Mark Francois Portrait

Mark Francois

Conservative - Rayleigh and Wickford

First elected: 7th June 2001


2 APPG memberships (as of 24 Jan 2024)
Bahrain, Shipbuilding and Ship Repair
1 Former APPG membership
Defence and Security Issues
Defence Sub-Committee
12th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Defence Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Minister of State (Communities and Local Government)
8th May 2015 - 17th Jul 2016
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
6th Sep 2012 - 8th May 2015
Committee of Selection
21st Jun 2010 - 9th May 2013
Administration Committee
26th Jul 2010 - 22nd Oct 2012
Vice Chamberlain (HM Household) (Whip, House of Commons)
12th May 2010 - 6th Sep 2012
Armed Forces Bill Committee
17th Jan 2011 - 8th Mar 2011
Shadow Minister (Europe)
3rd Jul 2007 - 6th May 2010
Shadow Paymaster General
10th May 2005 - 3rd Jul 2007
Environmental Audit Committee
16th Jul 2001 - 12th Jul 2005
Shadow Economic Secretary (Treasury)
10th May 2004 - 10th May 2005
Opposition Whip (Commons)
10th May 2002 - 10th May 2004


Department Event
Wednesday 6th March 2024
09:25
Ministry of Defence
Sixth Delegated Legislation Committee - Debate - General Committee
6 Mar 2024, 9:25 a.m.
The draft Single Source Contract (Amendment) Regulations 2024
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Department Event
Wednesday 6th March 2024
09:25
Ministry of Defence
Sixth Delegated Legislation Committee - Debate - Select & Joint Committees
6 Mar 2024, 9:25 a.m.
The draft Single Source Contract (Amendment) Regulations 2024
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Select Committee Meeting
Monday 11th March 2024
15:30
Public Accounts Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Progress in implementing Universal Credit
11 Mar 2024, 3:30 p.m.
At 4:00pm: Oral evidence
Peter Schofield CB - Permanent Secretary at Department for Work and Pensions
Neil Couling CBE - Change and Resilience Director General and Senior Responsible Owner for Universal Credit at Department for Work and Pensions
Helga Swidenbank - Director of Disability Services, Working Age and Move to UC at Department for Work and Pensions
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 13th March 2024
13:00
Public Accounts Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: DHSC Annual Report & Accounts 2022-23
13 Mar 2024, 1 p.m.
At 1:30pm: Oral evidence
Sir Chris Wormald - Permanent Secretary at Department of Health and Social Care
Shona Dunn - Second Permanent Secretary at Department of Health and Social Care
Andy Brittain - Director General, Finance at Department of Health and Social Care
Professor Dame Jenny Harries - Chief Executive at UK Health Security Agency
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Monday 18th March 2024
15:30
Public Accounts Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Non-executive director appointments
18 Mar 2024, 3:30 p.m.
At 4:00pm: Oral evidence
Sir Alex Chisholm - Permanent Secretary at Cabinet Office
Michael Jary - Government Lead Non-Executive at Cabinet Office
Simon Madden - Director, Propriety & Ethics at Cabinet Office
Elizabeth Passey - Chair at Rural Payments Agency
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 19th March 2024
14:00
Defence Sub-Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Developing AI capacity and expertise in UK Defence
19 Mar 2024, 2 p.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 20th March 2024
13:00
Public Accounts Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Lessons learned: Delivering value from government investment in major programmes
20 Mar 2024, 1 p.m.
At 1:30pm: Oral evidence
Conrad Smewing - Director General Public Spending at HM Treasury
Nick Smallwood - CEO at Infrastructure and Projects Authority
View calendar
Department Event
Monday 25th March 2024
14:30
Ministry of Defence
Oral questions - Main Chamber
25 Mar 2024, 2:30 p.m.
Defence (including Topical Questions)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Select Committee Meeting
Monday 25th March 2024
15:30
Public Accounts Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Value for Money from Legal Aid
25 Mar 2024, 3:30 p.m.
At 4:00pm: Oral evidence
Antonia Romeo - Permanent Secretary at Ministry of Justice
Jane Harbottle - CEO at Legal Aid Agency
Jason Latham - Development Director at HM Courts and Tribunals Service
Jerome Glass - Director General Policy and Strategy Group at Ministry of Justice
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 26th March 2024
10:00
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 23rd April 2024
10:00
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 30th April 2024
10:00
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 7th May 2024
14:00
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 14th May 2024
10:00
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 21st May 2024
10:00
Division Votes
Tuesday 27th February 2024
Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 293 Conservative No votes vs 2 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 179 Noes - 294
Speeches
Wednesday 28th February 2024
Defence Acquisition Reform
Forgive me, Sir, but—Yes! [Laughter.] I have waited for years to hear an MOD Minister issue this statement, and this …
Written Answers
Monday 19th February 2024
Aircraft Carriers: Procurement
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the acquisition cost is of (a) a Queen Elizabeth Class carrier, …
Early Day Motions
Thursday 19th December 2019
Big Ben chiming on the day of Brexit
That this House notes the ongoing refurbishment works on the Elizabeth Tower and the fact that during this period Big …
Bills
Wednesday 30th November 2022
Roadworks (Regulation) Bill 2022-23
A Bill to make provision about the regulation of roadworks; and for connected purposes.
MP Financial Interests
Monday 30th October 2023
4. Visits outside the UK
Name of donor: Conservative Friends of Ukraine
Address of donor: One Barthomolew Close, London EC1A 7BL
Estimate of the probable …
EDM signed
Wednesday 1st February 2023
Exiting the European Union (No. 2)
TThat this House calls upon the Government to withdraw the Official Controls (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2023 (S.I., 2023, No. 17) …
Supported Legislation
Tuesday 25th October 2022
NHS Prescriptions (Drug Tariff Labelling) Bill 2022-23
A Bill to require community pharmacies and other providers of NHS-funded prescriptions to show, on the patient label, the prevailing …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Mark Francois has voted in 593 divisions, and 18 times against the majority of their Party.

25 Mar 2021 - Coronavirus - View Vote Context
Mark Francois voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 35 Conservative No votes vs 305 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 484 Noes - 76
22 Mar 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Mark Francois voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 29 Conservative Aye votes vs 318 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 300 Noes - 318
22 Mar 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Mark Francois voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 26 Conservative No votes vs 318 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 319 Noes - 297
9 Feb 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Mark Francois voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 31 Conservative No votes vs 318 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 318 Noes - 303
19 Jan 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Mark Francois voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 34 Conservative No votes vs 319 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 319 Noes - 308
1 Dec 2020 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Mark Francois voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 53 Conservative No votes vs 290 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 291 Noes - 78
10 Mar 2020 - Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill - View Vote Context
Mark Francois voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 36 Conservative Aye votes vs 301 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 282 Noes - 306
27 Apr 2021 - Delegated Legislation - View Vote Context
Mark Francois voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 77 Conservative No votes vs 222 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 89
30 Nov 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Mark Francois voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 19 Conservative No votes vs 268 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 434 Noes - 23
30 Nov 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Mark Francois voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 32 Conservative No votes vs 259 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 36
7 Dec 2021 - Nationality and Borders Bill - View Vote Context
Mark Francois voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 15 Conservative Aye votes vs 289 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 251 Noes - 296
22 Mar 2023 - Northern Ireland - View Vote Context
Mark Francois voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 22 Conservative No votes vs 281 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 515 Noes - 29
7 Mar 2023 - Public Order Bill - View Vote Context
Mark Francois voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 107 Conservative Aye votes vs 109 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 116 Noes - 299
18 Jul 2023 - Business without Debate - View Vote Context
Mark Francois voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 16 Conservative No votes vs 251 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 402 Noes - 21
16 Jan 2024 - Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill - View Vote Context
Mark Francois voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 57 Conservative Aye votes vs 262 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 58 Noes - 525
16 Jan 2024 - Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill - View Vote Context
Mark Francois voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 58 Conservative Aye votes vs 262 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 68 Noes - 529
17 Jan 2024 - Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill - View Vote Context
Mark Francois voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Conservative No votes vs 315 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 320 Noes - 276
17 Jan 2024 - Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill - View Vote Context
Mark Francois voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 59 Conservative Aye votes vs 266 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 65 Noes - 536
View All Mark Francois Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Ben Wallace (Conservative)
(26 debate interactions)
Lindsay Hoyle (Speaker)
(14 debate interactions)
Chris Heaton-Harris (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
(13 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Ministry of Defence
(41 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(31 debate contributions)
Northern Ireland Office
(16 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Social Housing (Regulation) Act 2023
(1,971 words contributed)
Roadworks (Regulation) Bill 2022-23
(1,385 words contributed)
Procurement Act 2023
(938 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Mark Francois's debates

Rayleigh and Wickford Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Petitions with highest Rayleigh and Wickford signature proportion
Petition Debates Contributed

We are concerned that Parliament has not discussed and will not have a say on the 307 proposed amendments to the International Health Regulations, AND the amendments to 5 Articles of the IHR that were ADOPTED by the 75th World Health Assembly on 27 May 2022.

Revoke local government powers to charge CAZ, LEZ, and ULEZ.

The Mayor's proposed extension of ULEZ over a short timeframe could negatively impact millions of people and businesses across SE England.


Latest EDMs signed by Mark Francois

1st February 2023
Mark Francois signed this EDM as a sponsor on Wednesday 1st February 2023

Exiting the European Union (No. 2)

Tabled by: Jeffrey M Donaldson (Democratic Unionist Party - Lagan Valley)
TThat this House calls upon the Government to withdraw the Official Controls (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2023 (S.I., 2023, No. 17) because they are injurious to the integrity of the UK Internal Market in circumstances where the Northern Ireland Protocol has not been replaced by new arrangements that respect and protect …
19 signatures
(Most recent: 7 Feb 2023)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 11
Democratic Unionist Party: 8
1st February 2023
Mark Francois signed this EDM as a sponsor on Wednesday 1st February 2023

Exiting the European Union

Tabled by: Jeffrey M Donaldson (Democratic Unionist Party - Lagan Valley)
That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty, praying that the Official Controls (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2023 (S.I., 2023, No. 17), dated 11 January 2023, a copy of which was laid before this House on 12 January 2023, be annulled.
20 signatures
(Most recent: 7 Feb 2023)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 12
Democratic Unionist Party: 8
View All Mark Francois's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Mark Francois, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


Mark Francois has not been granted any Urgent Questions

1 Adjournment Debate led by Mark Francois

Friday 13th March 2020

2 Bills introduced by Mark Francois


A Bill to make provision about the regulation of roadworks; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Wednesday 30th November 2022
(Read Debate)

A Bill to set penalties for overrunning roadworks; to make requirements regarding the duration, timing and coordination of roadworks; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Wednesday 5th February 2020

405 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
1 Other Department Questions
13th Jan 2020
To ask the hon. Member representing the House of Commons Commission, what the cost was of Big Ben chiming on (a) Remembrance Sunday 2019 and (b) New Year's Eve 2019.

The costs associated with striking Big Ben on Remembrance Sunday and New Year's Eve in 2019 were £14.2k including VAT in total.

The striking of Big Ben on these occasions was coordinated around the planned works so as to minimise the impact on the project costs and to ensure it did not result in any delay. If the project team are required to strike the bell with less notice, the costs would substantially increase due to the unexpected impact on the project schedule.

9th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when she will publish her proposals on the operation of deposit return schemes.

HM Government has consulted twice on the introduction of a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) and further details will be set out in the Government response to the 2021 consultation. We are working towards publication of the Government response in late 2022.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she intends to publish updated regulations on doorstep waste collection; and if she will place a copy of his proposals in the Library of the House of Commons.

Following support at consultation, the Environment Act 2021 amends the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to stipulate that all local authorities in England will be required to collect a core set of materials for recycling. Last year we held a second consultation on proposals including implementation timelines, materials in scope and exemptions. We will publish a consultation response in due course before taking regulations through Parliament.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which IT supplier provides the principal IT system utilised by NHS Supply Chain.

NHS Supply Chain uses technology currently maintained and supported by DXC Technology. DXC Technology were appointed in 2019 following a transition from the former service provider.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many (a) full and (b) part time NHS Supply Chain employees were of what (i) grade and (ii) salary band in the last financial year.

NHS Supply Chain is managed by Supply Chain Coordination Limited (SCCL) and was established in 2018 under the Department of Health and Social Care Procurement Transformation Programme. NHS Supply Chain includes both employees of SCCL and services providers including those undertaking Procurement Services, Logistics Services and IT Services. For the purposes of this response we have included SCCL employees rather than those of the wider supply chain.

The basic salary costs for the financial year 2022/23 for SCCL employees was £25,643,751.68. The headcount for the years 2020/21 to 2022/23 is as follows:

- 2020/21: 394;

- 2021/22: 449; and

- 2022/23: 682

During the period from 2021 to 2024, several organisational changes led to subsequent changes in responsibility within NHS Supply Chain and growth in those employed directly by SCCL. The increase in headcount in 2022/23 is due to the transfer of colleagues from former services providers of procurement services. These were phased across the financial year, in July, October and February, and therefore the reported total headcount for 2022/23 relates to the outturn number of staff. Previous increases were due to the replacement of day rate contractors with full time employees and investment in roles to strengthen the resilience of the supply chain, in response to the findings of the Boardman Review. SCCL staff are not part of Agenda for Change and, as such, our grading does not match those in other parts of the National Health Service. The following table shows the employees of SCCL in 2022/23, of which 645 were full time and 37 were part time, broken down by salary band:

Salary band

Number of employees

£0.00 - £25,000

38

£25,001 - £50,000

362

£50,001 - £75,000

180

£75,001 - £100,000

43

£100,001 - £125,000

18

£125,001 - £150,000

6

£150,001 - £175,000

1

£175,001 - £200,000

2

As of March 2023, prior to the transfer of procurement teams into SCCL, the total headcount in SCCL plus external procurement service providers was 1272. As of the end of March 2024 this will be 1149 on a like for like basis.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many full-time staff were employed by NHS Supply Chain in the (a) 2020-21, (b) 2021-22 and (c) 2022-23 financial year.

NHS Supply Chain is managed by Supply Chain Coordination Limited (SCCL) and was established in 2018 under the Department of Health and Social Care Procurement Transformation Programme. NHS Supply Chain includes both employees of SCCL and services providers including those undertaking Procurement Services, Logistics Services and IT Services. For the purposes of this response we have included SCCL employees rather than those of the wider supply chain.

The basic salary costs for the financial year 2022/23 for SCCL employees was £25,643,751.68. The headcount for the years 2020/21 to 2022/23 is as follows:

- 2020/21: 394;

- 2021/22: 449; and

- 2022/23: 682

During the period from 2021 to 2024, several organisational changes led to subsequent changes in responsibility within NHS Supply Chain and growth in those employed directly by SCCL. The increase in headcount in 2022/23 is due to the transfer of colleagues from former services providers of procurement services. These were phased across the financial year, in July, October and February, and therefore the reported total headcount for 2022/23 relates to the outturn number of staff. Previous increases were due to the replacement of day rate contractors with full time employees and investment in roles to strengthen the resilience of the supply chain, in response to the findings of the Boardman Review. SCCL staff are not part of Agenda for Change and, as such, our grading does not match those in other parts of the National Health Service. The following table shows the employees of SCCL in 2022/23, of which 645 were full time and 37 were part time, broken down by salary band:

Salary band

Number of employees

£0.00 - £25,000

38

£25,001 - £50,000

362

£50,001 - £75,000

180

£75,001 - £100,000

43

£100,001 - £125,000

18

£125,001 - £150,000

6

£150,001 - £175,000

1

£175,001 - £200,000

2

As of March 2023, prior to the transfer of procurement teams into SCCL, the total headcount in SCCL plus external procurement service providers was 1272. As of the end of March 2024 this will be 1149 on a like for like basis.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the total salary cost was of NHS Supply Chain employees in the 2022-23 financial year.

NHS Supply Chain is managed by Supply Chain Coordination Limited (SCCL) and was established in 2018 under the Department of Health and Social Care Procurement Transformation Programme. NHS Supply Chain includes both employees of SCCL and services providers including those undertaking Procurement Services, Logistics Services and IT Services. For the purposes of this response we have included SCCL employees rather than those of the wider supply chain.

