitted with the Scanter 4100 air search radar, is owned by BAE Systems and is chartered by the MOD. BAE Systems supply the capability against the Department's requirement, an element of which is the provision of an air surveillance radar capability.

Private Finance Initiative

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the annual private finance initiative payment was to (a) SD Marine Services Ltd and (b) Smit Ltd in each of the last three years. [110055]

Peter Luff: The private finance initiative contract with SD Marine Services Ltd is for the provision of marine services under which the company provides in-port and out of port services to the Royal Navy and other Ministry of Defence customers.

Smit International (Scotland) Ltd has been contracted to provide Range Services and Aircrew Training through a separate PFI contract. Payments against the private finance initiative contracts in the last three calendar years are shown in the following table:

11 Jun 2012 : Column 109W

£ million (excluding VAT)
Company200920102011

SD Marine Services Ltd

65.5

66.5

65.3

Smit International Ltd

6.1

6.4

6.7

Public Expenditure

Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will publish a statement of his Department's expenditure in each of the last 36 months; and what steps his Department is taking to avoid an annual underspend. [108810]

Mr Philip Hammond: Monthly expenditure is published by the Treasury. It is available at the following website address:

http://data.gov.uk/dataset/coins

The Ministry of Defence actively manages in-year expenditure to avoid significant underspending. However, tight financial management means avoiding overspending in year and a modest underspend may be unavoidable as it is not possible with a budget the size of MOD's to hit the budget target exactly.

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether that part of his Department's budget that is outside the equipment and support budget will be subject to a rise of one per cent above inflation in each year from 2015 onwards. [108991]

Mr Philip Hammond: Only the Ministry of Defence's equipment and support budget is subject to the planning assumption, agreed with Her Majesty's Treasury, of a 1% per annum real terms increase between 2015 and 2020.

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the likely growth rate of his Department's budget outside his Department's equipment budget from 2015 onwards. [109228]

Mr Philip Hammond [holding answer 24 May 2012]:Our current planning assumption is that non-equipment spending will remain unchanged, in real terms, from 2015. The budget beyond 2015 will be set during the next spending review.

This assumption together with the assumption agreed with HMT that equipment spending will increase in real terms by 1% per annum between 2015 and 2020, reflect the requirement set out at the time of the strategic defence and security review (SDSR) that defence spending would need to rise in real terms after the current spending review period to deliver the SDSR and Future Force 2020.

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will ensure that his Department's budget outside the Committed Core Equipment programme will be protected from real terms reduction in the period up to 2015. [110060]

11 Jun 2012 : Column 110W

Mr Philip Hammond: To deal with the fiscal situation that the Government inherited the 2010 spending review announced an 8% real-terms reduction in the defence budget by 2014-15. This has meant that difficult decisions have had to be taken to reduce spending over the period to 2015. The Ministry of Defence budget is now balanced, taking account of the SR10 settlement and the decisions taken since SR10 announcement.

Public Sector Mutuals

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many new public sector mutuals were created or spun-off by his Department in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and if he will make a statement. [108911]

Mr Philip Hammond: No mutuals have so far been created or spun off from MOD.

RAF Leuchars

Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether Air Traffic Control radar services at RAF Leuchars will cease in the event that there is a drawdown of the Typhoon force at the station; [108219]

(2) when he plans to make an announcement on the future use of RAF Leuchars by his Department. [108221]

Nick Harvey: No decisions have yet been made on whether an Air Traffic Control radar service will be retained at Leuchars. Work is continuing on the Department's footprint strategy and further announcements will be made when that work is complete.

Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate his Department has made of the cost of the Typhoon simulator at RAF Leuchars. [108220]

Nick Harvey: Two Typhoon Emulated Deployable Cockpit Trainers were originally procured in 2005, and later installed at RAF Leuchars, at a combined cost of approximately £4 million. Planning is now under way for the move of existing Typhoon elements from RAF Leuchars to RAF Lossiemouth.

