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Heavy Equipment Transporter Incident

Earl Attlee asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Bach): The heavy equipment transporter service is provided by a consortium led by Halliburton KBR. The design, build and supply of the vehicle are undertaken by the Oshkosh Truck Corporation under sub-contract to Fasttrax Ltd. The supply and management of the trailers is undertaken by King Trailers of Market Harborough under sub-contract to Oshkosh.

The incident occurred on 2 December 2002 at Tidworth Garrison during preparations for a demonstration of the heavy equipment transporter. Investigations into the incident are in progress. Liability for the cost of inspection and repair to the Challenger 2 main battle tank will be determined following completion of the investigations, which are focusing on the operating procedures followed at the time, the interface between load and trailer and the characteristics of the trailer. This investigation will also identify what action is needed to reduce the risk of any further incidents of this nature. I will write to the noble Earl once the investigations have reached a conclusion.

The Challenger 2 main battle tank is no longer in production. The unit production cost of the tanks purchased against the most recent contract from the Ministry of Defence was £5.7 million.

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Defence Evaluation and Research Agency Reorganisation

Earl Attlee asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the full cost of splitting the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency into the Defence Scientific and Technical Laboratory and Qinetic; and[HL1189]

    What was the expenditure on information technology systems relating to the splitting of the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency into the Defence Scientific and Technical Laboratory and Qinetic; and[HL1190]

    What was the expenditure on consultants involved in, or advising on, the splitting of the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency into the Defence Scientific and Technical Laboratory and Qinetic.[HL1192]

Lord Bach: Given the integrated nature of the public private partnership (PPP) we have not separately costed individual workstreams within the project. However, we expect the total cost, since the PPP was announced in the Strategic Defence Review, to be around £80 million. This includes not only the splitting of the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency into the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory and QinetiQ but also the initial options study, the public consultation process, vesting of QinetiQ as a plc and completion of the sale of shares in the company. Of this, approximately £24 million relates to expenditure on IT and infrastructure and approximately £49 million relates to consultancy fees.

Gulf Veterans: Deaths

Baroness Massey of Darwen asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What are the latest figures for deaths of Gulf veterans and among the control group.[HL1298]

Lord Bach: Figures for Gulf veterans' mortality from 1 April 1991 to 30 June 2002 were published on 24 July 2002 (WA 81–82) in answer to a Question by my noble friend Lord Elder. The latest data, as at 31 December 2002, are shown in Table 1 below. As before, the data for Gulf veterans are compared to those of a control group, known as the Era cohort, which is made up of Armed Forces personnel of a similar age, gender, service and rank who were not deployed. Table 2 provides a detailed breakdown of deaths from cancer (malignant neoplasm) by anatomical site.

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Table 1 Deaths of UK Gulf veterans (Note: 1) 1 April 1991–31 December 2002 Causes (coded to ICD-9) (Note: 2)

ICD ChapterCause of deathGulfEra(3)>Mortality Rate Ratio(4)
All deaths5715740.99
All cause coded deaths5635660.99
I–XVIDisease-related causes2252760.81
IInfectious and parasitic diseases421.99
IICancers971090.89
IIIEndocrine and immune disorders140.25
VMental disorders12150.80
VIDiseases of the nervous system and sense organs (Note 5)1091.11
VIIDiseases of the circulatory system751020.73
VIIIDiseases of the respiratory system1061.66
IXDiseases of the digestive system14180.77
IV, X–XVIAll other disease-related causes (Note 6)2110.18
EXVIIExternal causes of injury and poisoning3382901.16
Railway accidents413.98
Motor vehicle accidents118971.21
Water transport accidents514.97
Air and space accidents25191.31
Other vehicle accidents010.00
Accidental poisoning12140.85
Accidental falls871.14
Accidents due to fire/flames020.00
Accidents due to natural environmental factors221.00
Accidents due to submersion/suffocation/foreign bodies1772.42
Other accidents31291.06
Late effects of accident/injury020.00
Suicide and injury undetermined whether accidental1071001.07
Homicide641.49
Injury resulting from the operations of war340.75
Other deaths for which coded cause data are not yet available54
Overseas deaths for which cause data are not available34

Notes:

1. Service and Ex-Service personnel only.

2. World Health Organisation's International Classification of Diseases 9th revision 1977.

3. The Era group comprises 53,143 personnel, randomly sampled from all UK Armed Forces personnel in service on 1 January 1991 and who did not deploy to the Gulf. This group is matched to the 53,409 Gulf veterans to reflect the socio-demographic and military composition of the Gulf cohort in terms of age, gender, Service (Army, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force), officer/other rank status, regular/reservist status, and a proxy measure for fitness.

4. Mortality rate ratios differ marginally from the crude deaths ratio owing to some small differences between the Gulf and Era cohorts.

5. These figures include 4 deaths from Motor Neurone Disease amongst the Gulf cohort and 3 in the Era group.

6. Includes cases with insufficient information on the death certificate to provide a known cause of death.


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Table 2 Deaths due to neoplasms among UK Gulf veterans: 1 April 1991–31 December 2002 (Major anatomical sites (coded to ICD-9)(1)

IDC 9SiteGulfEra
140–239All neoplasms97109
140–149Malignant neoplasm of lip, oral cavity and pharynx34
150–159Malignant neoplasm of digestive organs and peritoneum2125
160–165Malignant neoplasm of respiratory and intrathoracic organs1524
170–175Malignant nepolasm of bone, connective tissue, skin and breast1410
179–189Malignant neoplasm of genitourinary organs26
190–199Malignant neoplasm of other and unspecified site2027
200–208Malignant neoplasm of lymphatic and haematopoietic tissue1911
239Unspecified nature32

(1)World Health Organisation's International Classification of Diseases 9th revision, Geneva, 1977.


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Defence Sixth Form College

Lord Burlison asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether a decision has been taken to build a defence sixth form college. [HL1328]

Lord Bach: Our intention to develop a defence sixth form college was initially announced by my right honourable friend the Defence Secretary (Mr Hoon) in answer to a Question by my honourable friend the Member for Reading West (Mr Salter, on 27 March 2001 (Official Report, cols. 547–48W in another place)

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on the outcome of the Defence Training Review. On 24 January 2002 (col. 994W) my right honourable friend the Minister of State for the Armed Forces (Mr Ingram) gave an update in another place on the project, at which time no decisions had been taken on where the college would be built or how it would be procured.

We are now able to inform the House that we have concluded that a public-private partnership (PPP) offers best value for money for provision of the facilities and services required by the college. We have selected the Minerva consortium, which comprises

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Interserve plc, HSBC and TQ Education and Training Ltd, as the preferred bidder, and are now engaged in negotiations to conclude a contract.

This being the site selected by the preferred bidder, the defence sixth form college will be built on the site of the disused barracks outside Woodhouse, near Loughborough. It will open in September 2005, at which time the present army sixth form college at Welbeck Abbey will close.


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