The basic salary costs for the financial year 2022/23 for SCCL employees was £25,643,751.68. The headcount for the years 2020/21 to 2022/23 is as follows:

- 2020/21: 394;

- 2021/22: 449; and

- 2022/23: 682

During the period from 2021 to 2024, several organisational changes led to subsequent changes in responsibility within NHS Supply Chain and growth in those employed directly by SCCL. The increase in headcount in 2022/23 is due to the transfer of colleagues from former services providers of procurement services. These were phased across the financial year, in July, October and February, and therefore the reported total headcount for 2022/23 relates to the outturn number of staff. Previous increases were due to the replacement of day rate contractors with full time employees and investment in roles to strengthen the resilience of the supply chain, in response to the findings of the Boardman Review. SCCL staff are not part of Agenda for Change and, as such, our grading does not match those in other parts of the National Health Service. The following table shows the employees of SCCL in 2022/23, of which 645 were full time and 37 were part time, broken down by salary band:

Salary band

Number of employees

£0.00 - £25,000

38

£25,001 - £50,000

362

£50,001 - £75,000

180

£75,001 - £100,000

43

£100,001 - £125,000

18

£125,001 - £150,000

6

£150,001 - £175,000

1

£175,001 - £200,000

2

As of March 2023, prior to the transfer of procurement teams into SCCL, the total headcount in SCCL plus external procurement service providers was 1272. As of the end of March 2024 this will be 1149 on a like for like basis.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he expects to provide substantive answers to Questions 48257, 48258, 48259 and 48260, tabled on 6 September by the Right hon. Member for Rayleigh and Wickford.

I refer the Rt hon. Member to the answers I gave on 27 September to Questions 48257, 48258, 48259, and 48260.

6th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the salary bands are for the (a) Interim Chief Executive, (b) Chief Financial Officer, (c) Chief Operating Officer, (d) Managing Director of Basildon Hospital, (e) Managing Director of Broomfield Hospital, (f) Managing Director of Southend Hospital and (g) other members of the senior leadership of the Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust for 2022-23.

Salaries of directors are published in annual reports in paybands. NHS England provides pay guidance for very senior managers at foundation trusts, which is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/guidance-on-pay-for-very-senior-managers/

Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust is classified as a ‘supra large acute’ provider and foundation trusts hold statutory power over remuneration. The salary band for the Chair of Mid and South Essex Integrated Care Board is £60,000 to £65,000 for a 2.5 to three day working week. The salary band for the Chief Executive of Mid and South Essex Integrated Care Board is £190,000 to £212,500. Pay in excess of these levels would require Ministerial approval.

It is imperative that all parts of the National Health Service exercise good judgement and concern for taxpayer value in determining executive pay.

6th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much new capital funding has been made available for capital works at Southend Hospital as of 6 September 2022; what his planned timetable is for making potential further new capital funding available for those works; and if he will make a statement.

Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation received £10.2 million in 2020/21 and £5.3 million in 2021/22 for Southend Hospital through the programme to upgrade accident and emergency departments. The Trust was also awarded £118 million in 2017 for a scheme to transform acute and out-of-hospital services locally, including at Southend Hospital, following public consultation. The Trust is currently developing its full business case and a request for early funding is currently under review. Full funding will be made available once the business case has been approved.

6th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the salary band is of the Chief Executive of the Mid and South Essex Integrated Care Board for 2022-23.

Salaries of directors are published in annual reports in paybands. NHS England provides pay guidance for very senior managers at foundation trusts, which is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/guidance-on-pay-for-very-senior-managers/

Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust is classified as a ‘supra large acute’ provider and foundation trusts hold statutory power over remuneration. The salary band for the Chair of Mid and South Essex Integrated Care Board is £60,000 to £65,000 for a 2.5 to three day working week. The salary band for the Chief Executive of Mid and South Essex Integrated Care Board is £190,000 to £212,500. Pay in excess of these levels would require Ministerial approval.

It is imperative that all parts of the National Health Service exercise good judgement and concern for taxpayer value in determining executive pay.

6th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the salary band is for the Chairman of the Mid and South Essex Integrated Care Board for 2022-23.

Salaries of directors are published in annual reports in paybands. NHS England provides pay guidance for very senior managers at foundation trusts, which is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/guidance-on-pay-for-very-senior-managers/

Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust is classified as a ‘supra large acute’ provider and foundation trusts hold statutory power over remuneration. The salary band for the Chair of Mid and South Essex Integrated Care Board is £60,000 to £65,000 for a 2.5 to three day working week. The salary band for the Chief Executive of Mid and South Essex Integrated Care Board is £190,000 to £212,500. Pay in excess of these levels would require Ministerial approval.

It is imperative that all parts of the National Health Service exercise good judgement and concern for taxpayer value in determining executive pay.

11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 6 March 2020 to Questions 21898, 21899, 21900 and 21901 on Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership: Pay, what the standard salary band is for a Joint Accountable Office referred to in that answer.

The salary pay bands of Clinical Commissioning Group Accountable Officers (CCG AO), trust chief executives and trust chairs are likely to vary according to local circumstances. Further guidance can be found online at the following links:

https://improvement.nhs.uk/resources/remuneration-structure-nhs-provider-chairs-and-non-executive-directors/

https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/clinical-commissioning-group-guidance-on-senior-appointments-including-accountable-officers-march-2017/

The principles of this guidance should also be followed when going through the process of recruiting an Integrated Care System Leader – in some cases this may be a joint role with that of a Clinical Commissioning Groups AO or Trust Chief Executive – and Non-Executive Chair.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the salary band is of the new independent chair of the Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership.

Professor Mike Thorne was appointed as independent chair on a two year fixed term in October 2019 following open competition and receives £60,000 per annum.

The executive lead for the Health and Care Partnership is a joint role with the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Joint Accountable Officer. At the conclusion of the initial recruitment process in January no appointment was made. The Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership are at the initial stage of re-commencing the recruitment process for a permanent appointment. In the meantime, to ensure continued momentum, Anthony McKeever has been selected to be appointed as interim Joint Accountable Officer for the five CCGs and the executive lead for the Health and Care Partnership. The interim Joint Accountable Officer and executive lead for the Health and Care Partnership will be paid in line with standard salary bands. This is in line with other interim accountable officer roles across the country and meets national guidance set out for the recruitment to such positions.

Dr Anna Davey, chair of Mid Essex CCG, receives no remuneration for her role as convenor on behalf of the five CCGs.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the salary band is of the chief executive of the Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership.

Professor Mike Thorne was appointed as independent chair on a two year fixed term in October 2019 following open competition and receives £60,000 per annum.

The executive lead for the Health and Care Partnership is a joint role with the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Joint Accountable Officer. At the conclusion of the initial recruitment process in January no appointment was made. The Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership are at the initial stage of re-commencing the recruitment process for a permanent appointment. In the meantime, to ensure continued momentum, Anthony McKeever has been selected to be appointed as interim Joint Accountable Officer for the five CCGs and the executive lead for the Health and Care Partnership. The interim Joint Accountable Officer and executive lead for the Health and Care Partnership will be paid in line with standard salary bands. This is in line with other interim accountable officer roles across the country and meets national guidance set out for the recruitment to such positions.

Dr Anna Davey, chair of Mid Essex CCG, receives no remuneration for her role as convenor on behalf of the five CCGs.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the salary is of the new interim joint accountable officer for the Mid and South Essex clinical commissioning groups.

Professor Mike Thorne was appointed as independent chair on a two year fixed term in October 2019 following open competition and receives £60,000 per annum.

The executive lead for the Health and Care Partnership is a joint role with the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Joint Accountable Officer. At the conclusion of the initial recruitment process in January no appointment was made. The Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership are at the initial stage of re-commencing the recruitment process for a permanent appointment. In the meantime, to ensure continued momentum, Anthony McKeever has been selected to be appointed as interim Joint Accountable Officer for the five CCGs and the executive lead for the Health and Care Partnership. The interim Joint Accountable Officer and executive lead for the Health and Care Partnership will be paid in line with standard salary bands. This is in line with other interim accountable officer roles across the country and meets national guidance set out for the recruitment to such positions.

Dr Anna Davey, chair of Mid Essex CCG, receives no remuneration for her role as convenor on behalf of the five CCGs.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the salary band is of the convenor for the Mid and South Essex clinical commissioning groups.

Professor Mike Thorne was appointed as independent chair on a two year fixed term in October 2019 following open competition and receives £60,000 per annum.

The executive lead for the Health and Care Partnership is a joint role with the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Joint Accountable Officer. At the conclusion of the initial recruitment process in January no appointment was made. The Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership are at the initial stage of re-commencing the recruitment process for a permanent appointment. In the meantime, to ensure continued momentum, Anthony McKeever has been selected to be appointed as interim Joint Accountable Officer for the five CCGs and the executive lead for the Health and Care Partnership. The interim Joint Accountable Officer and executive lead for the Health and Care Partnership will be paid in line with standard salary bands. This is in line with other interim accountable officer roles across the country and meets national guidance set out for the recruitment to such positions.

Dr Anna Davey, chair of Mid Essex CCG, receives no remuneration for her role as convenor on behalf of the five CCGs.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the crew complement is of the RFA Fort Victoria.

RFA FORT VICTORIA normally operates with 101 RFA personnel. However, this will vary according to operational requirements and tasking.

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
5th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the estimated out of service date is for RFA Fort Victoria.

I refer the right hon. Member to the answer that was given on 5 July 2023 to Question 191509 to the hon. Member for Wentworth and Dearne (Mr John Healey).

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
5th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the acquisition cost is of (a) a Queen Elizabeth Class carrier, (b) an air group of 24 F-35Bs with merlin helicopters, (c) two type 45 destroyers, (d) two type 23 frigates, (e) one Astute class submarine and (f) other support ships for a Queen Elizabeth Class carrier Battle Group.

The acquisition cost of the two Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers was c. £6 billion.

The build cost of a Type 45 destroyer was calculated in 2013 to be £633 million (Official Report 2 December 2016 Question 55378).

Build costs of the Type 23 frigates varied between £92 and £120 million per ship over the period November 1992 to September 2002. (Official Report 2 July 2013, col. 610w).

For the acquisition costs of Astute Class submarines, I refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 12 September 2023 to Question 197698.

The support ships assigned to a Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier battle group and the composition of the embarked air group are dependent upon the nature of the tasking of the battle group and it is not therefore possible to provide a singular acquisition cost for such supporting shipping or for the air group.

F-35B aircraft are procured in batches and the unit price per batch has varied as production has proceeded. There is therefore no single acquisition cost for a group of 24 aircraft as the overall cost will depend on the batch from which each individual aircraft was procured.

There is no fixed ratio of F-35B aircraft to Merlin helicopters in a Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier embarked air group. Moreover, two different marks of Merlin helicopter may be embarked dependent on operational requirements. It is not therefore possible to provide a single acquisition cost for the Merlin helicopters that may be embarked with 24 F-35B aircraft.

As illustrated by the information provided in respect of Type 23 frigates it is not, for any class of ship or submarine, usually the case that the overall acquisition cost is shared equally across the class. First of Class vessels will incur a range of non-recurring costs that later vessels do not. Variations in price per vessel may also arise from increasing industry efficiency as construction progresses and from detailed changes in specification between vessels of the same class.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
5th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the acquisition cost was of each of (a) the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers and (b) their respective air groups.

The acquisition cost of the two Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers was c. £6 billion.

The build cost of a Type 45 destroyer was calculated in 2013 to be £633 million (Official Report 2 December 2016 Question 55378).

Build costs of the Type 23 frigates varied between £92 and £120 million per ship over the period November 1992 to September 2002. (Official Report 2 July 2013, col. 610w).

For the acquisition costs of Astute Class submarines, I refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 12 September 2023 to Question 197698.

The support ships assigned to a Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier battle group and the composition of the embarked air group are dependent upon the nature of the tasking of the battle group and it is not therefore possible to provide a singular acquisition cost for such supporting shipping or for the air group.

F-35B aircraft are procured in batches and the unit price per batch has varied as production has proceeded. There is therefore no single acquisition cost for a group of 24 aircraft as the overall cost will depend on the batch from which each individual aircraft was procured.

There is no fixed ratio of F-35B aircraft to Merlin helicopters in a Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier embarked air group. Moreover, two different marks of Merlin helicopter may be embarked dependent on operational requirements. It is not therefore possible to provide a single acquisition cost for the Merlin helicopters that may be embarked with 24 F-35B aircraft.

As illustrated by the information provided in respect of Type 23 frigates it is not, for any class of ship or submarine, usually the case that the overall acquisition cost is shared equally across the class. First of Class vessels will incur a range of non-recurring costs that later vessels do not. Variations in price per vessel may also arise from increasing industry efficiency as construction progresses and from detailed changes in specification between vessels of the same class.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
5th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether RFA Fort Victoria is (a) awaiting a refit, (b) working up after a refit and (c) operationally available.

RFA Fort Victoria is currently ready to commence a planned maintenance period.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
8th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the out of service date is of (a) HMS Albion and (b) HMS Bulwark.

On current plans, HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark will retire from service by the end of 2034.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
8th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which Type 23 frigates are in refit; and when those refits are expected to be completed.

HMS ST ALBANS, HMS SUTHERLAND, HMS WESTMINSTER and HMS ARGYLL are currently in or are awaiting Refit.

The duration of refit periods is determined by a number of factors, including requirements that emerge during the course of the work, as well as pre-planned repairs and capability insertions. It is not therefore possible to provide precise completion dates until late during each refit period.

In the financial year 2023-24, £100 million has been allocated for Type 23 refits and of this sum about £50 million has been expended.

It is not possible to provide a breakdown of allocation or expenditure by vessel for future work. Funds for Type 23 refits are not simply allocated on a per ship or per refit basis. The work required to be undertaken on a vessel over and above pre-planned capability insertions, and therefore the overall baseline costs, are established by survey of the vessel at the commencement of each refit period.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
8th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much has been spent on the refit of (a) HMS Argyll and (b) HMS Westminster.

HMS ST ALBANS, HMS SUTHERLAND, HMS WESTMINSTER and HMS ARGYLL are currently in or are awaiting Refit.

The duration of refit periods is determined by a number of factors, including requirements that emerge during the course of the work, as well as pre-planned repairs and capability insertions. It is not therefore possible to provide precise completion dates until late during each refit period.

In the financial year 2023-24, £100 million has been allocated for Type 23 refits and of this sum about £50 million has been expended.

It is not possible to provide a breakdown of allocation or expenditure by vessel for future work. Funds for Type 23 refits are not simply allocated on a per ship or per refit basis. The work required to be undertaken on a vessel over and above pre-planned capability insertions, and therefore the overall baseline costs, are established by survey of the vessel at the commencement of each refit period.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
8th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the (a) inflow and (b) outflow data for the Regular (i) Royal Navy, (ii) Army and (iii) Royal Air Force are for October to December 2023.

The requested information is currently subject to a verification process and will be published in due course with a provisional release date of March 2024 as an Accredited Official Statistic through the Quarterly Service Personnel Statistics publication. The latest edition covers the period to 1 October 2023 and can be found at the following website: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/quarterly-service-personnel-statistics-index

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
8th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the total cost of the Army Recruiting contract between his Department and Capita is.

The current value of the Capita contract to March 2026 is £1.12 billion.

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
8th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many regular personnel are assigned to the Royal Navy submarine service.

The Royal Navy does not routinely disclose the trained strength of individual branches or specialisms as to do so could, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability of the Armed Forces.

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
8th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the (a) value and (b) duration is of the contract his Department holds with Serco for the recruitment of personnel into the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) does not hold a contract with Serco for the recruitment of personnel. However, the RFA does second staff from Serco to obtain specialist skills where there is a business need to do so. The cost of these secondments are withheld due to commercial sensitivities.

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
8th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many (a) officers and (b) other ranks were recruited into the British Army in each of the first three quarters of 2023-24.

I refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave on 8 January to Question 7264 from the right hon. Member for Wentworth and Dearne (Mr Healey) which shows the Basic Training Starts for British Army Officer and Other Ranks for financial year 2022-23.

https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2023-12-18/7264

The below table shows how many Officers and Other Ranks were recruited into the British Army in Q1 & Q2 2023-24. The figures for Q3 2023-24 are not yet available.

Financial year

Total basic Training starts Actuals

Officer Basic Training Starts Actuals

Other Ranks Basic Training Starts Actuals

2023-24 Quarter 1

960

150

810

2023-24 Quarter 2

2,120

270

1,850

Notes/caveats:

  1. These figures are for the Regular Army Only and therefore exclude Gurkhas, Full Time Reserve Service, Mobilised Reserves, Army Reserve and all other Reserves, but includes those personnel that have transferred from GURTAM to UKTAP.
  2. Basic Training Start figures only include personnel who entered Phase 1 training.
  3. 2023-24 Quarter 1 includes figures from 01 April 2023 to 30 June 2023.
  4. 2023-24 Quarter 2 includes figures from 01 July 2023 to 30 September 2023.
  5. Figures have been rounded to 10 for presentational purposes; numbers ending in “5” have been rounded to the nearest multiple of 20 to prevent systematic bias.
  6. Totals and sub-totals have been rounded separately and so may not appear to be the sum of their parts.

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
8th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many (a) officers and (b) other ranks were recruited to the Army in 2022-23.

I refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave on 8 January to Question 7264 from the right hon. Member for Wentworth and Dearne (Mr Healey) which shows the Basic Training Starts for British Army Officer and Other Ranks for financial year 2022-23.

https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2023-12-18/7264

The below table shows how many Officers and Other Ranks were recruited into the British Army in Q1 & Q2 2023-24. The figures for Q3 2023-24 are not yet available.

Financial year

Total basic Training starts Actuals

Officer Basic Training Starts Actuals

Other Ranks Basic Training Starts Actuals

2023-24 Quarter 1

960

150

810

2023-24 Quarter 2

2,120

270

1,850

Notes/caveats:

  1. These figures are for the Regular Army Only and therefore exclude Gurkhas, Full Time Reserve Service, Mobilised Reserves, Army Reserve and all other Reserves, but includes those personnel that have transferred from GURTAM to UKTAP.
  2. Basic Training Start figures only include personnel who entered Phase 1 training.
  3. 2023-24 Quarter 1 includes figures from 01 April 2023 to 30 June 2023.
  4. 2023-24 Quarter 2 includes figures from 01 July 2023 to 30 September 2023.
  5. Figures have been rounded to 10 for presentational purposes; numbers ending in “5” have been rounded to the nearest multiple of 20 to prevent systematic bias.
  6. Totals and sub-totals have been rounded separately and so may not appear to be the sum of their parts.

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
8th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what his Department's target was for recruitment of (a) officers and (b) other ranks into the British Army for each of the first three quarters in the 2023-24 financial year.

I refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave on 8 January to Question 7264 from the right hon. Member for Wentworth and Dearne (Mr Healey) which shows the Basic Training Starts (BTS) Targets for British Army Other Ranks for financial year 2022-23.

Demand targets for BTS are set annually. Quarterly targets are used for internal guidance and they can change in-year in order to meet the annual target.

The table below shows those internal targets for the first three quarters of 2023-24:

Financial Year

Other Ranks Basic Training Starts Targets

2023-24 Quarter 1

1,890

2023-24 Quarter 2

2,760

2023-24 Quarter 3

2,120

There are no targets for Officers BTS.

Notes/caveats:

  1. These figures are for the Regular Army Only and therefore exclude Gurkhas, Full Time Reserve Service, Mobilised Reserves, Army Reserve and all other Reserves, but includes those personnel that have transferred from GURTAM to UKTAP.
  2. Basic Training Start figures only include personnel who entered Phase 1 training.
  3. 2023-24 Quarter 1 includes figures from 01 April 2023 to 30 June 2023.
  4. 2023-24 Quarter 2 includes figures from 01 July 2023 to 30 September 2023.
  5. 2023-24 Quarter 3 includes figures from 01 October 2023 to 31 December 2023
  6. Figures have been rounded to 10 for presentational purposes; numbers ending in “5” have been rounded to the nearest multiple of 20 to prevent systematic bias.
  7. Totals and sub-totals have been rounded separately and so may not appear to be the sum of their parts.
Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
8th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the target for recruitment of (a) officers and (b) other ranks in the British army was in 2022-23.

I refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave on 8 January to Question 7264 from the right hon. Member for Wentworth and Dearne (Mr Healey) which shows the Basic Training Starts (BTS) Targets for British Army Other Ranks for financial year 2022-23.

Demand targets for BTS are set annually. Quarterly targets are used for internal guidance and they can change in-year in order to meet the annual target.

The table below shows those internal targets for the first three quarters of 2023-24:

Financial Year

Other Ranks Basic Training Starts Targets

2023-24 Quarter 1

1,890

2023-24 Quarter 2

2,760

2023-24 Quarter 3

2,120

There are no targets for Officers BTS.

Notes/caveats:

  1. These figures are for the Regular Army Only and therefore exclude Gurkhas, Full Time Reserve Service, Mobilised Reserves, Army Reserve and all other Reserves, but includes those personnel that have transferred from GURTAM to UKTAP.
  2. Basic Training Start figures only include personnel who entered Phase 1 training.
  3. 2023-24 Quarter 1 includes figures from 01 April 2023 to 30 June 2023.
  4. 2023-24 Quarter 2 includes figures from 01 July 2023 to 30 September 2023.
  5. 2023-24 Quarter 3 includes figures from 01 October 2023 to 31 December 2023
  6. Figures have been rounded to 10 for presentational purposes; numbers ending in “5” have been rounded to the nearest multiple of 20 to prevent systematic bias.
  7. Totals and sub-totals have been rounded separately and so may not appear to be the sum of their parts.
Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
5th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the cost of the Challenger 3 upgrade programme; what the definition is of initial operating capability for Challenger 3; and what the planned date is for that initial operating capability.

We do not routinely release forecast figures regarding the resource and capital expenditure of our major projects. Portfolio data is published annually in support of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) Annual Report which includes a budget baseline and the latest HM Treasury approved estimates in respect of whole life costs. The current report is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications//infrastructure-and-projects-authority-annual-report-2022-23

Initial Operating Capability is defined as a single squadron of Main Battle Tanks with trained crews and is planned to be achieved in 2027.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
5th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent estimate he has made of the number of Morpheus terminals that will be required when it enters service.

I refer my right hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 27 April 2023 to Question 182237 to the right hon. Member for North Durham (Mr Kevan Jones).

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
5th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will list all contracts by value between his Department and (a) Babcock and (b) its subsidiaries in the last ten years.

The information needed to answer the right hon. Member's question is being reviewed for operational and commercial sensitivities, which will take time to complete. As such, I will write to him with an answer, and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
5th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the cost was of each of the five boats of the Astute class delivered to his Department; and what estimate he has made of the cost of each of the remaining Astute class boats .

It is not possible to identify a single unit cost for the first three Astute Class submarines (HMS ASTUTE, HMS AMBUSH, and HMS ARTFUL) as they were contracted as a batch.

As previously announced, contract awards for Boats four to seven are as follows:

Boat Name

Contract Value (£billion)

HMS AUDACIOUS

1.2

HMS ANSON

1.3

Agamemnon

1.4

Agincourt

1.5

The current value of the Astute programme is £11.4 billion.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
5th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he plans to commence the competition for the Morpheus tactical communications system.

I refer my right Hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 27 April 2023 to Question 182237 to the right Hon. Member for North Durham (Mr Kevan Jones).

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
5th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent estimate he has made of the cost of upgrading the Bowman tactical communications system from BCP 5.6 standard to BCP 5.7; when the upgraded system is expected to achieve initial operating capability; and which contractor has been appointed to undertake the work.

I will write to the right hon. Member with the detail requested and a copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
5th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent estimate he has made of when the last of the two submarines of the Astute class will enter operational service.

Planned in-service and out-of-service dates for Royal Navy submarines are withheld as disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness, or security of the Armed Forces.

We remain committed to delivering all seven Astute Class submarines.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
5th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many AS-90 howitzers are operationally available.

The British Army holds and maintains an appropriate amount of all platforms to meet operational requirements. I am withholding further information on the number of AS90 available for operational deployment as its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness, or security of the Armed Forces.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
5th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what refits of Royal Navy submarines there have been by (a) name, (b) year, (c) length of refit, (d) time taken to complete the refit, (e) the contractor undertaking the refit and (f) the cost of the refit in the last ten years.

There have been two submarine Deep Maintenance Periods (refits) during the last ten years. HMS Vengeance underwent a refit from March 2012 to February 2016 at a cost of £322 million. HMS Vanguard’s refit and refuel commenced in February 2016. Whilst HMS Vanguard has left His Majesty's Naval Base (HMNB) Devonport, the upkeep project continues with post refit sea trials. I am withholding the estimated cost as its disclosure would prejudice commercial interests.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
5th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent estimate he has made of when the last of the Trafalgar class submarines will leave operational service.

The planned out-of-service dates for Royal Navy submarines are withheld as disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
5th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he plans to resurrect the Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme.

The Department has no plans to resurrect the cancelled Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
5th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Warrior armoured fighting vehicles his Department plans to keep in operational service in 2026.

An appropriate number of Warrior armoured fighting vehicles will remain in service until new concepts and capabilities are introduced into service throughout the decade, ensuring operational requirements continue to be met.

I am withholding further information on the number of Warrior which will be available for operational deployment as its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness, or security of the Armed Forces.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
5th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the additional cost of continuing the Warrior armoured fighting vehicle in service.

I refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 14 July 2023 to Question 194148.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
14th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether legal proceedings have commenced between Babcock and Defence Equipment and Support on the Type 31 frigate programme.

I refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave on 2 May 2023 to Question 182501 to the right hon. Member for North Durham (Mr Jones).

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
14th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what is the anticipated cost of repairing the submarine lift at Faslane Naval Base.

I am unable to confirm the status of the shiplift at His Majesty's Naval Base Clyde as to do so could, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability and effectiveness of our Armed Forces.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
14th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he plans for the last Type 23 frigate to leave operational service.

On current plans, the last Type 23 frigate will transition out of service in 2035. The Royal Navy continuously reviews its requirements to ensure all operational requirements continue to be met, both now and in the future.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
14th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will list each refit of the Type 23 frigate class over the last ten years by (a) name of ship, (b) contractor carrying out the refit, (c) estimated time to complete the retrofit and (d) actual time to complete the retrofit.

The requested information is provided in the table below.

Details of the planned duration of each refit period before work commenced could be provided only at a disproportionate cost. The data required would have to be collated from a number of sources, some of which are no longer readily accessible. In addition, some of the data required remains commercially sensitive.

It should be noted that the duration of any refit period is highly dependent on multiple factors including the planned scope of the work, shaped by the age and operating profile of the vessel; the extent of emergent work, which cannot be forecast before the refit commences; and by external factors such as Covid shutdowns.

Ship

Contractor

Start

End

Duration (Months)

HMS PORTLAND

Babcock

Nov-11

May-13

19

HMS IRON DUKE

BAE Systems

Feb-12

Nov-13

22

HMS SOMERSET

Babcock

Apr-12

Mar-13

12

HMS SUTHERLAND

Babcock

Oct-13

Jun-15

21

HMS ST ALBANS

BAE Systems

Apr-13

Aug-14

17

HMS WESTMINSTER

BAE Systems

Oct-14

Mar-17

30

HMS MONMOUTH

Babcock

Jan-14

Sep-15

21

HMS MONTROSE

Babcock

Mar-14

Jul-15

17

HMS ARGYLL

Babcock

May-15

Apr-17

24

HMS NORTHUMBERLAND

Babcock

May-16

Apr-18

23

HMS KENT

Babcock

Oct-16

Oct-18

25

HMS LANCASTER

Babcock

May-17

May-20

36

HMS RICHMOND

Babcock

Sep-17

Mar-20

30

HMS SOMERSET

Babcock

Oct-18

May-22

43

HMS PORTLAND

Babcock

Apr-18

May-21

37

HMS IRON DUKE

Babcock

May-19

Jun-23

49

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
14th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the estimated cost is of keeping the warrior armoured fighting vehicle in service for longer than originally planned.

The intent remains to begin withdrawing Warrior from service from 2025. The Army has currently been allocated £200 million to allow current capabilities, including Warrior, to remain in service until new concepts and capabilities are introduced into service throughout the decade.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
14th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many warrior armoured fighting vehicles were in service on 14 July 2023, broken down by variant.

708 Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicles are in service with the British Army. This number reflects a reduction in platforms from the number quoted in the last annual published statistics following the disposal of 13 platforms which were beyond economical repair.

For reasons of security, we do not break this number down any further.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
14th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what has been the cost to the public purse of the LE TacCIS programme as of 14 June 2023.

As of 14 July 2023, the total expenditure for the LETacCIS programme is c£1.7 billion, of which Project MORPHEUS represents c£690 million.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
14th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much has been spent on the Morpheus next-generation tactical communications system as of 14 July 2023.

As of 14 July 2023, the total expenditure for the LETacCIS programme is c£1.7 billion, of which Project MORPHEUS represents c£690 million.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
14th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the out of service date is for the warrior armoured fighting vehicle.

I refer my right hon. Friend to the answer given by my right hon. Friend, the previous Minister for Defence Procurement (Alex Chalk) on 17 January 2023 to Question 120882 to the right hon. Member for North Durham (Mr Kevan Jones).

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
14th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what is the planned initial operating capability date for the next generation of Skynet communications satellites.

The contracted date for initial operating capability of SKYNET 6A is January 2026, which is defined as having seven of the ultra-high frequency channels available for operational use by Ministry of Defence and allied personnel.

Competitions to procure subsequent geostationary satellites are underway, with the most likely initial operating capability dates being 2028 for the first satellite, 2030 for the second, 2032 for the third and 2036 for the fourth.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
14th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the latest estimated initial operating capability date is for the Morpheus next-generation tactical communications system.

The original Initial Operating Capability (IOC) date was 2025; a revised IOC is yet to be defined pending ongoing contractual discussions with General Dynamics Mission Systems (UK).

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
14th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much his Department has spent on the Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme since the start of that programme.

The total cost to the Ministry of Defence of the Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme was £473.5 million.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
9th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the estimated timescale is for the publication of the Ajax Lessons Learned Review.

In May last year, Clive Sheldon KC was formally appointed to lead the Ajax Lessons Learned Review. Mr Sheldon is in the final stages of drafting his report. The timeframe is a matter for Mr Sheldon. The report will be published as soon as practicable after the final version is received by the Department and a statement will be made to the House.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
25th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the most recent estimated initial operating capability is for the new Medium Support Helicopter programme.

I refer my right hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 27 April 2023 to Question 182236 from the right hon. Member for North Durham (Mr Kevan Jones).

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
25th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he plans to take steps to dispose of the RAF's C-130 Hercules fleet.

I refer the right hon. Member to the answer given to the right hon. Member for Bournemouth East on 16 March 2023 to question 163730.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
25th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many C-130 Hercules aircraft were involved in the operation to evacuate British military, diplomatic and civilian people from Sudan.

Of the two aircraft involved in the initial evacuation of diplomats and dependants, one was a C130 Hercules. The aircraft have continued to be used during the further operation to evacuate British nationals.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
25th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent estimate he has made of when HMS Prince of Wales to return to operational service.

I refer the right hon. Member to the answer given by my noble Friend, the Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence (The Baroness Goldie DL) on 3 April 2023 to Question HL6891 in the House of Lords.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
25th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent estimate his Department has made of the cost of building the five new Type 31 class frigates; whether those costs have increased since the contract was signed; and if he will make a statement.

Since the signature of the Type 31 manufacture contract in November 2019 the Ministry of Defence has agreed with Babcock an increase in the overall price of the contract of some £40 million as a result of the impact of COVID and supply chain volatility. This amounts to only circa 3% of the production cost of the ships. The average production cost remains £250 million per ship.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
25th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will publish the results of the naval engineering inquiry into the propulsion problems of HMS Prince of Wales.

The Non-Statutory investigation has now concluded, and a letter was submitted to the House of Commons Defence Committee on 3 April 2023 providing details of the defect investigation outcome.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
25th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what equipment was taken from HMS Prince of Wales to re-equip HMS Queen Elizabeth in 2023.

It is common practice in modern navies for equipment to be transferred amongst ships of the same class to allow ships to remain operationally available. This ensures the Royal Navy meets all its operational commitments.

For reasons of operational security, it would be inappropriate to comment on the specifics of equipment transfer.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
25th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, who is responsible for paying for works to repair the propulsion equipment on HMS Prince of Wales.

I refer the right hon. Member to the answer given by my noble Friend, the Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence (The Baroness Goldie DL) on 3 April 2023 to Question HL6632 in the House of Lords.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
25th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Puma helicopters (a) are in (i) active service and (ii) storage and (b) were sold for disposal in the last five years.

The Department has a fleet of 23 Puma HC2 aircraft, of which 17 are in active service with six platforms in long term storage.

There have been no disposals in the last five years.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
25th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will publish a list of Urgent Capability Requirements within his Department.

The Ministry of Defence does not comment on specific Urgent Capability Requirements (UCRs) given their direct link with ongoing operations and the opportunity this information would present to an adversary as a result.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
25th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Lynx helicopters are in (a) active service and (b) storage.

Defence no longer has any Lynx helicopters in its fleet.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
25th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many AH-64E Apache helicopters are (a) in active service, (b) on order and (c) in storage.

28 aircraft are in active service, a further 19 are on order, and three are in storage (to become active on completion of their Baseline Military Airworthiness).

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
25th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department is contractually obliged to pay for all five MESA radars originally ordered for the UK E-7 Wedgetail programme.

At the time of the Integrated Review decision to reduce the scope of the UK E-7 Wedgetail programme from five to three aircraft, the MESA (Multi-Role Electronically Scanned Array) radars for aircraft four and five were in production. It was decided that production and delivery of all five MESA radars would continue as planned, allowing a saving/offset of initial procurement and sustainment spares from the overall programme cost.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
25th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the expenditure to date on the Crowsnest AEW helicopter programme is.