Rescue Services

Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to the answer of 30 April 2012, Official Report, column 1129W, on rescue services, how many (a) training and (b) flying hours per month have been undertaken by individual members of search and rescue crews in the latest period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [109120]

Nick Harvey: This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. All flying activity, including operational flying, contains a training element.

11 Jun 2012 : Column 111W

RM Condor

Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what investigations his Department has undertaken to assess radium contamination at RM Condor; [109455]

(2) what permanent monitoring and reporting mechanisms are in place to assess levels of measurable radium contamination at and in the vicinity of RM Condor; [109456]

(3) how many personnel are engaged in the monitoring of radium contamination at RM Condor. [109457]

(4) whether he has received any reports of measurable radium contamination within the curtilage of RM Condor; [109469]

(5) what investigations his Department has undertaken to assess whether there has been occurrence of measurable radium contamination in areas beyond the curtilage of RM Condor. [109470]

Mr Robathan [holding answer 24 May 2012]: As specified in the Contaminated Land Regime, the identification of radioactive contaminated land falls to the regulatory authorities and not the Ministry of Defence (MOD).

Where former MOD sites are identified as contaminated, the MOD remains committed to voluntarily assisting the relevant authorities, without prejudice, in fulfilling their statutory duties, for which they are funded.

The MOD undertook a Phase 1 Land Quality Assessment (LQA) for RM Condor in 2008, and a Phase 2 LQA in 2011. The LQAs identified localised radium contamination within the boundary of RM Condor, of which the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) are aware.

Suitable and sufficient management measures remain in place to ensure the contamination in question does not pose a significant potential of harm to site staff. Plans are being progressed with SEPA to facilitate its removal. No requirement for permanent monitoring has been identified.

Royal Fleet Auxiliary

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many reviews of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary have been conducted by his Department since 1982; and what the cost was of conducting each review. [R] [109633]

Nick Harvey: Since 1982 there have been five reviews focusing on different elements of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) such as manning, pay and capability. The majority of the costs associated with these reviews have formed part of normal business and were not captured separately.

The most recent Value for Money Review considered the full range of RFA activity, for which a commercial company supported one element of the review. I am withholding the information as its disclosure would prejudice commercial interests.

11 Jun 2012 : Column 112W

SD Marine Services

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many SD Marine Services Ltd vessels of each type are based in each location in Scotland. [110054]

Peter Luff: The type of vessels operated by SD Marine Services Ltd in support of the Ministry of Defence, and from which location, are shown in the following table.

LocationTypeQuantity

Her Majesty's Naval Base (HMNB) Clyde

Sewage/Sullage Barge

2

HMNB Clyde

Water Barge

1

HMNB Clyde

Water Lighter

2

HMNB Clyde

Pilot Tender

2

HMNB Clyde

Class IX Tugs

8

HMNB Clyde

Damen Crew Transfer Vessel

1

HMNB Clyde

Fleet Tender—O Class—Passenger Ship

2

HMNB Clyde

Moorings

1

HMNB Clyde

Torpedo Recovery, Mine-laying and Diving Support Vessel

1

HMNB Clyde

Worldwide Support Ship

1

Kyle of Lochalsh

Tug—Class IX Tug

1

Kyle of Lochalsh

Trials Support Vessel

1

Kyle of Lochalsh

Diving Support Vessel—Class IX

2

Kyle of Lochalsh

Multi Cat Barge

1

Kyle of Lochalsh

Trials Support Vessel

1

Sea King Helicopters

Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he has decided on a replacement for the Sea King helicopters. [110586]

Peter Luff: The Sea King helicopter delivers a range of capabilities and when all variants are withdrawn from service in 2016 the Department will look to a combination of existing platforms and alternative means to replace it.

The Department of Transport is currently running a competition for a UK-wide service contract to provide Search and Rescue services when the Ministry of Defence's (MOD) fleet of Sea King Mk 3, 3a and 5 Search and Rescue helicopters retire. The MOD is also examining alternative means of replacing the Sea King search and rescue capability in the Falkland Islands.