As at 31 March 2023, the Crowsnest programme has accrued £414 million. This is within the original approved whole life budget for the programme of £459 million.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
25th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Crowsnest AEW helicopters are on order by his Department.

There are no CROWSNEST AEW helicopters on order. Rather the CROWSNEST capability is designed to be fitted to each of the Royal Navy's existing Merlin Mark 2 helicopters.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
25th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what is the most recent estimated initial operating capability for the Crowsnest AEW helicopter programme.

On current plans, the Initial Operating Capability for CROWSNEST will be achieved by autumn 2023.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
25th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Merlin helicopters owned by his Department are (a) in active service, (b) held in reserve and (c) undergoing conversion as part of the Crowsnest AEW helicopter programme.

The Department has 30 Merlin Mark 2 helicopters operated by the Royal Navy and 25 Merlin Mark4/4A helicopters operated by the Commando Helicopter Force. A proportion of these airframes will be undergoing planned extended maintenance at any given time.

We do not comment on the number of aircraft active or in maintenance at any specific time, as to do so would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces. None are held in reserve.

Regarding the number undergoing CROWSNEST conversion, I refer the right hon. Member to the answer given to him by my predecessor on 13 December 2022 to Question number 102826.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
25th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what his plans are for the future of the Crowsnest AEW helicopter programme.

Under current plans, CROWSNEST will achieve Initial Operating Capability by autumn 2023 and remain in service until December 2029.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
25th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether any RAF C-130 Hercules aircraft have been sold for disposal.

Yes. The managed drawdown of the C-130J Hercules fleet has been ongoing since 2017. A number of airframes have already been disposed of to the Bangladesh Air Force, Royal Bahraini Air Force and United States Navy.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
25th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will publish the refreshed Defence Command Paper.

On 13 March 2023, the Government published the Integrated Review Refresh. Following publication of the IR Refresh, I have commissioned a refresh of the 2021 Defence Command Paper. It is expected to be published in June.

26th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department (a) owns and (b) leases any properties in the so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

The Ministry of Defence does not own or lease any properties in the north of Cyprus.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
26th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what his Department's definition is of an Urgent Operational Requirement.

Urgent Operational Requirements, are now referred to as 'Urgent Capability Requirements'. The Urgent Capability Requirement procurement process responds rapidly to unforeseen threats, mission critical operational risk, or to essential safety requirement that pose an intolerable risk to life. The urgency and unique nature of these requirements prevents the normal acquisition process from being followed, and accepts that risk may be taken against performance, cost, or coherence with wider Defence equipment and activity programmes.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
26th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to his Statement of 16 January 2023 on Ukraine: Update, Official Report column 36, what the revised Initial operating capability date is for the (a) Mobile Fires Platform and (b) interim artillery capability.

In line with the Defence Secretary’s announcement to the House on 16 January, delivery of the Mobile Fires Platform will be accelerated to bring this capability into service earlier this decade.

Simultaneously we are exploring options to replenish the artillery capability in the short-term following granting in kind of AS90 to Ukraine. Revised Initial Operating Capability dates for the interim and enduring capability are yet to be confirmed.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
26th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many RAF fast jet pilots have successfully graduated from the MFTS programme in each of the last five years.

The number of Royal Air Force pilots that have successfully progressed to Typhoon and Lightning Operational Conversion Units from the UK Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS), in each of the last five years is the table below:

Financial Year

Number of Fast Jet pilots that have graduated from the UKMFTS

2018-19

10

2019-20

20

2020-21

20

2021-22

10

2022-23

20

In accordance with the Data Protection Act and our obligations in relation to the protection of confidentiality when handling personal data, data have been rounded to the nearest 10, where "-" denotes zero and "~" denotes a number less than or equal to 5. Due to the rounding methods used, totals may not always equal the sum of the parts. When rounding to the nearest 10, numbers ending in 5 have been rounded to the nearest multiple of 20 to prevent systematic bias.

The RAF has sufficient qualified aircrew to meet its frontline operational commitments.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
26th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to his Statement of 16 January 2023 on Ukraine Update. Official Report column 36, how many Challenger 2 tanks he plans to upgrade to Challenger 3.

The number of Challenger 3 remains under review to ensure the Army’s Main Battle Tank fleet is sufficient to meet Defence’s needs, in line with the Defence Secretary’s statement on 16 January 2023.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
26th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the propulsion defect affecting HMS Prince of Wales is; and when he expects it to be fixed.

In September 2022, HMS PRINCE OF WALES suffered a starboard shaft coupling failure. During the investigation into the cause of the defect, an issue was also identified with HMS PRINCE OF WALES port shaft, and to prevent a similar defect occurring, rectification of this issue is expected to be completed before she commences her operational programme, as planned, in Autumn 2023.

The defects with HMS PRINCE OF WALES shafts are not believed to be a Class issue and HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH continues to undertake Strike Carrier duties until 2024 when HMS PRINCE OF WALES will take over as Very High Readiness Strike Carrier.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
26th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he plans to publish the Ajax Lessons Learned Review; and whether he plans to publish the Review unredacted.

It is intended to publish the report, subject to redaction of commercially sensitive content and personal information where applicable, as soon as practicable after it is finalised.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
26th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to his Statement of 16 January 2023 on Ukraine: Update, Official Report columns 35 to 37, whether he plans to declare any of the systems intended for the British Army mentioned in the Statement as Urgent Operational Requirements.

Urgent Operational Requirements are now referred to as 'Urgent Capability Requirements.'

There are currently no plans to declare any of the systems intended for the Army as Urgent Capability Requirements, however we are looking to accelerate delivery where appropriate.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what was the (a) estimated purchase cost for the originally programmed five E-7 Wedgetail aircraft and (b) revised purchase price for the re-programmed three E-7 Wedgetail aircraft.

The original estimated acquisition cost for five E-7 Wedgetail aircraft programme was £2155 million, which included acquisition, modification, infrastructure, training and support long lead time items (included initial spares provisioning).

The current forecast for the three aircraft programme is £1890 million.

The above figures reflect the current cost to completion of the E-7 programme, as outlined in the Defence Equipment Plan. They do not include estimated forecast savings from longer term sustainment through reduced support costs due to the reduction to three aircraft.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he expects to announce the finalisation of the Full Business Case for the RAF's E-7 Wedgetail programme.

The Full Business Case for the E-7 Wedgetail programme is expected to be finalised in mid-2023.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he expects to announce the final agreement with Lockheed Martin for completion of the Crowsnest AEW helicopter programme.

Commercial negotiations with industry to re-baseline the contract for the remainder of the Crowsnest AEW helicopter programme are planned to conclude during the first quarter of 2023.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Merlin helicopters remain to be converted to the Crowsnest AEW configuration.

We do not comment on matters of operational capability as to do so could prejudice the capability of our Armed Forces.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the definition of Initial Operational Capability for the Crowsnest AEW helicopter programme is.

The precise details of Initial Operating Capability (IOC) quantities and performance are classified. However, the pre-requisites in terms of quantities of trained people, Airborne Surveillance and Control role equipment deliveries, modified aircraft, training equipment and support have already been delivered to the Royal Navy. In many cases the minimum number have already been exceeded. The final element comprises the software update required to deliver the IOC contracted capabilities. The final flight testing, safety and airworthiness clearance activity is forecast to complete in Quarter two of 2023.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness performance of the Crowsnest AEW system during last year's Carrier Strike Group 21 deployment.

The performance of the CROWSNEST Airborne Surveillance and Control system, as a baseline capability, was continuously monitored throughout the Carrier Strike Group 21 (CSG 21) deployment to inform its ongoing development and incremental delivery.

As to be expected, opportunities were identified during the CSG 21 deployment to improve the CROWSNEST system. As a result of user feedback, two further software upgrades have been implemented on time and fielded on deployments with CROWSNEST in 2022. A third upgrade is due to undertake flight testing early 2023.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the update of the Integrated Review will include a review of the number of E-7 Wedgetail aircraft to be ordered for the RAF.

The Ministry of Defence welcomes the opportunity the refresh of the Integrated Review provides to refine its capabilities and prioritise its activities to ensure the UK remains ready to deter adversaries in the new era of strategic competition. Any specific defence policy or capability changes will be confirmed in the subsequent update to the Defence Command Paper.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the oral evidence of 29 November from Boeing to the Defence Select Committee on Aviation: Procurement, HC 178, what the initial operating capability is for the E7 Wedgetail.

I am withholding the information requested as its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Hawk T.2 trainers were operationally available to fly at RAF Valley as part of the MFTS programme on each day of October 2022.

Date

Number of Hawk T2 aircraft available

3 October 2022

7

4 October 2022

8

5 October 2022

8

6 October 2022

9

7 October 2022

7

10 October 2022

9

11 October 2022

9

12 October 2022

8

13 October 2022

8

14 October 2022

8

17 October 2022

10

18 October 2022

10

19 October 2022

8

20 October 2022

9

21 October 2022

10

24 October 2022

10

25 October 2022

9

26 October 2022

7

27 October 2022

7

28 October 2022

7

31 October 2022

6

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many of the refurbished airframes for the RAF's E-7 aircraft were previously operated by airlines (a) based and (b) operating in China..

I refer the right hon. Member to the answer given on 13 January 2021 to Question 134370 from the right hon. Member for North Durham.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many A400M Atlas transport aircraft have been retrofitted with the package of engine and gearbox enhancements as part of the programme to improve the availability of that aircraft; and who paid for the conversion work required.

All TP400 Engines fitted to Royal Air Force A400M Atlas aircraft have undergone a programme of work to rectify issues affecting the combustion chamber. This work was completed in November 2020.

In addition, 17 aircraft have so far undergone modifications to resolve gearbox issues. This programme of work is expected to complete in spring 2023.

There has been no cost to the Ministry of Defence as the work is covered by contractual warranties and was therefore funded by industry.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Atlas A400M transport aircraft the RAF intends to purchase; and when the last aircraft is due to be delivered by the manufacturer.

The Ministry of Defence have ordered 22 Atlas A400M aircraft, of which 21 have been delivered. The last aircraft is due for delivery in the summer of 2023.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the total (a) acquisition cost and (b) estimated life-cycle cost of the A400M Atlas transport aircraft programme is.

The current total provision for acquisition of the A400M Atlas fleet for the Royal Air Force is £2.6 billion.

The estimated whole life cost for the current fleet is £7.2 billion, up to the planned out-of-service date.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what deliverables have been provided to this Department under the new Morpheus communications programme.

The MORPHEUS Evolve to Open deliverables include a Joint Programme Office, a Test and Reference Centre, Target Architecture and an Installation Design and Certification project.

Progress on MORPHEUS Evolve to Open Assessment Phase has fallen considerably short of what was anticipated. The Department is reviewing next steps on how best to achieve its objectives on MORPHEUS.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
22nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what is the estimated (a) unit and (b) full life cost of the F-35B.

The Unit Recurring Flyaway cost of an F-35B from Low-Rate Initial Production, Lot 14, which comprises the last finalised contract, is $101 million.

The estimated through-life cost of the UK's F-35 programme is £18.76 billion, which is based on the currently approved 48 F-35B aircraft.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
22nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what method of construction is planned for the Fleet Solid Support Ships.

Blocks and modules for the Fleet Solid Support ships will be constructed at Harland & Wolff's facilities in Belfast and Appledore, and this work will also support a significant UK-based supply chain. Some build work will also take place at Navantia's shipyard in Cadiz in Spain, in a collaboration allowing for key skills and technology transfer to the UK from a world-leading shipbuilder.

The entire final assembly will be completed at Harland & Wolff's shipyard in Belfast, to Bath-based BMT's British design.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
22nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he plans to impose sanctions on former RAF personnel involved in training Chinese Armed Forces without permission.

The Department has no evidence that anyone has breached the high threshold of the Official Secrets Act (OSA), but if any evidence were to be forthcoming, we would not hesitate to bring criminal charges. The Ministry of Defence (MOD) are engaging with the individuals already involved to ensure they are fully aware of the risk of prosecution under the OSA.

The Government's National Security Bill (led by the Home Office) will capture a range of relevant activity and provide additional possible routes to prosecution. The MOD are also conducting a review of the use of confidentiality agreements across Defence, with the aim of providing additional contractual levers to prevent individuals breaching security.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
22nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he expects to complete the update to the Integrated Review.

On 21 September 2022, the Government announced its intention to refresh the Integrated Review. This work is being lead by Professor John Bew. We expect this work, along with a refresh of the Defence Command Paper, to be completed ahead of the Treasury’s Spring Statement.

22nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the number of RAF personnel who have been involved in training the Chinese Armed Forces without permission in the last ten years.

The Department does not have an estimate of the number of RAF personnel who have been involved in training the Chinese Armed Forces in the last ten years. The issue only came to light in 2019, when the Ministry of Defence (MOD) became aware of an isolated case, when a UK defence industry employee was head-hunted to support the Peoples Republic of China military aviation programmes. Since then, the MOD have investigated other cases, and when practicable taken necessary measures to deter and dissuade such recruitment. Up to 30 UK former serving pilots are believed to be currently providing training to Chinese Armed Forces Personnel.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
22nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Autumn Statement, what financial support his Department will receive to ensure that defence spending is protected from inflation and does not fall in 2023.

I welcomed the Autumn Statement and Chancellor’s recognition of the need to increase defence spending at the Spring Budget. In order to protect defence spending before that increase is agreed, the Chancellor has provided me access to Treasury reserves and new spending flexibilities. This includes a further £2.3 billion for military support to Ukraine; additional funding for replenishment of stocks already donated to Ukraine; £560 million of new investment in our critical stockpiles; and further Dreadnought contingency. As a result, according to Treasury forecasts, Defence spending will be protected from inflation next year and forecast to grow to nearly £50 billion.

9th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what is the most recent estimated total life cycle cost for the Type 26 frigate programme.

The Type 26 frigate will be procured in two batches. Batch 1 contract costs are £3.7 billion with a programme cost uplift of £233 million. Batch 2 costs and in-service costs are currently commercial in confidence.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
9th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when the last Type 23 frigate is due to reach its out of service date.

On current plans, the last Type 23 frigate will transition out of service in 2035.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
9th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he intends to sign the contract for the second batch of Type 26 frigates.

Yesterday, at the G20 Leaders' Summit in Bali, the Prime Minister announced that the contract for the Batch 2 Type 26 Frigates has been signed.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
31st Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what his latest estimate is of (a) timings and (b) costs for the completion of the current repair work on the propulsion system of HMS Prince of Wales.

Timelines and estimated costs for the repairs to HMS PRINCE OF WALES have not yet been determined as investigations to establish the extent of the work required are still ongoing.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
31st Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will publish a list of all (a) contractors and (b) sub-contractors involved in supplying services to his Department as part of the Future Defence Infrastructure Services contract.

The total value of the Future Defence Infrastructure Services (FDIS) Contracts is c.£2.9 billion for the core contract services. This figure does not include the potential for any additional works.

The planned duration of the FDIS contracts is seven years with an option for three further one year extensions based on performance.

The prime contractors are:

FDIS Built Estate

  • VIVO - Central and South West Region
  • Mitie - Scotland & Northern Ireland
  • VINCI Facilities - South East Region

FDIS Accommodation Estate

  • Pinnacle Housing - National Accommodation Management Services
  • VIVO - South East and South West Region
  • Amey – Northern and Central Region

FDIS Estate

  • This contract is yet to be awarded.

The Department does not hold a substantive list of all sub-contractors due to the changeable nature of sub-contracting, however, the key sub-contractors are Tivoli, Group Limited, Daubney Limited, Sopra Steria and Pickfords Move Management Limited.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
31st Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what is the planned duration of the Future Defence Infrastructure Services contract.

The total value of the Future Defence Infrastructure Services (FDIS) Contracts is c.£2.9 billion for the core contract services. This figure does not include the potential for any additional works.

The planned duration of the FDIS contracts is seven years with an option for three further one year extensions based on performance.

The prime contractors are:

FDIS Built Estate

  • VIVO - Central and South West Region
  • Mitie - Scotland & Northern Ireland
  • VINCI Facilities - South East Region

FDIS Accommodation Estate

  • Pinnacle Housing - National Accommodation Management Services
  • VIVO - South East and South West Region
  • Amey – Northern and Central Region

FDIS Estate

  • This contract is yet to be awarded.

The Department does not hold a substantive list of all sub-contractors due to the changeable nature of sub-contracting, however, the key sub-contractors are Tivoli, Group Limited, Daubney Limited, Sopra Steria and Pickfords Move Management Limited.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
31st Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what is the total value of the Future Defence Infrastructure Services contract.

The total value of the Future Defence Infrastructure Services (FDIS) Contracts is c.£2.9 billion for the core contract services. This figure does not include the potential for any additional works.

The planned duration of the FDIS contracts is seven years with an option for three further one year extensions based on performance.

The prime contractors are:

FDIS Built Estate

  • VIVO - Central and South West Region
  • Mitie - Scotland & Northern Ireland
  • VINCI Facilities - South East Region

FDIS Accommodation Estate

  • Pinnacle Housing - National Accommodation Management Services
  • VIVO - South East and South West Region
  • Amey – Northern and Central Region

FDIS Estate

  • This contract is yet to be awarded.

The Department does not hold a substantive list of all sub-contractors due to the changeable nature of sub-contracting, however, the key sub-contractors are Tivoli, Group Limited, Daubney Limited, Sopra Steria and Pickfords Move Management Limited.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
31st Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will place a copy of the recent Defence Infrastructure Organisation letter to service families on the operation of the Future Defence Infrastructure Services contract in the House of Commons Library.

A copy of the letter that the Defence Infrastructure Organisation issued to service families who had submitted a complaint since the 1 April 2022 launch of the new Future Defence Infrastructure Services contracts will be placed in the Library of the House.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
31st Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he plans to place the contract to replenish British Army stocks of NLAW, following the donation of such weapons to Ukraine.

The UK is proud to be a leading provider of support to Ukraine. A wide variety of military equipment and munitions has been granted in kind to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, some provided directly from UK stocks and some procured rapidly from industry suppliers. The Ministry of Defence remains fully engaged with industry, allies and partners to ensure both the continuation of supply to Ukraine, and that all equipment and munitions granted in kind from UK stocks are replaced as expeditiously as possible. With respect to NLAW specifically, a tranche of several hundred missiles will be delivered to UK stockpiles from January 2023 onwards. A further contract will be signed imminently for a larger subsequent order. It is not possible to comment further on the exact details and costs of establishing individual contracts, as this information is both commercially and operationally sensitive.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
31st Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, in what year the Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile programme was cancelled.

I assume that the hon. Member is referring to the Future Local Area Air Defence System (FLAADS) programme which has been renamed as Sky Sabre, Land Ceptor and Sea Ceptor, all of which are in service at Initial Operating Capability (IOC).

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
31st Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much his Department has paid to service families in compensation for matters relating to the Future Defence Infrastructure Services contract since that contract commenced.

Under the Future Defence Infrastructure Services (FDIS) contracts, compensation is administered and funded by the suppliers at no cost to the Ministry of Defence (MOD). The MOD has therefore not paid any compensation to service families for matters relating to the FDIS contracts.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
31st Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department will incorporate independent scrutiny of the outcome of Ajax validation trials.

The User Validation Trials are progressing well, having moved into the analysis phase to review the results from the dynamic testing. There are no plans to incorporate independent scrutiny of the outcome, however, the results will be reviewed by an expert group. The Ministry Of Defence expects to be able to confirm progression to Reliability Growth Trials by early December.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
31st Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how long the current user validation trials for Ajax are expected to last.

The User Validation Trials are progressing well, having moved into the analysis phase to review the results from the dynamic testing. There are no plans to incorporate independent scrutiny of the outcome, however, the results will be reviewed by an expert group. The Ministry Of Defence expects to be able to confirm progression to Reliability Growth Trials by early December.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
31st Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what is the anticipated initial operating capability for the Meteor missile on the UK F-35B.

I am withholding specific Meteor capabilities and details of planned Initial Operating Capability criteria, as release would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
31st Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when the next Families Continuous Attitude Survey is due to be published.

The next Armed Forces Continuous Attitude Survey results are provisionally scheduled for publication in May 2023. The next Tri-Service Families Continuous Attitude Survey results are provisionally scheduled for publication in July 2023.

Confirmed dates will be announced nearer the time and will be available on the release calendar:


https://www.gov.uk/search/research-and-statistics?keywords=survey&content_store_document_type=upcoming_statistics&organisations%5B%5D=ministry-of-defence&order=relevance

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
31st Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when the next Armed Forces Continuous Attitude Survey is due to be published.

The next Armed Forces Continuous Attitude Survey results are provisionally scheduled for publication in May 2023. The next Tri-Service Families Continuous Attitude Survey results are provisionally scheduled for publication in July 2023.

Confirmed dates will be announced nearer the time and will be available on the release calendar:


https://www.gov.uk/search/research-and-statistics?keywords=survey&content_store_document_type=upcoming_statistics&organisations%5B%5D=ministry-of-defence&order=relevance

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when HMS Prince of Wales will be able to rejoin the operational fleet.

HMS PRINCE OF WALES was due to sail to take part in operations off the United States before she moved to Rosyth for repairs to her propeller shaft.

She arrived in Rosyth to prepare for dry dock repairs on Monday 10 October 2022.

When those repairs are complete she will return to operations as soon as possible, reflecting our commitment to protect the nation and our allies.

10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the Government has sought external legal advice on the potential merits of taking legal action against General Dynamics for delays in the delivery of the Ajax armoured vehicle programme.

The Ministry of Defence continues to work with General Dynamics to resolve the noise and vibration problems on Ajax while protecting the taxpayers' interests as per the contract.

I am withholding any information in respect of legal advice as such disclosure would prejudice commercial interests.

10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which vehicles currently perform Armoured Reconnaissance roles in the British Army; and in what year each of those vehicle types first entered operational service.

The vehicle currently performing the Armoured Reconnaissance role in the British Army is the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) CVR(T).

The CVR(T), a light, tracked specialist recce vehicle with turret, entered service in 1972, and was upgraded in the early 2000s.

10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when HMS Prince of Wales was commissioned into Royal Naval service.

HMS PRINCE OF WALES was commissioned into the Royal Navy on 10 December 2019.

10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, on what date he expects safety trials on the Ajax armoured vehicle to recommence.

I intend to provide the House with an update on AJAX by way of a written ministerial statement this week.

10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, (a) what definition his Department has set for initial operating capability for the new Le Tacsis communications system; and (b) what are the estimated dates for (i) initial operating capability and (ii) full operating capability for the programme.

The LE TacCIS programme is comprised of multiple projects with the aim to deliver the next generation of tactical military communications in the land environment. The programme is enduring and constantly evolving, therefore Initial Operating Capability and Full Operating Capability milestone dates are not applicable at programme level.

10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, (a) what definition his Department has set for initial operating capability for the new Boxer mechanised infantry vehicle; and (b) what are the estimated dates for (i) initial operating capability and (ii) full operating capability for the programme.

The Boxer (Mechanised Infantry Programme) initial operating capability (IOC) is defined as a company group of vehicles equipped with trained crews.

IOC is expected to be achieved in 2025 and full operating capability (FOC) in 2032.

10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with regard to the new Challenger 3 main battle tank, (a) what definition of initial operating capability his Department has set for the tank; and (b) what is the estimated date for (i) initial operating capability and (ii) full operating capability.

For the Challenger 3 programme, initial operating capability (IOC) is defined as a single squadron of Main Battle Tanks equipped with trained crews. IOC is expected to be achieved in 2027, however work is ongoing to scope options to bring this forward. Full operating capability (FOC) is expected in 2030.

10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer given on 20 September 2022 to Question 48264, on HMS Prince of Wales: Repairs and Maintenance, (a) what the estimated cost is of the repairs currently underway on HMS Prince of Wales; and (b) whether those costs will be met by his Department or by industry.

The estimated cost of the repair on HMS PRINCE OF WALES will be determined by the investigation now being undertaken. Repair costs will be met by the Department.

Babcock are the prime contractor for the repair to HMS PRINCE OF WALES.

10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer given on 20 September 2022 to Question 48264, on HMS Prince of Wales: Repairs and Maintenance, which contractor is undertaking repairs to HMS Prince of Wales.

The estimated cost of the repair on HMS PRINCE OF WALES will be determined by the investigation now being undertaken. Repair costs will be met by the Department.

Babcock are the prime contractor for the repair to HMS PRINCE OF WALES.

10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, (a) what definition his Department has set for initial operating capability for the 105mm light gun replacement; and (b) what are the estimated dates for (i) initial operating capability and (ii) full operating capability for the programme.

The 105mm Light Gun is currently in service, with an Out of Service Date of 2030.

10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, (a) what definition his Department has set for initial operating capability for the Mobile Fires Platform programme; and (b) what are the estimated dates for (i) initial operating capability and (ii) full operating capability for the programme.

The Mobile Fires Platform (MFP) Initial Operating Capability (IOC) is defined as a single trained Close Support Regiment with a support package in place. IOC is anticipated to be achieved in 2029 and Full Operating Capability in 2032.

10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, (a) what definition his Department has set for initial operating capability for the new Skynet 6 satellite; and (b) what are the estimated dates for (i) initial operating capability and (ii) full operating capability for the programme.

The Initial Operating Capability (IOC) of SKYNET 6A is defined as having seven of the ultra-high frequency channels available for operational use by Ministry of Defence and allied personnel as soon as the satellite has reached its initial geo-stationary orbit for testing. The contracted date for IOC is January 2026. Full operating capability will be achieved following transit to the designated operational position and completion of final testing, which is forecast to be in August 2026.

10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with regard to the new AH-64E Apache attack helicopter, (a) what definition of initial operating capability his Department has set for the programme; and (b) what is the estimated date for (i) initial operating capability and (ii) full operating capability.

The Apache AH-64E initial operating capability (IOC) is defined as one AH-64E v6 squadron 'at Readiness', cleared to support operational use with full security accreditation; the delivery of two linked and accredited land simulators to conduct mission rehearsal training; and a long-term maintenance and training package.

IOC is expected to be achieved in 2023 and Full Operating Capability in 2026.

10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, (a) what definition his Department has set for initial operating capability for the Crowsnest AEW helicopter programme; and (b) what are the estimated dates for (i) initial operating capability and (ii) full operating capability for the programme.

The Investments Approval Committee are considering the CROWSNEST Review Note and once approved Initial Operating Capability (IOC) and Full Operating Capability dates will become a matter of record. A decision is expected later this year.

CROWSNEST is in service and deployed on the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers in 2021 and 2022. Prerequisites in the Main gate Business Case for IOC have been achieved, such as crew numbers, role kits, training, and support. The capability is being introduced incrementally, with the IOC software standard undergoing final testing.

10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with regard to the new medium support helicopter, (a) what definition of initial operating capability his Department has set for the programme; and (b) what is the estimated date for (i) initial operating capability and (ii) full operating capability.

Industry's detailed responses to the second half of the New Medium Helicopter programme competition will provide an improved understanding of aspects such as production capacity, which will enable us to confirm the definitions and timing of the programme's capability milestones.

10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether it remains the policy of his Department to purchase 138 F-35 aircraft, as confirmed in a Written Ministerial Statement made on 25 June 2019.

The UK remains committed to the procurement of 138 aircraft.

10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, (a) what definition his Department has set for initial operating capability for the new Ajax Armoured Reconnaissance Vehicle; and (b) what are the estimated dates for (i) initial operating capability and (ii) full operating capability for the programme.

The Ministry of Defence and General Dynamics are currently working to resolve the issues associated with the Ajax programme in line with the contract.

We will not accept a vehicle until it can be used safely for its intended purposes.

10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with regard to the new Morpheus communications system, (a) what definition of initial operating capability his Department has set for the programme; and (b) what is the estimated date for (i) initial operating capability and (ii) full operating capability.

I refer the right hon. Member to the answer the previous Minister for Defence Procurement gave on 15 June 2022 to Questions 13638, 13639 and 13640 to the right hon. Member for Wentworth and Dearne (John Healey).

10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, (a) what definition his Department has set for initial operating capability for the Future Combat Air System; and (b) what are the estimated dates for (i) initial operating capability and (ii) full operating capability for the programme.

Work on the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) is progressing at pace, enabled by a digital-first approach that embraces new technologies, and early investment in Research and Development. We are targeting an in-service date of 2035. The definition set for initial operating capability is classified and I am withholding details as its disclosure would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness, or security of the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces. FCAS initial operating capability is planned to provide a step-change to the capabilities it will replace, including Typhoon.

10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, (a) what definition his Department has set for initial operating capability for the new national flagship announced on 30 May 2021; and (b) what are the estimated dates for (i) initial operating capability and (ii) full operating capability for the programme.

The design competition for the National Flagship is ongoing and no winning bidder has yet been selected. Until the design competition has concluded, and a manufacture contract has been awarded, it is not possible to set initial or full operating capability dates or the definitions of those milestones.

6th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many serving RAF pilots are qualified to fly the Typhoon to Quick Reaction Alert standard as of 6 September 2022.

All UK national pilots who have graduated from the UK Typhoon Operational Conversion Unit and hold up to date flying currency, are qualified for the Quick Reaction Alert role.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
6th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he next plans to make a statement to the House of Commons on the status of the Ajax Armoured Vehicle project.

I will continue the commitment of my predecessor to update the House on the progress of the Ajax programme and will give a statement to the House in the near future.

6th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the date of initial operating capability is for the E-7 Wedgetail as of 6 September 2022.

On current planning, Initial Operating Capability for the E-7 Wedgetail is expected to be achieved in 2024 but this will not be confirmed until the Full Business Case is submitted towards the end of Financial Year 2022-23.

6th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reason his Department decided to reduce the number of E-7 Wedgetail aircraft it will purchase from five to three.

The E7 Wedgetail will provide a step-change in the UK's Airborne Early Warning and Control Capability. The decision to reduce the scope of the E7 Wedgetail fleet from five to three aircraft was agreed in the Integrated Review, as part of a wider balance of investment across Defence.

6th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will place a copy of the contract between his Department and the Ascent consortium relating to the Military Flying Training System contract in the Library.

The contract between the Ministry of Defence and the Ascent consortium is commercially sensitive. I am therefore withholding it as its disclosure would prejudice commercial interests.

6th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many mobile air defence radars the RAF has in its inventory as of 6 September 2022.

There are seven fixed radar sites forming part of the UK Air Defence network. There are two mobile Air Defence radars in the RAF's inventory.

6th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many fixed radar sites form part of the UK air defence network as of 6 September 2022.

There are seven fixed radar sites forming part of the UK Air Defence network. There are two mobile Air Defence radars in the RAF's inventory.

6th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the impact of the reduction in the proposed purchase from five to three aircraft on the acquisition cost of the E-7 Wedgetail programme; and what the revised cost of the E-7 programme is, expressed as total (a) acquisition and (b) through-life cost.

The impact of the decision taken as part of the Integrated Review in March 2021 to reduce from five to three the number of Wedgetail aircraft that will enter Royal Air Force service was assessed in light of wider Departmental fiscal considerations. I am withholding details of the acquisition cost and Whole Life Costs as not all elements of the programme are yet on contract and to release this information would prejudice the Ministry of Defence's commercial interests while negotiations have not yet concluded.

6th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the individual unit cost is of the proposed three E-7 Wedgetail aircraft, expressed as (a) acquisition and (b) through-life cost.

The impact of the decision taken as part of the Integrated Review in March 2021 to reduce from five to three the number of Wedgetail aircraft that will enter Royal Air Force service was assessed in light of wider Departmental fiscal considerations. I am withholding details of the acquisition cost and Whole Life Costs as not all elements of the programme are yet on contract and to release this information would prejudice the Ministry of Defence's commercial interests while negotiations have not yet concluded.

6th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the total cost of the Military Flying Training System contract has been in each of the last five financial years.

The cost of the UK Military Flying Training System Contract with Ascent in each of the last five financial years (FY) is as follows:

FY2017-18

FY2018-19

FY2019-20

FY2020-21

FY2021-22

£75,331,323

£144,534,848

£180,868,883

£183,212,561

£196,150,573

6th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent estimate he has made of when the independent QC's inquiry into the management of the Ajax Armoured Vehicle programme will be concluded; whether he plans to publish that report; and if he will make a statement.

Clive Sheldon KC was formally appointed on 19 May 2022 to lead the independent Ajax Lessons Learned Review. In accordance with his terms of reference, he advised the Department in June that he estimated it would take him a further six months to finish gathering information and draft his report. I intend to publish the report, subject to redaction of commercially sensitive content and personal information where applicable, as soon as possible after it is finalised.

6th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, who the senior engineering officer is of HMS Prince of Wales.

Shortly after HMS PRINCE OF WALES (PWLS) sailed on 27 August, a mechanical fault was discovered with the starboard shaft. Our initial assessment has revealed that a coupling which joins the final two sections of the shaft has failed. This is a very unusual fault, and we continue to pursue all repair options. It is too early to say what the timetable is for rectifying the issue.

While PWLS has a Senior Marine Engineering Officer who reports to the Captain, responsibility for the safety and material state of any warship lies with her Commanding Officer.

6th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the nature is of the defect that recently affected HMS Prince of Wales; and what the timetable is for rectifying that issue.