The Merlin Mk3/3a will replace the Sea King Mk4 role with the Commando Helicopter Force. The newly upgraded Merlin Mk 2 will be capable of fulfilling several roles, including provision of the Airborne Surveillance and Control capability previously provided by the Sea King Mk7.

Sea Wolf Missiles

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his Department's current inventory of operational Sea Wolf missiles is; and if he will make a statement. [110277]

11 Jun 2012 : Column 113W

Peter Luff: The Ministry of Defence does not comment on the specific number of its weapon systems as disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces. There are sufficient Sea Wolf Missiles to fulfil the Department's operational and training commitments until the missile system's out-of-service date.

Merchant Shipping

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many reviews of his Department's merchant shipping needs have been conducted since 1982; and how many officials in (a) his Department and (b) the Department for Transport and predecessor departments worked on each review. [R] [109634]

Peter Luff: The Ministry of Defence reviewed the needs for merchant shipping as part of the strategic defence review in 1998 and as part of the strategic defence and security review in 2010. The subject was also examined by the House of Commons Defence Committee in July 2007. These studies examined a wide range of issues, not just merchant shipping needs, and it is not practical to determine the number of officials who worked on each one.

Thomas Docherty: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when his Department last reviewed the UK's strategic requirements for merchant vessels; what conclusions were reached; and if he will place a copy of any such conclusions in the Library. [109681]

Peter Luff: The Ministry of Defence last reviewed its requirements for strategic sealift in autumn 2011. This concluded that four roll-on roll-off vessels provide the optimum requirement.

Thomas Docherty: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment his Department has made of the availability of British merchant seafarers to operate merchant vessels requisitioned to respond to a (a) national emergency, (b) international incident and (c) military attack; and whether he holds regular discussions on such matters with the Secretary of State for Transport. [109682]

Peter Luff: We designate certain categories of British shipping, including roll-on/roll-off vessels, product tankers, and passenger vessels as ‘strategic ships’. These lists are produced annually as part of the UK Defence Statistics (UKDS) and are listed as

“Militarily useful British-registered merchant vessels. There are vessels that could be requisitioned in the appropriate circumstances in support of the armed forces”

(UKDS tables 4.6 and 4.7). Regular discussions with the Department for Transport at ministerial level on this issue are not required.

Thomas Docherty: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what his policy is on the (a) registration, (b) ownership and (c) crewing of merchant vessels chartered by his Department for use in strategic military (i) operations and (ii) exercises; [109684]

11 Jun 2012 : Column 114W

(2) if he will undertake a comparative review of the UK’s strategic requirement for (a) UK flagged merchant vessels and (b) UK merchant seafarers in (i) 1982 and (ii) 2012; and if he will make a statement. [109685]

Peter Luff: The Ministry of Defence defines the required level of strategic sealift based on policy requirements.

For the movement of cargo by sea, strategic support is primarily provided through the private finance initiative (PFI) Strategic Sealift Service, which comprises a number of British flagged roll-on/roll-off vessels, manned by British officers and crews. Should the demand for sealift exceed the capacity of the Strategic Sealift Service, suitable merchant ships are chartered from the commercial market by means of competitive tender and contracts awarded on the basis of value for money.

Commercial tenders are evaluated against strict criteria to ensure that the vessels are classified in accordance with the International Association of Classification Societies as recognised by the Maritime Coastal Agency. In addition, the material condition of vessels is assessed against the black, grey and white lists, as defined in the Paris memorandum of understanding. These are used to monitor and record standards of the mercantile marine. The importance of crews’ nationality varies according to the task. For example, it is an important factor in assessing security and force protection requirements and crews’ likely willingness to transit a war-like zone.

We have no plans to undertake a comparative review of UK merchant vessels.

Tomahawk Missiles

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his Department's current inventory of operational Tomahawk missiles is; and if he will make a statement. [110278]

Peter Luff: The Ministry of Defence does not comment on the specific number of its weapon systems as disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces. Existing stocks of Tomahawk are sufficient to fulfil current operational requirements and stock levels are kept under regular review.

Tornado Aircraft

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he proposes that the accident report for the crash of the Tornado GR4 on 27 January 2011 will be released. [109879]

Nick Harvey: The Service Inquiry report into the occurrence involving Tornado GR4 ZG792 on 27 January 2011 was published on the Ministry of Defence website on 9 May 2012. It is available at the following web link:

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/AboutDefence/CorporatePublications/BoardsOfInquiry/ServiceInquiry InvestigatingTheAccidentToTornadoGr4Zg792On27Jan11.htm

11 Jun 2012 : Column 115W

Trident

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the total projected cost is of the Trident renewal programme; and whether this is included in his Department's committed core equipment programme. [109372]

Peter Luff: The Initial Gate parliamentary report, published on 18 May 2011, laid out the costs of the nuclear successor programme and confirmed that the programme remains within the 2006 White Paper costs of £11-14 billion in 2006-07 prices. The Ministry of Defence has since committed to provide an annual report to Parliament on costs and progress of the project, with the first report due shortly. The successor submarine programme is included within the core equipment programme.

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the dates are of (a) past and (b) planned test firings of Trident D5 missiles. [109635]

Peter Luff: Test firings of Trident D5 missiles take place as part of Demonstration and Shakedown Operations (DASOs). The aim of a DASO is to prove the readiness of a ballistic missile submarine and its strategic weapon system for operational deployment.

The dates of previous test firings of Trident D5 missiles from UK submarines are as follows:

26 May 1994

19 June 1994

24 July 1995

22 August 1995

10 October 1997

21 September 2000

10 October 2005

18 May 2009

I am withholding details of planned test firings for the purpose of safeguarding national security.

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the planned end-of-service date is for each of the Vanguard Class submarines. [110597]

Peter Luff: As outlined in the Strategic Defence and Security Review, the planning assumption for service entry of the first Vanguard successor submarine is 2028. The in-service dates for subsequent boats will be determined at Main Gate in 2016. The out-of-service dates for the Vanguard class submarines will be managed to ensure that continuous at sea deterrence is maintained throughout the transition to the new class.

Type 26 Frigates

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with representatives of the Government of (a) Turkey, (b) Brazil, (c) Australia, (d) Malaysia, (e) India and (f) Canada on mutual cost-sharing for the development of the Global Combat Ship. [110748]

11 Jun 2012 : Column 116W

Peter Luff: Bilateral discussions with potential international partners, to explore further opportunities for co-operation, are ongoing. I am withholding the information as its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice relations between the United Kingdom and other states.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will estimate the cost of developing the Global Combat Ship. [110749]

Peter Luff: The cost to the Ministry of Defence of progressing the Type 26 Global Combat Ship programme, from the concept stage through to the completion of the four-year assessment stage, is estimated to be approximately £170 million.

The cost of the Design and Manufacturing Phases will be determined at the main investment decision point which is anticipated around the middle of this decade.

Type 45 Destroyers

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions Type 45 vessels have suffered a total electrical failure in the last five years. [109771]

Peter Luff: Occasions of electrical failure are not routinely recorded on Type 45 destroyers or any other class of ship.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment he has made of the reliability of (a) power generation and (b) the main bus bars of the fleet of Type 45 vessels. [109773]

Peter Luff: As with all equipment in all classes of ship, the electrical systems in the Type 45 destroyers undergo a continual process of performance assessment and routine maintenance, to ensure they are maintained at the highest standard of availability and reliability.

Concerns about the reliability of the Type 45 Class power and propulsion system did emerge during first of class sea trials for HMS Daring. As a result, an independent power and propulsion system performance review was commissioned. This review, which reported in March 2011, highlighted a number of unconnected causes of system and equipment failure and these issues have been addressed through a series of design changes, resulting in a marked improvement in performance. Work to complete the implementation of the recommended design changes is continuing.