Shortly after HMS PRINCE OF WALES (PWLS) sailed on 27 August, a mechanical fault was discovered with the starboard shaft. Our initial assessment has revealed that a coupling which joins the final two sections of the shaft has failed. This is a very unusual fault, and we continue to pursue all repair options. It is too early to say what the timetable is for rectifying the issue.

While PWLS has a Senior Marine Engineering Officer who reports to the Captain, responsibility for the safety and material state of any warship lies with her Commanding Officer.

6th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what his most recent estimate is of when HMS Glasgow will achieve initial operating capability.

HMS Glasgow is forecast to achieve Initial Operating Capability in Royal Navy service in 2028.

6th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he plans to announce the signature of a contract for Batch 2 of the Type 26 frigate; and if he will make a statement.

As negotiations for Type 26 Batch 2 are still in progress, it would not be appropriate to release any further information. The House will be updated in due course.

26th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 25 April 2022 to Question 153789 on Ministry of Defence: Staff, if he will list the nine senior personnel who have applied for ACOBA clearance to join Capita over the last 10 years by (a) name, (b) appointment, (c) star-equivalent rank and (d) year that the ACOBA clearance was sought.

Details of all applications to the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACOBA), including names, appointment sought, rank, and date, have been published by ACOBA and can be found in their published reports.


Pre-2014 these details are given at Annex D of the ACOBA annual reports; post-2014, this information is provided in a separate ACOBA publication, which are available from the following links:


https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/396938/Twelfth_Annual_Report_2010-2011.pdf

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/396936/ACOBA_Thirteenth_Annual_Report_2011-12.pdf

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/381551/acoba_12-13_annual_report.pdf

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/380879/acoba_13-14_annual_report.pdf

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/appointments-taken-up-by-former-crown-servants

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/appointments-taken-up-by-former-crown-servants-2019-2020

26th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 26 April 2022 to Question 153776, on Armed Forces: Recruitment, which company is the NCSC Assured Provider of Cyber Incident Response services.

The NCSC Assured Provider of Cyber Incident Response services for the defence recruitment system incident was Accenture.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 26 April 2022 to Question 153788, on Armed Forces: Recruitment, which company, other than Capita, bid for the Defence Recruitment System contract.

The other company that bid for the Defence Recruitment System contract was Serco Ltd.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he will publish the review of the data leak of the Capita Defence Recruiting system on 13 March; and if he will make a statement.

As a result of the report and other investigative work, a series of improvements have been identified, some of which have been or are being implemented, while others are being prioritised and resourced. These improvements will enhance the security of the Defence Recruitment System (DRS).

Due to the nature of the report, it will not be published as its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces, as well as prejudice commercial interests.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when the new head of Defence Equipment and Supply will commence his appointment; what the salary band of that role is; what the anticipated term of office is; and whether his Department paid that person's previous employer to release him from his previous contract.

The new Chief Executive Officer of Defence Equipment and Support, Mr Andy Start, will take up his role in early autumn 2022 with a fixed term of appointment of three years, with the option to extend or make permanent by mutual agreement. The salary band of the role is between £275,000 and £279,999. The Ministry of Defence has not paid Mr Start's employer to release him from his contract.

26th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the status of each of the Royal Navy's thirteen Type 23 frigates is, as at 1 April 2022.

Twelve Type 23 frigates remain in service with the Royal Navy.

HMS MONMOUTH was decommissioned in June 2021. This was an element of the optimisation of the Type 23 programme announced in the Integrated Review, which will deliver improved availability across the next seven years. She was retired ahead of a lengthy refit period, during which she would have been unavailable. The savings from the cancellation of that refit period were re-invested into extending HM Ships ARGYLL, IRON DUKE and LANCASTER in service, maximising the return on the resource already invested in them.

As of 1 April 2022, HM Ships ARGYLL, IRON DUKE, SUTHERLAND and ST ALBANS are in long term refit, the remaining eight are available for operations.

26th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when any Type 23 frigates which have now been retired left front-line service with the Royal Navy.

Twelve Type 23 frigates remain in service with the Royal Navy.

HMS MONMOUTH was decommissioned in June 2021. This was an element of the optimisation of the Type 23 programme announced in the Integrated Review, which will deliver improved availability across the next seven years. She was retired ahead of a lengthy refit period, during which she would have been unavailable. The savings from the cancellation of that refit period were re-invested into extending HM Ships ARGYLL, IRON DUKE and LANCASTER in service, maximising the return on the resource already invested in them.

As of 1 April 2022, HM Ships ARGYLL, IRON DUKE, SUTHERLAND and ST ALBANS are in long term refit, the remaining eight are available for operations.

26th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Type 23 frigates remain in front-line service with the Royal Navy.

Twelve Type 23 frigates remain in service with the Royal Navy.

HMS MONMOUTH was decommissioned in June 2021. This was an element of the optimisation of the Type 23 programme announced in the Integrated Review, which will deliver improved availability across the next seven years. She was retired ahead of a lengthy refit period, during which she would have been unavailable. The savings from the cancellation of that refit period were re-invested into extending HM Ships ARGYLL, IRON DUKE and LANCASTER in service, maximising the return on the resource already invested in them.

As of 1 April 2022, HM Ships ARGYLL, IRON DUKE, SUTHERLAND and ST ALBANS are in long term refit, the remaining eight are available for operations.

14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the total through-life value is of the contract with Capita for the Army defence recruitment system.

The total value of the Army's recruitment contract with Capita is £903,239. This covers the period March 2012 to March 2024.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many soldiers left the regular Army in each of the last five years.

Regular Army outflow is published on the gov.uk website within the quarterly Service Personnel statistics and can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/quarterly-service-personnel-statistics-2022

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many soldiers (a) joined and (b) left the Army Reserve in each of the last five years.

Information relating to Army Reserve inflow and outflow is published on the gov.uk website within the quarterly Service Personnel statistics and can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/quarterly-service-personnel-statistics-2022

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether it is his policy for it to be mandatory for all three Armed Services to participate in the new Armed Forces Recruitment Programme.

Following a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) process, the Armed Forces Recruiting Programme (AFRP) announced on 11 April that it was inviting four bidders to participate in competitive dialogue with the winning bidder set to deliver the tri-Service recruiting solution for the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force. The contract will be awarded in 2024 for Service Commencement in April 2025.

The Armed Forces Recruiting Programme will bring together all three single-Service recruiting mechanisms under a single prime contract, delivering an end-to-end fully converged, tri-Service future recruiting solution underpinned by a single digital platform.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he plans to tender for the new contract for the Armed Forces Recruitment Programme; and if he will make a statement.

Following a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) process, the Armed Forces Recruiting Programme (AFRP) announced on 11 April that it was inviting four bidders to participate in competitive dialogue with the winning bidder set to deliver the tri-Service recruiting solution for the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force. The contract will be awarded in 2024 for Service Commencement in April 2025.

The Armed Forces Recruiting Programme will bring together all three single-Service recruiting mechanisms under a single prime contract, delivering an end-to-end fully converged, tri-Service future recruiting solution underpinned by a single digital platform.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, on what date his Department reported the recent data breach in the Defence Recruiting System to the Information Commissioner's Office.

On Monday 14 March 2022, Army HQ were made aware of a breach of information in relation to potential Army candidate data. The breach related to 124 potential candidates whose accounts had been accessed on 13 March.

After an initial investigation to assess and understand the extent and nature of the data breach, the MOD submitted the formal Breach Notification to the Information Commissioner's Office on Monday 21 March 2022 at 1100.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, on what date the recent data breach of the defence recruitment system was first reported to the Information Commissioner's Office.

On Monday 14 March 2022, Army HQ were made aware of a breach of information in relation to potential Army candidate data. The breach related to 124 potential candidates whose accounts had been accessed on 13 March.

After an initial investigation to assess and understand the extent and nature of the data breach, the MOD submitted the formal Breach Notification to the Information Commissioner's Office on Monday 21 March 2022 at 1100.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when the data breach in respect of the defence recruitment system took place; and what estimate he has made of the number of candidates who have had personal data stolen as a result of that breach.

On Monday 14 March 2022, Army HQ were made aware of a breach of information in relation to potential Army candidate data. The breach related to 124 potential candidates whose accounts had been accessed on 13 March.

After an initial investigation to assess and understand the extent and nature of the data breach, the MOD submitted the formal Breach Notification to the Information Commissioner's Office on Monday 21 March 2022 at 1100.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will provide details of all contracts which his Department holds with Capita, broken down by (a) value, (b) commencement date and (c) estimated completion date.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) currently has 67 contracts with Capita plc and its subsidiaries which have future end dates. The attached table contains the requested information.

Information about the contracts that we place with industry is available on GOV.uk as part of our MOD Trade, Industry and Contracts statistics: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/defence-trade-and-industry-index.

In addition, MOD contracts worth over £10,000 are published on the Government's Contracts Finder website, which is available on GOV.uk at: https://www.gov.uk/contracts-finder.

14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether it is still his policy to reduce the Army to 73,000 trained regulars as set out in his policy paper, Future Soldier: Transforming the British Army, published in November 2021.

There are currently no plans to reverse the decision to reduce the number of regular Army personnel.

The Integrated Review and Defence Command Paper made clear that we must focus on Defence capability rather than troop numbers in response to changing threats and priorities. The British Army will be a whole force of over 100,000 Regulars and Reservists which will be able to respond faster and more effectively, matched to both current and future threats.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many senior personnel in his Department have applied for clearance from the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments for positions with Capita in each of the last ten years.

The Department is aware of nine senior personnel having applied for such clearance to join Capita across the last ten years.

14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the latest average time was between first inquiry and subsequent enlistment for candidates wishing to serve in the (a) Royal Navy, (b) Royal Air Force and (c) British Army.

The requested information is as follows:

Royal Navy

Army

Royal Air Force

373 days

344 days

456 days

Notes/Caveats:

- Averages have been calculated using data from 1 January–31 December 2021 and have been calculated using the mean.

- The Services do not routinely or uniformly record the date of first enquiry, and each has a different set of intake pathways. Representative calculations have necessarily been made therefore using the following parameters:

- Royal Navy (both Royal Navy/Royal Marines): time taken from application to joining. - Army: time taken from application to the start of basic training. - Royal Air Force: time taken from application to receipt of both offer of service and phase one training course date.

- There are several variables that may impact the time it takes to progress through the recruitment pipeline, including but are not limited to, timely individual participation in the recruitment process, medical/fitness issues, aptitude testing success, and availability of training places.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the (a) recruitment target and (b) number of candidates recruited was for (i) the Royal Navy, (ii) the Royal Air Force and (iii) the British Army in 2021-22.

The recruitment targets for the Armed Forces for financial year (FY) April 2021 – March 2022 are as follows:

Royal Navy

Army

Royal Air Force

3,284

10,342

3,174

These figures include Regular Officers, Regular Other Ranks, Reserve Officers, and Reserve Other Ranks.

Intake to UK Regular Forces for FY 2021-22 up to 31 December 2021 can be found in the published Quarterly Service Personnel Statistics at table 5a of the data within the accompanying Excel sheet: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/quarterly-service-personnel-statistics-2022. The full FY 2021-22 intake figures will be published in the 1 April 2022 Quarterly Service Personnel Statistics, which currently has a provisional release date of 16 June 2022.

It should be noted that recruitment targets are not directly comparable to the published intake statistics because of differences in definitions/populations used in the underlying data.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the security of the defence recruitment system following the recent data breach.

The Defence Recruiting System (DRS) has been reconnected to the MOD Core Network (MCN) and Recruiting Group (RG) staff are able to process candidates. The Internet Candidate Portal (ICP) will be operational once requisite system updates have been completed. This will ensure sufficient hardening and testing of DRS is undertaken prior to reconnection of the ICP. The Army continues to recruit and load-to-train candidates under a Business Continuity Plan in a limited fashion whilst the ICP is non-operational.


An investigation by a National Cyber Security Centre-Assured Provider of Cyber Incident Response services found no evidence of system compromise that would allow for exfiltration of candidate data from inside DRS itself. It is likely that initial access to the Internet Candidate Portal was purchased from the Dark Web using credentials (username and password) stolen from the potential candidates themselves.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what his timeframe is for reopening online the defence recruitment system following the recent data breach in respect of that system; and if he will make a statement.

The Defence Recruiting System (DRS) has been reconnected to the MOD Core Network (MCN) and Recruiting Group (RG) staff are able to process candidates. The Internet Candidate Portal (ICP) will be operational once requisite system updates have been completed. This will ensure sufficient hardening and testing of DRS is undertaken prior to reconnection of the ICP. The Army continues to recruit and load-to-train candidates under a Business Continuity Plan in a limited fashion whilst the ICP is non-operational.


An investigation by a National Cyber Security Centre-Assured Provider of Cyber Incident Response services found no evidence of system compromise that would allow for exfiltration of candidate data from inside DRS itself. It is likely that initial access to the Internet Candidate Portal was purchased from the Dark Web using credentials (username and password) stolen from the potential candidates themselves.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many companies tendered for the Defence Recruitment System contract which was subsequently awarded to Capita.

The number of companies that submitted tenders for the Army recruitment contract which was subsequently awarded to Capita was two.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what progress has been made on the Power Improvement Project for the Type 45 Destroyers; and if he will make a statement.

HMS DAUNTLESS is undergoing tests and harbour trials at Cammell Laird before embarking on sea trials.

HMS DARING has now commenced the Power Improvement Project (PIP) conversion in Cammell Laird.

In addition, HMS DRAGON has commenced her maintenance programme this month which will now include PIP, to be undertaken concurrently with her planned upkeep package and in parallel to HMS DARING. This will ensure that the PIP conversion programme is advanced as quickly as possible.

21st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the Battlefield Management Application for the Morpheus programme has been successfully delivered to his Department.

No it has not. The current timelines for Battlefield Management Application delivery are currently under review as they are interdependent with the delivery of the Evolve to Open (EvO) programme.

21st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the original delivery date was for the Morpheus Battlefield Management Application.

The MORPHEUS Battlefield Management Application had a planned delivery date of May 2020.

2nd Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many units of the Morpheus communications system he plans to order for (a) the British Army, (b) the Royal Navy and Royal Marines and (c) the Royal Air Force.

The MORPHEUS system is not procured as units but instead as a system (comprising hundreds of items). It is planned to resource all of those elements of the Navy, Army and Air Force operating in the Land tactical environment and which have related requirements.

2nd Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which vehicles in the British Army's vehicle fleet the Army plans to (a) fit or (b) upgraded with the Morpheus communications system.

The Ministry of Defence is planning to resource all of those vehicles in the new 'Future Soldier' Army structure announced last week which require tactical communications capability with MORPHEUS.

2nd Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he plans to begin withdrawing the Bowman communications system from service; and which system his Department plans to replace the Bowman system with.

The out of service date for Bowman ComBAT Infrastructure and Platform (BCIP) 5.6 is currently 2025-26. Defence is working through Morpheus to identify and implement the range of systems we will require to replace Bowman.

2nd Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he plans to publish the conclusions of his Department's Approach to Investment Decisions project; and if he will make a statement.

The key recommendations of Project MAID (MOD's Approach to Investment Decisions) were implemented in 2020 with the transition to a three-step approvals process and the introduction of the Strategic Outline Case, bringing MOD in line with wider Government practice. This is now reflected in both the Department's internal policy and in guidance available externally through the Knowledge in Defence portal.

2nd Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the status of (a) his Department's Approach to Investment Decisions project and (b) the associated Acquisition Review is as of 2 December 2021.

The key recommendations of Project MAID (MOD's Approach to Investment Decisions) were implemented in 2020 with the transition to a three-step approvals process and the introduction of the Strategic Outline Case, bringing MOD in line with wider Government practice. Given their common themes, implementation of the remaining Project MAID recommendations, and those arising from the internal review of the Department's acquisition system, have been taken forward through the Acquisition and Approvals Transformation Portfolio.

2nd Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when the contract for the Head of Defence Equipment and Support expires.

The employment contract for the Chief Executive Officer of Defence Equipment and Support is due to end in May 2022.

2nd Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what deliverables have been received by his Department from contractors in relation to Project Morpheus as of 2 December 2021.

The assessment phase has matured the MORPHEUS Evolving to Open design and architecture, and specific MORPHEUS deliverables include a Joint Programme Office, a Test and Reference Centre, Target Architecture and an Installation Design and Certification project. Progress on MORPHEUS Evolve to Open Assessment Phase has fallen considerably short of what was anticipated. The Department is reviewing next steps on how best to achieve our objectives on MORPHEUS.

2nd Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the total expenditure on (a) Le TACSIS and (b) the associated Project Morpheus is as of 2 December 2021.

As at 30 Nov 21, the total expenditure on the Land Environmental Tactical Communication and Information System (LETacCIS) is £1.536 billion of which Project MORPHEUS represents £572 million.

2nd Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, who the Senior Responsible Owner is for the Crowsnest AEW system.