There have been no problems with the reliability of bus bars on the in-service Type 45 destroyers.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the total cost for the SMART-L air search radars purchased for the Type 45 destroyers and Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers was in the latest period for which figures are available. [110056]

11 Jun 2012 : Column 117W

Peter Luff: The SMART-L air search radar has not been purchased for Type 45 Destroyers (T45s) nor the Queen Elizabeth Class (QEC) Aircraft Carriers. A derivative of SMART-L, the S1850M, known as the Long Range Radar (LRR) was purchased for the T45s and is being purchased for the QEC Aircraft Carriers.

The costs of LRR for development and initial production, Follow-on procurement and initial support contract costs incurred by the Department to March 2012 are in the region of £114 million (excluding VAT).

The development and production and initial support costs of the LRR for the QEC Aircraft Carriers total £32.5 million (VAT). At the present time, no follow-on -procurement costs have been identified.

Health

Abortion

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether he has made an assessment of recent trends in the number of websites offering guidance on home abortions; what steps he is taking to investigate such websites; and whether he plans to take any further action against them; [110052]

(2) whether he has made an estimate of the number of deaths caused by home abortion attempts in each (a) socio-economic, (b) ethnic and (c) age group in the last five years; and how many police raids on properties involved in performing or offering online guidance on home abortions there have been in the last five years. [110053]

Anne Milton: It is important for women in Great Britain to be able to access safe, legal abortion services;

11 Jun 2012 : Column 118W

the Abortion Act 1967 (as amended) makes provision for this. Any abortion performed outside the terms of the Abortion Act 1967 or any intention of causing a woman to miscarry her pregnancy, is illegal.

There are strict legal controls on the retail sale, supply and advertisement of medicinal products in the United Kingdom, including those used for abortion. Any incidences of websites offering for sale to the public drugs that may cause an abortion should be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), who are responsible for the regulation of medicines on the UK market.

Treatment for an abortion must be carried out only in national health service hospitals or places approved by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health.

Data are not collected centrally on the number of raids carried out by the police in relation to websites offering advice and/or drugs for use in home abortions.

The Centre for Maternal and Child Enquiries (CMACE) produce a report every three years about maternal deaths. The latest report (published 2011) includes the period 2006-08 during which there were no deaths due to the illegal terminations of pregnancy.

Antidepressants: Prescriptions

Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many prescriptions for each selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressant were issued in each quarter of 2011. [109261]

Mr Simon Burns: Information is only available on prescription items dispensed. The numbers dispensed for each medicine classified as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor in the British National Formulary section 4. 3. 3, is as follows.

Number of prescription items for each selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, written in the United Kingdom and dispensed in the community, in England, in each quarter of 2011
MedicineQuarter 1Quarter 2Quarter 3Quarter 4

Citalopram

3,230,779

3,287,259

3,457,000

3,511,580

Escitalopram

303,953

301,160

298,249

289,151

Fluoxetine Hydrochloride

1,343,705

1,368,189

1,394,853

1,408,912

Fluvoxamine Maleate

7,252

7,235

7,322

7,063

Paroxetine Hydrochloride

387,020

389,226

393,714

392,180

Sertraline Hydrochloride

813,420

878,918

943,714

988,150

Total

6,086,129

6,231,987

6,494,852

6,597,036

Source: Prescription Cost Analysis (PCA) system

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many antidepressants were prescribed each year in each region of the UK in each year for which figures are available. [109335]

Mr Simon Burns: Information is only available on prescription items dispensed in the community in England. The table shows the number of prescription items dispensed for drugs classified as antidepressant drugs in British National Formulary (BNF) section 4.3 for each available year.

 Number of prescription items (thousand)

1991

8,955

1992

9,914

1993

10,777

1994

11,816

1995

13,227

1996

14,961

1997

16,823

1998

18,424

1999

20,108

2000

22,022

2001

24,343

2002

26,329

2003

27,658

2004

28,996

2005

29,390

11 Jun 2012 : Column 119W

2006

31,038

2007

33,840

2008

35,961

2009

39,140

2010

42,788

2011

46,678

Source: Prescription Cost Analysis (PCA) system

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will estimate the proportion of (a) adults and (b) children who were prescribed anti-depressants in the last 12 months for which figures are available in each (i) socio-economic grouping, (ii) religion, (iii) ethnic group and (iv) gender. [109392]

Mr Simon Burns: For England, this information is not collected centrally.

Asthma: Medical Equipment

Stephen McPartland: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether his Department has any plans to discuss with the Department for Education the creation of an exemption in the Medicines Regulations to allow schools to keep a spare inhaler for children with asthma in emergencies; and if he will make a statement; [109512]

(2) whether (a) his Department and (b) the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has taken any steps to consider the proposal to create an exemption in the Medicines Regulations to allow schools to keep a spare inhaler for children with asthma in emergencies; and if he will make a statement; [109513]

(3) what representations his Department has received on creating an exemption in the Medicines Regulations to allow schools to keep a spare inhaler for children with asthma in emergencies; what steps his Department is taking to consider this proposal; and if he will make a statement. [109514]

Anne Milton: A number of hon. Members, together with Asthma UK, have made representations to the Department of Health on this issue. On 9 May 2012, departmental officials wrote to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency asking if they would be able to undertake a formal risk benefit analysis of the proposal to allow schools to hold an inhaler for emergency use. They have agreed to undertake an analysis and the remit for this will be agreed between the Department of Health and the Department for Education.

Breasts: Plastic Surgery

John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what meetings (a) Earl Howe, the Under-Secretary of State with responsibility for quality, (b) officials in his Department and (c) members of the Expert Group have had with private sector cosmetic surgery providers during the preparation of his review of the regulation of PIP breast implants; and what the (i) dates and (ii) attendees were of any such meetings. [110284]

11 Jun 2012 : Column 120W

Mr Simon Burns: No meetings were held with private sector cosmetic surgery providers by either Ministers or departmental officials as part of the ministerial review of the actions of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and Department in relation to PIP silicone breast implants.

Departmental officials held a meeting with private health care providers on 13 February 2012 to discuss the sector's response to the issues of PIP breast implants. The ministerial review was not discussed at this meeting. The following organisations attended the meeting:

Independent Healthcare Advisory Service

Nuffield Health

Spire Healthcare Ltd

BMI Healthcare

Ramsay Health Care UK

Aspen Medical Care

The Harley Medical Group

Transform Medical Group

Linia Cosmetic Surgery

Court House Clinics

Make Yourself Amazing

Bridgewater Hospital

The Hospital Group.

The Department does not hold information on meetings attended by individual members of the PIP Expert Group.

John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the membership is of his Department's Expert Group on PIP breast implants; and what the declared financial interests are of each member; [110285]

(2) what the names are of the clinical experts from private sector cosmetic surgery providers who are members of his Department's Expert Group on PIP breast implants. [110286]

Mr Simon Burns: The membership of the Expert Group on PIP breast implants, including alternates, is set out in the following table. A number of members of the group work as consultant plastic surgeons in the national health service and in the private sector, or have financial interests that are broadly relevant to the work of the group.