Commodore Nick Walker is the Senior Responsible Owner for the CROWSNEST Airborne Surveillance and Control (ASaC) programme.

All MOD appointment letters for Government Major Projects Portfolio Senior Responsible Owners (SROs) can be found at this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ministry-of-defence-appointment-letters-for-government-major-projects-portfolio-gmpp-senior-responsible-owners-sros
2nd Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will list the total number of contracts his Department holds with Lockheed Martin by (a) programme, (b) date of contract award and (c) individual contract value in pounds sterling as of 2 December 2021.

The information needed to answer my Rt Hon. Friend's question is taking time to collate and check. I will write to him with an answer, and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.

2nd Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Crowsnest AEW systems are on order from Lockheed Martin; and what the total value is of those contracts.

CROWSNEST provides long range air, maritime and land surveillance, detection and tracking capabilities. It is intended to be delivered as role-fit to Merlin Mk2 helicopters, with all 30 Merlin Mk2s being modified to accept the role kit. Ten sets of the role kit are being procured.

In December 2016, the Ministry of Defence awarded a firm price contract worth £269 million (excluding VAT) to Lockheed Martin, which included demonstration and manufacture, and initial provisioning of spares. Thales UK are sub-contracted to provide the CROWSNEST Mission System and Leonardo Helicopters (UK) to provide integration to the Merlin helicopter. As a result of change requests and contract amendments the contract value now stands at £294 million (excluding VAT) which remains within the scope and budget of the Main Gate Business Case approval.

25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the F-35B aircraft recently ditched in the Mediterranean Sea was insured.

The F-35B aircraft was not insured as the Ministry of Defence, in common with other central Government organisations, does not normally purchase commercial insurance to protect against risk. Since the Government can pool and spread its own risks, there is little need to pay the private sector to provide this service. In general, it represents best value for money for the Ministry of Defence to cover its own risks.

25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he has plans to close the British Army Training Unit Suffield in Canada.

There are no plans to close the British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS). Canada is one of the UK's closest allies and the British Army and Canadian Armed Forces continue to engage in joint military activities in Suffield, including UK Armoured Infantry exercises in 2022. We continue to work closely with the Canadian Armed Forces and the Canadian Government to review activities at the base.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how often the Crowsnest AEW system was flown during the recent CGS21 deployment.

In the period between 1 May - 22 November 2021, the CROWSNEST Airborne Surveillance and Control (ASaC) system was flown in 179 sorties, for approximately 362 hours.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the performance of the Crowsnest AEW system during the recent CG21 deployment.

The performance of the CROWSNEST Airborne Surveillance and Control (ASaC) system has been continuously monitored throughout the Carrier Strike Group 21's deployment to inform the ongoing development of the capability. A full assessment of its performance will take place once the operational deployment of CSG21 concludes.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the pilot who recently ejected from the F-35B aircraft in the Mediterranean Sea was from the Royal Air Force or the Fleet Air Arm.

The pilot concerned was a British pilot from the Royal Air Force's 617 Squadron; we will not be offering any further details.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what stores were being carried by the F-35B aircraft that was recently ditched in the Mediterranean Sea.

As this was a routine training sortie no stores were being carried.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to page 12 of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority Annual Report on Major Projects 2020-21 and its grading of the Crowsnest Programme as red, what assessment he has made of the viability of the Crowsnest AEW system.

The CROWSNEST Airborne Surveillance and Control system was graded as Red due to not meeting its approved Initial Operating Capability date. This assessment was based on timing rather than cost or performance standards.

The CROWSNEST programme has successfully delivered a baseline capability to support the Carrier Strike Group deployment in 2021. A full assessment of its performance will take place once the operational deployment of CSG21 concludes.

25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he has contracted a vessel to help recover the F-35B aircraft that was recently ditched in the Mediterranean Sea.

Ministry of Defence Salvage and Marine Operations (SALMO) have responsibility for the recovery of the F-35B aircraft. SALMO are working with NATO partners and their specialist salvage and recovery expertise to deliver this operation.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the total cost incurred to the public purse, including support costs, has been of the recent ditching of the F-35B aircraft in the Mediterranean Sea.

We are not yet in a position to provide the cost incurred to date of the recent F-35B aircraft crash as recovery is still underway.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many F-35B aircraft his Department has (a) taken receipt of and (b) on order as at 1 December 2021.

As at 1 December 2021, the Ministry of Defence has taken receipt of 24 F-35B aircraft and a further 24 F-35B are on order.

25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the initial operating capability is of the Martlet surface to air missile system.

The declaration of the Martlet Initial Operating Capability (IOC) in October 2021 was made following a review of the project to confirm that the system was suitable for service, supportable, and can be deployed from Royal Navy warships to provide a credible deterrence against small surface targets. The system is currently deployed with the HMS Queen Elizabeth Carrier Strike Group and a successful in-service firing from a Wildcat helicopter on that deployment was made prior to IOC being declared.

25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the future attrition rates of F-35 aircraft.

A certain attrition of aircraft is built into the procurement profile. The fleet size assumes a risk of on average 1 aircraft loss every 30,000 hours.

25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the recent ditching of the F-35B aircraft in the Mediterranean Sea, for what reason the pilot so ejected from that aircraft.

A Service Inquiry is in the process of being convened to investigate the circumstances and cause of this accident, and as such it is inappropriate to speculate on the cause of the accident or the pilot's ejection.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether bonus payments have been made to the (a) Head of Defence Digital and (b) Head of the Submarine Delivery Authority during their current terms of office as of 25 November 2021.

The Head of Defence Digital (Chief Information Officer) has not received any bonus payments during their current term of office.

The annual performance awards made to the Chief Executive Officer of the Submarine Delivery Agency are detailed in the Agency's Annual Report and Accounts:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/submarine-delivery-agency-sda-annual-report-and-accounts

The Annual Report and Accounts for 2020-21 will be published in due course. No award has yet been paid for 2020-21.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will provide details of all bonuses paid to the current head of Defence Equipment and Support, broken down by (a) year, (b) amount and (c) reason for the award.

The current Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), Sir Simon Bollom, has been in post since 21 May 2018.

The annual performance awards paid to date to the CEO are detailed in the DE&S Annual Report and Accounts for 2018-19 and 2019-20.

Performance awards are based on meeting a number of challenging targets alongside assessment from the DE&S Board Chair and Ministry of Defence Permanent Secretary.

10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the out of service date is for the Bowman tactical communications system.

I refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave on 8 September 2021 to Question 40637 to right hon. Member for North Durham (Mr Kevan Jones).

10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, who the Senior Responsible Owner for the Le Tacsis programme is; and whether that person is employed (a) part-time or (b) full-time on Le Tacsis.

The Senior Responsible Owner (SRO) for the LE TacCIS programme is currently Major General Jonathan Cole. He combines his duties as SRO on LE TacCIS with being the Army’s Chief information officer.

The SRO is supported by a dedicated Programme Director and programme team and, where appropriate, industry.

10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the armed forces personnel injured during the trials of the Ajax Armoured Fighting Vehicle programme will be entitled to compensation under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.

The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) is a no-fault scheme which provides benefit for injury, illness or death caused wholly or predominantly by service on or after 6 April 2005. Personnel who have sustained injuries or illness whilst participating in the Armed Forces activities can make a claim under the scheme. Any award made is then offset by any successful common law damages settlement or vice versa to ensure there is no double recovery of compensation.

10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the oral contribution of the Minister for Defence Procurement of 9 September 2021, Official report, column 485, whether Ajax crews will only be permitted to engage enemy targets in battle with single round bursts of 40mm ammunition.

The vehicle is capable of firing a single round or burst engagement and it will be the decision of the vehicle commander at the time, which engagement is most appropriate for the tactical situation.

This capability provides us with enhanced resilience to meet future threats as armour and defence suites evolve.

10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the oral contribution of the Minister for Defence Procurement of 9 September 2021, Official report, column 485, whether he plans to publish the programmatic review of the Ajax programme.

I refer the Rt Hon. Member to the answer I gave on 8 June 2021 to Question 8558 to the Rt Hon. Member for North Durham (Mr Jones).

10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the cost is of a single round of 40mm armoured piercing ammunition for the Ajax Armoured Fighting Vehicle.

I refer the Rt Hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 6 September to question 40704.

10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Ministerial statement on Ajax Armoured Vehicle Procurement on Thursday 9 September, what estimate he has made of the total estimated export market for the Ajax Armoured Fighting Vehicle; and when he expects the first export sales to be achieved.

Preliminary Market Analysis is being carried out to identify the possible export markets for Ajax, their value to the UK and the likely timescales. Clearly successful exports are dependent on the outstanding issues being resolved.

10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the estimated total cost is of the new trials which have recommenced at Millbrook on the Ajax Armoured Fighting Vehicle; and from which Top Level Budget the funding for those trials will come.

I refer the Rt Hon. Member to the answer I gave on 10 September to question 44327 to the Hon. Member for Islwyn (Mr Evans).

10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many rounds of ammunition were included in the £150 million contract for 40mm ammunition signed with the contractor CTA in 2015-16.

The £150 million contract awarded to CTA International in 2015 did not include any 40mm ammunition.

10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Ministerial Statement of 9 September on Ajax Armoured Vehicle Procurement, in what year did DSTL recommend the mandating of a 40mm main armament for the Ajax Armoured Fighting Vehicle.

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) provided technical analysis of different armament options to both DE&S and the Army as part of the evidence informing the Army's decision in 2008 to specify a 40mm armament. Dstl continues to provide technical analysis and advice to the programme.

10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the maximum recommended dose of steroids is which can be administered to armed forces personnel for temporary hearing loss caused by participation in the Ajax Armoured Fighting Vehicle programme.

Steroids are only used in cases of serious concerns on otherwise potentially permanent hearing loss.

Personnel are maximally offered the steroid medications below:

a) 1mg per Kg of Prednisolone (up to a maximum of 60mg) to be taken as an oral preparation (tablets) once a day for seven days only.

b) Intra-tympanic Injection of Solu Medrone - reconstituted from 125mg in 2ml of sterile water. As the volume of the middle ear varies between individuals and cannot be measured before injection the precise amount varies but is, in general - 0.5 to 1ml which equates to 3.175mg - 6.25mg of Solu Medrone into the middle ear on the affected side(s).

10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Armed Forces personnel have been involved in the trials programme for the Ajax Armoured Fighting Vehicle as at 10 September 2021.

As I stated in the House, in total 310 personnel have been identified as requiring medical assessment following exposure to AJAX, but not all of those have been directly involved in trials.

MOD-led Ajax vehicle trials are conducted by the Armoured Trials and Development Unit (ATDU) at Bovington. Since 2015, 104 Armed Forces Personnel have served with the ATDU Ajax Reliability Trials Team and been involved in the trials programme. The team is composed of Regular personnel only; therefore, no Reservists have been involved. No medical personnel have participated directly in the trials, but they have supported the subsequent assessment and treatment of personnel who have operated Ajax vehicles.

10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many medical personnel have been involved in the trials of the Ajax Armoured Fighting Vehicle programme as at 10 September 2021; and of what ranks those personnel were.

As I stated in the House, in total 310 personnel have been identified as requiring medical assessment following exposure to AJAX, but not all of those have been directly involved in trials.

MOD-led Ajax vehicle trials are conducted by the Armoured Trials and Development Unit (ATDU) at Bovington. Since 2015, 104 Armed Forces Personnel have served with the ATDU Ajax Reliability Trials Team and been involved in the trials programme. The team is composed of Regular personnel only; therefore, no Reservists have been involved. No medical personnel have participated directly in the trials, but they have supported the subsequent assessment and treatment of personnel who have operated Ajax vehicles.

10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many members of the Army Reserve have been involved in the trials of the Ajax Armoured Fighting Vehicle programme to date.

As I stated in the House, in total 310 personnel have been identified as requiring medical assessment following exposure to AJAX, but not all of those have been directly involved in trials.

MOD-led Ajax vehicle trials are conducted by the Armoured Trials and Development Unit (ATDU) at Bovington. Since 2015, 104 Armed Forces Personnel have served with the ATDU Ajax Reliability Trials Team and been involved in the trials programme. The team is composed of Regular personnel only; therefore, no Reservists have been involved. No medical personnel have participated directly in the trials, but they have supported the subsequent assessment and treatment of personnel who have operated Ajax vehicles.

10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what is the total cost to his Department is of the trials of the Ajax Armoured Fighting Vehicle; and from which top level budget those trials have been funded.

The information needed to answer my Rt Hon. Friend's questions is taking time to collate. I will write to him with a full answer shortly, and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.

10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the total cost is of the trials programme for the Ajax Armoured Fighting Vehicle to date; and what proportion of those costs has been funded by (a) General Dynamics, (b) his Department and (c) other funding sources.

The information needed to answer my Rt Hon. Friend's questions is taking time to collate. I will write to him with a full answer shortly, and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.

10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether armed forces personnel may be required under their terms of service to have steroid injections for hearing damage or loss sustained during their service.

All hearing rescue treatment for Armed Forces personnel is based on informed consent. It is not compulsory.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the maximum amount payable under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme is for (a) temporary hearing loss and (b) permanent hearing loss, as a result of injuries sustained during military service.

The maximum amounts payable under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) for temporary hearing loss is £6,180 and for total deafness in both ears is £484,100.

The full list of descriptors between Level 13 and Level 2 can be found within Table 7 of Schedule 2 of the AFCS Order 2011 at:

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2011/517/schedule/3/part/1

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the maximum rate of fire is of the 40mm main armament of the Ajax Armoured Fighting Vehicle.

I am withholding this information as its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.

7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the 40mm armoured piercing ammunition intended for use by the Ajax Armoured Fighting Vehicle employs depleted uranium.

No it does not.

7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he or another of his departmental Ministers has met the Corporate Chief Executive of General Dynamics in 2021 to discuss the Ajax Armoured Fighting Vehicle programme.

I met the Global Chair and Chief Executive of General Dynamics, Phebe Novakovic on 1 July 2021.

7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Written Ministerial Statement of 6 September 2021, HCWS260, on the Armoured Cavalry (Ajax) Programme, how many of the 310 MoD personnel who (a) have been assessed or (b) are awaiting assessments for potentially having suffered hearing damage as a result of participating in the Ajax trials programme have been administered with steroid injections to date.

As I stated in my update to the House on AJAX (HCWS260), I will update the House on the number of personnel affected by noise and vibration in due course and provide further details.

7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which company manufactures the 30mm ammunition used by the Warrior Armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicle.

The 30mm ammunition used by the Warrior Armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicles is manufactured by BAE Systems.

7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many rounds of 40mm ammunition for the Ajax Armoured Fighting Vehicle have been fired during the Ajax trials programme as of 7 September 2021.

A total of 6,177 rounds have been fired to September 2021, which includes 563 Armour Piercing Fin Stabilised Discarding Sabot-Tracer rounds and 5,614 Target Practice-Tracer rounds.

7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when the Head of Defence Equipment and Support was first informed of the problems with the Ajax Armoured Fighting Vehicle programme.

I refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 6 September 2021 to question 37380.

7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which company manufactures the 40mm ammunition intended for use by the Ajax Armoured Fighting Vehicle.

I refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 8 September 2021 to question 41730.

7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans he has to donate a Challenger 2 tank to the Tank Museum at Bovington.

There are no confirmed plans to donate a Challenger 2 at this stage, however the Ministry of Defence is actively engaged with the Tank Museum to understand how it might be able to support this ambition.

7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Challenger 2 tanks (a) have been sold by the Defence Equipment Sales Authority or its predecessors, (b) have been placed in long-term storage and (c) are still in operational service.

I can confirm that no Challenger 2 tanks have been sold by the Defence Equipment Sales Authority or its predecessors. At present, 75 CR2 are held in long term storage.

Of the British Army's current operational fleet of 227 Challenger 2 tanks, a proportion are held in storage at readiness but for reasons of security, we are unable to provide detail on numbers.

7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many rounds of 40mm ammunition for the Ajax Armoured Fighting Vehicle have been purchased as of 7 September 2021.

I am withholding the information as its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.

7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what is the cost of a round of 155mm high explosive artillery ammunition used by the AS-90 howitzer.

I am withholding the unit cost as its disclosure may prejudice commercial interests.

7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what is the cost of a round of 7.62mm machine gun ammunition as used on the Ajax Armoured Fighting Vehicle.

I am withholding the unit cost as its disclosure may prejudice commercial interests.

7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when the RAF C-130J Hercules aircraft were first advertised for potential sale on the Defence Equipment Sales Authority website.

RAF C-130J Hercules aircraft were first advertised for potential sale through the Defence Equipment Sales Authority on the Gov.UK website in their online brochure published on 6 September 2021.

7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when the E-3 Sentry AWACS aircraft were first advertised for potential sale on the Defence Equipment Sales Authority website.