Expert Group on PIP Implants
MemberProfessional interestsRelevant commercial interests

Sir Bruce Keogh (Chairman)

NHS Medical Director and Medical Director, NHS Commissioning Board Authority; Fellow and previous council member of Royal College of Surgeons of England

None

Mr Simon Edwards

Head of Policy Royal College of Surgeons of England

None

Mr Fazal Fatah

President, British Association of Aesthetic. Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS)

Consultant plastic surgeon (NHS and private practice) with interest in breast reconstruction and aesthetic surgery; part owner of the Westbourne Centre, Birmingham

11 Jun 2012 : Column 121W

Mr Tim Goodacre

Past president and chair of standards committee, British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons; member of BAAPS

Consultant plastic surgeon (NHS and private practice); 4% shareholder in a startup company developing a self-inflated tissue expander (patented development)

Dame Deirdre Hine

Former Chief Medical Officer, Welsh Government

None

Sir Ian Kennedy

Former chair of the Healthcare Commission

None

Professor Ian Kimber

Professor of toxicology, Manchester University; toxicology member of the Committee on the Safety of Devices

None

Mr Ian Martin

President of Federation of Surgical Specialist Associations

None

Mr Richard Milner

President of BAAPS

Consultant plastic surgeon (NHS and private practice)

Mr Richard Rainsbury

President, Association of Breast Surgery

Consultant surgeon; private practice in relation to breast cancer surgery but not to cosmetic breast augmentation

Professor Norman Williams

President, Royal College of Surgeons

None

Dr Anne-Marie Slowther

Associate Professor of Clinical Ethics, Warwick Medical School; GP

None

Professor David Spiegelhalter

Professor of Biostatistics and Public Understanding of Risk, University of Cambridge

None

Mr Simon Withey

Member of Council, British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons

Consultant plastic surgeon (NHS and private practice); founding partner, London Plastic Surgery Associates; Director, My Aesthetic Ltd

Dr Andrew Vallance-Owen

Chair, cosmetic surgery working group of the Independent Healthcare Advisory Services; member of governance group, Treatments You Can Trust

Former group medical director, BUPA

Cancer

Andy Burnham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether his Department plans to conduct the National Cancer Patient Experience Survey on an annual basis; [109535]

(2) what recent discussions officials in his Department have had with the NHS Commissioning Board Special Health Authority on funding for cancer networks after 2013; [109540]

(3) with reference to Improving Outcomes: A Strategy for Cancer, what progress he has made in meeting the target for saving additional lives each year by 2014-15. [109541]

Paul Burstow: Fieldwork for the 2011-12 National Cancer Patient Experience Survey was completed in April and we hope to publish national and trust level reports between June and July.

11 Jun 2012 : Column 122W

We have recently approved a further survey for 2012-13, and from April 2013 onwards, decisions about the survey will be the responsibility of the NHS Commissioning Board (NHS CB).

We have already made clear that there is a role for clinical networks, such as cancer networks, in the reformed national health service, as a place where clinicians from different sectors come together to improve the quality of care across integrated pathways.

The cancer networks are a clear example of how this way of working delivers better quality. This is why the Secretary of State for Health announced in May 2011 that we would continue to fund cancer networks in 2012-13 and that the NHS CB will support strengthened cancer networks.

From April 2013, funding of clinical networks will be a decision for the NHS CB. A review of clinical networks is currently under way, to consider the functions, structures and governance that will most effectively support commissioners to deliver improved quality and outcomes in the future.

‘Improving Outcomes: A Strategy for Cancer’, published on 12 January 2011, sets out actions to tackle preventable cancer incidence, to achieve earlier diagnosis of cancer and to improve the quality and efficiency of cancer services. The impact assessment for the strategy estimates that through the plans for earlier diagnosis of symptomatic patients, screening developments and expansion of radiotherapy services we can save an additional 5,000 lives every year by 2014-15. It is too early to assess the progress made in meeting this commitment.

The first annual report, published on 12 December 2011, sets outs the achievements over the first year of the cancer strategy and what the priorities are for the year ahead.

Andy Burnham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will review the exclusion of cancer patients from the Hospital Episode Statistics readmission rates; and what steps his Department is taking to prevent the unnecessary readmission of cancer patients. [109539]

Paul Burstow: Cancer patients were originally excluded from the indicator of readmission within 28 days, developed by the National Centre for Health Outcomes Development and now part of the Information Centre's Compendium of Population Health Indicators, because some cancer patients may need periodic admission to hospital for reasons that do not reflect poor quality of care.

For similar reasons, hospital readmissions involving cancer are excluded from the policy of non-payment for emergency readmissions. We will keep these exclusions under review. In the meanwhile, NHS Improvement has been leading a Transforming Inpatient Care programme for cancer patients to promote enhanced recovery programmes for elective surgery, the reduction of avoidable emergency admissions, and reducing lengths of stay for those who do need to be admitted as emergencies. To support improvement across the service, lessons learned from the Transforming Inpatient Care Programme will be disseminated to providers and commissioners.

11 Jun 2012 : Column 123W

Mr Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence technology appraisals for cancer were (a) recommended, (b) optimised, (c) classed only in research or (d) not recommended from (i) April 2009 to March 2010, (ii) April 2010 to March 2011 and (iii) April 2011 to March 2012; [109922]

(2) how many National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence technology appraisals for cancer have included patient access schemes; and how many such appraisals have been (a) recommended, (b) optimised, (c) classed only in research or (d) not recommended between (i) April 2009 and March 2010, (ii) April 2010 and March 2011 and (iii) April 2011 and March 2012. [109923]

Paul Burstow: The information requested is not held by the Department. I have asked the chief executive of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence to write to the hon. Member with this information. A copy will be placed in the Library.

Cancer: Drugs

Dr Poulter: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which drugs have been funded through the Cancer Drugs Fund since its creation; and how many patients have received each drug. [109639]

Mr Simon Burns: Information on the drugs funded under the Cancer Drugs Fund and the number of patients who have received these drugs (from April 2011 to the end of February 2012) is shown in the table. Final figures for 2011-12, based on the final accounts, are expected to be available by the end of June.

DrugNumber of patients funded from April 2011 to end February 2012(1)

Abiraterone

1,010

Abraxane

49

Alemtuzumab

49

Arsenic trioxide

4

Azacitidine

131

Bendamustine

373

Bendamustine and Rituximab

28

Bevacizumab

2,770

Bexraotene

3

Bortezomib

210

Brentuximab

11

Cabazitaxel

139

Capecitibine

5

Cetuximab

1,132

Clofarabine

25

Clofarabine and Daunoxome

1

Dasatinib

56

Degarelix

1

Denosumab

21

Depocyte

6

Docetaxel

7

Doxorubicin

1

Eribulin

268

Erlotinib

130

Everolimus

578

Folfox

28

11 Jun 2012 : Column 124W

Fulvestrant

333

Gemcitabine and Methylprednisolone

1

Gemcitibine

2

Gliadel Wafer

2

Hyperthermic Mitomycin

1

Imatinib

64

Interferon

2

Ipilimumab

132

Irinotecan

1

Lapatinib

601

Lapatinib and paclitaxel

2

Lapatinib with carboplatin

1

Lenalidomide

71

Liposomal Doxorubicin

15

Lutetium Octreotate

10

Metaidobenzylguanidine

2

Mifamurtide

13

Mitotane

5

Nelarabine

5

Nilotinib

58

Ofatumumab

34

Not specified

39

Panitimumab

55

Pazopanib

44

PEG Asparaginase

3

Peginterferon Alpha

3

Pegylated liposomal doxorubicin in combination with carboplatin

14

Pemetrexed

64

Rituximab

547

Sirolimus

2

Yttrium 90/Selective Internal Radiation Therapy

39

Sorafenib

484

Sorafenib and Clofarabine

2

Sunitinib

94

Temozolomide

4

Temsirolimus

60

Thiotepa

1

Topotecan

10

Trabectedin

3

Trastuzumab

18

Velcade

1

Vinflunine

18

Vorinostat

1

Zevalin

2

Total

9,899

(1 )Levels of current activity are likely to be higher than these figures suggest, due to the gap between treatment being provided and payment being invoiced and processed. Source: Information supplied to the Department by strategic health authorities.