The E-3 Sentry AWACS aircraft were first advertised for potential sale through the Defence Equipment Sales Authority on the Gov.UK website in their online brochure published on 6 September 2021.

7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what is the cost of a Charm 3 round of 120mm armoured piercing ammunition used by the Challenger 2 Main battle Tank.

The Charm 3 120mm armoured piercing ammunition used by the Challenger 2 Main battle Tank has not been manufactured since 2001. An estimated cost per round (Armour Piercing shot with necessary Propelling Charge and initiating TVE charge), based on latest prices, is approximately £2,762.

7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when the Sandown Class minehunters were first advertised for potential sale on the Defence Equipment Sales Authority website.

The Sandown Class Minehunters were first advertised for potential sale on the GOV.UK website in their online brochure published on 6 September 2021.

7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when the latest Type 23 frigate to leave Royal Naval service was first advertised for potential sale on the Defence Equipment Sales Authority website.

The Type 23 frigate was first advertised for potential sale through the Defence Equipment Sales Authority on the Gov.UK website in their online brochure published on 6 September 2021.

7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what is the cost of a single round of 30mm armoured piercing ammunition used by the Warrior Armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicle.

The last occasion the Ministry of Defence acquired such 30mm ammunition was in the early 1990's. I will write to my Rt Hon. Friend with further details and place a copy of the letter in the Library of the House.

6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, by what date he expects to appoint a Senior Responsible Owner for the Ajax Armoured Fighting Vehicle programme.

I refer my right hon. Friend to HCWS260 which was published in the House on 6 September 2021 and provided a comprehensive update on the Armoured Cavalry (Ajax) programme.

6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the definition of a red rating is in the Infrastructure Projects Authority traffic light rating system.
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what traffic light colour rating was assigned to the Armoured Cavalry (Ajax) programme in the recent Infrastructure Projects Authority Annual Report on Major Projects 2020-21.

To accompany the publication of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority Annual Report on the 15 July 2021, the MOD has published Delivery Confidence Assessments for the majority of our major programmes on the Government Major Project Portfolio. These can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/infrastructure-and-projects-authority-annual-report-2021

The Armoured Cavalry Programme (Ajax) has a Delivery Confidence Assessment of red.

It is important to note that Delivery Confidence Assessments are not a comprehensive reflection of project performance but reflect the Senior Responsible Owner's view of the Programme's likelihood of success at a specific snapshot in time if issues and risks are left unaddressed.

6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the 36 Ministry of Defence programmes audited in the Infrastructure Projects Authority 2020-21 Annual Report, published on 15 July 2021, how many programmes were rated (a) red, (b) red/amber, (c) amber, (d) amber/green and (e) green; and if he will make a statement.
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the oral evidence of the Minister of State for Defence Procurement to the Defence Committee on 20 July 2021, when he expects to receive the report on the vibration and related problems with the Ajax armoured fighting vehicle.

I refer the right hon. Member to the Written Ministerial Statement: Armoured Cavalry Programme (Ajax) Update dated 6 September 2021 (HCWS260) , which details the current position.

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which contractor produces the 40mm ammunition planned for use in the Ajax armoured fighting vehicle.

The 40mm ammunition for the CT40 Cannon used on AJAX is currently provided by BAE Systems.

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many of his Department's 36 procurement programmes recently audited by the Infrastructure Projects Authority (IPA) in its 2020-2021 Annual Report were rated green on the IPA traffic light system assessment scale; and if he will make a statement.
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many of the 166 round trip evacuation flights recently conducted to and from Kabul by the Royal Air Force as part of Operation Pitting were conducted by (a) C-17, (b) Voyager, (c) A400M, (d) C-130 J and (e) other aircraft types.

The Defence Secretary and Prime Minister have referred to 100 round trips or 200 aircraft movements. We do not recognise the 166 figure in the Rt Hon. Gentlemen’s question.

The following table provides a breakdown of roundtrip flights (to and from) Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) over the course of Operation PITTING (14 - 28 August 2021).

Aircraft

Number of roundtrip flights in and out of HKIA

A400M

31

C17

46

C130J

24

Voyager

0

Other aircraft types

0

These flights operated between locations within the broader Middle East and Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. Passengers arriving from Kabul were transferred onto a combination of military and charter aircraft, including RAF Voyager, for onward flights to the UK.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the current out of service date is for the last of the Type 23 frigates to leave the Royal Navy.

On current plans, the last Type 23 frigate will transition out of service in 2035.

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the currently planned out of service date is for the C130J Hercules, following the Integrated Review.

Following the Integrated Review, on current planning the RAF Hercules C-130J will go out of service in 2023.

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the options are for a new aircraft to replace the Hawk T1 aircraft which is in service with the Red Arrows.

The planned out-of-service date for Hawk T1 with the Red Arrows remains 2030, and a decision on a replacement aircraft will not be taken for at least two more years.

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the planned out of service date is for the Hawk T1 aircraft used by the Red Arrows.

The planned out-of-service date for Hawk T1 with the Red Arrows remains 2030, and a decision on a replacement aircraft will not be taken for at least two more years.

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what military equipment, if any, was left behind during the recent evacuation of British forces from Afghanistan.

During Operation PITTING and the withdrawal of the UK military from Afghanistan spare capacity was used on flights to return as much equipment to the UK as possible. However, people were prioritised over equipment at all times to evacuate UK nationals and eligible persons under the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy (ARAP). Consequently, a small amount of equipment was left behind or gifted to partner nations.

All sensitive equipment and anything considered attractive to criminal and terrorist organisations was recovered during withdrawal.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, who would be liable to pay compensation for any injuries incurred by service personnel in the trials of the Ajax armoured fighting vehicle.

Depending on the circumstances of each claim, Army personnel might wish to make a claim under the Armed Forces compensation scheme or against the MOD. Depending on those circumstances, the MOD might seek to involve its contractor, General Dynamics UK.

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Defence Equipment and Support staff are employed at (a) Abbey Wood, (b) elsewhere in the UK and (c) overseas.

As at 31 August 2021, Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) employed 10,653 permanent or fixed-term appointment staff (civilian), with 7,892 employed at Abbey Wood. There were 2,761 staff based elsewhere within the UK and 35 staff based overseas.

In addition, there are 1,237 military posts in DE&S with 721 personnel based in Abbey Wood, 470 personnel based elsewhere in UK and 46 personnel based overseas.

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many staff are employed by Defence Equipment and Support.

As at 31 August 2021, Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) employed 10,653 permanent or fixed-term appointment staff (civilian), with 7,892 employed at Abbey Wood. There were 2,761 staff based elsewhere within the UK and 35 staff based overseas.

In addition, there are 1,237 military posts in DE&S with 721 personnel based in Abbey Wood, 470 personnel based elsewhere in UK and 46 personnel based overseas.

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many (a) three star or equivalent posts, (b) two star or equivalent posts and (c) one star or equivalent posts there are in Defence Equipment and Support.

The current number of Three Star, Two Star and One Star posts (and their equivalents) within Defence Equipment and Support can be found within the table below:

Grade

Number of Posts

Three Star

5

Two Star

20

One Star

105

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the average length of time taken by his Department is to answer written Parliamentary questions over the last 12 months.

Over the last 12 Months (1 September 2020 to 31 August 2021) 2,274 written Parliamentary questions were tabled to the Ministry of Defence, of which 2,226 were answered within the given Parliamentary deadlines (97.8%).

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has a target time in which to answer (a) named day and (b) ordinary written Parliamentary questions.

The target time for the Ministry of Defence to answer (a) named day and (b) ordinary written Parliamentary questions is (a) three sitting days after the the date of tabling and (b) within one working week of the of the given date for answer.

This is in line with the House of Commons guidance on answering written Parliamentary questions.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the initial operating capability is of the Tempest in RAF service.

A core aircraft is set to play a crucial role in our concept of a Future Combat Air System, but this will likely be just one element in a network of capabilities supporting uncrewed aircraft that are expected to replace the United Kingdom's Typhoon aircraft air to air combat capability from the mid 2030s.

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many staff employed at Defence Equipment and Support are in salary bands of £100,000 or more per annum.

There are 47 civilian staff, employed by Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) who are in salary bands of £100,000 or more per annum.

Of the military posts in DE&S, 24 personnel are in salary bands of £100,000 or more per annum.

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the current acquisition cost is of the A400M aircraft.

The current total provision for acquisition of the A400M fleet is £2.6 billion.

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the total salary costs were for Defence Equipment and Support employees in the 2020-21 financial year.

The information requested forms part of the Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) Annual Report and Accounts (ARAC) for the financial year 2020-21, which is due to be published later this year, following completion of the approvals process. As such, verified information is only available for financial year 2019/20, and as noted on page 61 of the DE&S ARAC 2019-20, the total salary costs for that financial year were £468 million.

The 2019-20 DE&S ARAC can be accessed on gov.uk at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/943847/DE_S_2019-20_ARAC_web_2.pdf.

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, on what date he plans to sign the contract to procure three E-7 Wedgetail aircraft from Boeing.

Negotiations with Boeing to agree a revised contract for the acquisition of three E-7 Wedgetail aircraft for the Royal Air Force are ongoing. Therefore, to protect the Department's commercial interests, I am withholding any further detail at this time.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the estimated cost is of upgrading the A400M fleet with additional equipment to replace the C-130J Hercules in the special forces transport role.

It is longstanding policy not to comment on Special Forces equipment and capabilities.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the planned out-of-service date is for the (a) Hunt class mine countermeasures vessels and (b) Sandown class mine countermeasures vessels.

On current plans, the Hunt Class Mine Countermeasures Vessels will leave service between 2029 and 2031 and the Sandown Class Mine Countermeasures Vessels will leave service between 2021 and 2025.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much his Department paid to Babcock for (a) submarine and (b) surface ship refit and maintenance in the financial year 2020-21.

During financial year 2020-21, the Ministry of Defence held a contract with Babcock for the provision of onshore support services at HM Naval Bases Devonport and Clyde. This included the refit and maintenance of our submarines and warships at those bases. It is not possible to separate those elements directly attributable to submarine and surface ship refit and maintenance within the contract, which also includes wider Naval Base operating costs. A separate contract with Babcock was also in place for HMS VANGUARD's deep maintenance project.

Total expenditure against these contracts in 2020-21 was £851million.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much his Department has paid to Babcock and its subsidiaries in each of the last 10 financial years.

Ministry of Defence payments to Babcock International Group PLC and its subsidiaries, between financial years 2010-11 and 2019-20 are set out in the table below:

Year

Value (million)*

2019-20

£2,231

2018-19

£1,864

2017-18

£1,790

2016-17

£1,691

2015-16

£1,548

2014-15

£1,488

2013-14

£1,312

2012-13

£1,333**

2011-12

£1,247**

2010-11

£1,257**

* Figures rounded to the nearest million ** Figures do not include Trading Fund spending.

This information, for the period since 2012-13, is also published in the Trade Industry & Contracts Statistical Bulletin, which can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/defence-trade-and-industry-index.

The figure for financial year 2020-21 is due to be published on 16 September 2021.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the initial operating capability is for the Landceptor air defence system.

The capability to which my right hon. Friend refers is one of the sub systems which make up the Sky Sabre Ground Based Air Defence capability.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans he has to replace the Hawk T2 aircraft in RAF service; and what the planned out-of-service date is for that aircraft.

The planned out of service date for the Hawk T2 aircraft is 2040 and there are no plans required yet for its replacement.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the (a) initial and (b) final operating capability is for the Protector unmanned aerial vehicle.

The Initial Operating Capability for the Protector aircraft is 2023 with Full Operating Capability in 2025.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many flying hours on average each of the Tranche 1 Typhoon aircraft is estimated to have accumulated before they are retired from service as set out in the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy.

There are 30 Typhoon Tranche 1 aircraft in the sustainment fleet and the projected average flying hours for each of the aircraft, when they reach their respective Out of Service Date, is 2544.8 flying hours.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the maximum effective range is of the (a) 40mm main armament on the Ajax AFV and (b) the 7.62mm co-axial machine gun on the Ajax AFV.

I am withholding this information as its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he plans to use the Challenger 2/3 main battle tank in the tracked reconnaissance role, in the event that the Ajax AFV programme is cancelled.

The Department remains committed to delivering Ajax.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, who signed the 2014 Ajax AFV production contract on behalf of (a) General Dynamics and (b) his Department.

The 2014 production contract for Ajax was signed by the Vice President of General Dynamics UK Land Systems and the Ministry of Defence Commercial Director.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, who is the (a) Programme Manager, (b) Programme Director and (c) Senior Responsible Owner of the Ajax Armoured Fighting Vehicle programme in his Department.

The role of Programme Manager is carried out by Lieutenant Colonel in the Army, whilst the Equipment Project Manager is a OF5 equivalent (Grade B1) Civil Servant in DE&S; the Programme Director is a Colonel in the Army. As these are below the rank of 2*/SCS 2 I am withholding their details from the public domain in line with departmental policy.

As at 19 August 2021, the SRO of the Armoured Cavalry 25 Programme, which includes delivery of the Ajax platform, is Major General Simon Hamilton. My Rt hon. Friend will recall that at the recent HCDC Hearing I announced our intention to appoint a new full-time SRO, who can focus 100% of their time on working with DE&S for its delivery.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will review his policy that the cost of the 40mm ammunition for the Ajax Armoured Fighting Vehicle should remain commercially confidential; and if he will make a statement.

The cost of the 40mm ammunition for the Ajax Armoured Fighting Vehicle remains commercially sensitive. I committed to write to the Defence Select Committee on this issue and will do so.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what his timeframe is for the publication of the results of the ongoing inquiry into health problems experienced by armed forces personnel participating in the trials of the Ajax Armoured Fighting Vehicle group; and if he will make a statement.

The review being conducted by the Ministry of Defence’s Director of Health, Safety and Environmental Protection into the safety procedures relating to vibrations and noise on the Ajax Programme is ongoing and I refer my Rt hon. Friend to the Written Ministerial Statement (HCWS260) issued earlier today.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many rounds of caseless 40mm ammunition can be carried internally by the Ajax AFV on operations.

This information could prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces and so I must withhold the detail my right hon. Friend has requested.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 26 July 2021 to Question 36561 on Armoured Fighting Vehicles, for what reason no armed forces equipment and formations data has yet been published for 2021.

The Armed Forces Equipment and Formations Statistic Figures are collated and published once a year in an official statistic. Last year it was published on 10 September and this year it is due to be released on 9 September.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many staff within Defence Equipment and Support are employed on the Ajax AFV programme; and what the (a) employment grades and (b) individual salary bands are of those employees.

There are currently 111 Ministry of Defence (MOD) civilian, military and contractor staff in Defence Equipment & Support directly employed on the AJAX project. This number may vary, dependent on project requirements. The project is supported by other indirect staff, such as corporate services, and a small number of senior staff who provide oversight and contribute to the project as required, as part of wider portfolios of work.

Salary Bands for the MOD civilian and military staff are detailed in the table below:

DE&S Level/Military Rank

Salary Band

5

Min £65,769 Max £70,553

4

Min £45,816 Max £77,477

3

Min £34,850 Max £65,247

2

Min £19,939 Max £38,284

1

Min £19,500 Max £25,950

Lt Col (OF4)

Min £75,753.60 Max £87,716.40

Maj (OF3)

Min £53,975.16 Max £64,642.32

WO2 (OF8)

Min £43,895.64 Max £51,274.92

MOD civilian salary bands are representative of the current Ajax project population. Contractor salaries are a matter for the provider.

In addition a further 12 staff (12 FTE) are assigned to the procurement of the CT40 cannon that will be deployed on Ajax.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which senior officer on the Executive Committee of the Army Board is responsible for the procurement of Armoured Fighting Vehicles, including the Ajax AFV programme; and how long that individual has been in post.

The Deputy Chief of the General Staff (DCGS) leads the Army Portfolio Office, providing central coherence and guidance for all programmes in the Army. Lieutenant General Sir Christopher Tickell has held the role of DCGS Since August 2019.

As Director General Land in Defence Equipment & Support, Chris Bushell is a member of the Executive Committee of the Army Board and is the senior official responsible for providing procurement expertise. He took up post in December 2019.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many people comprise the crew of the Ajax Armoured Reconnaissance Vehicle; and what are the individual responsibilities of each of those crew members.

The Ajax reconnaissance variant has a crew of three. A driver (responsible for driving the vehicle and routine automotive maintenance as directed by the maintenance schedule), a gunner (responsible for using the sighting systems, firing the weapon system and other routine maintenance tasks as directed by the maintenance schedule) and commander (responsible for command of the vehicle, decisions on movement and use of the sighting and weapon systems, communication systems and safety).

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the earliest date is for initial operating capability for the Ajax AFV.

I have made clear that no declaration of Initial Operating Capability will be made prior to a clear path to resolution being established for noise and vibration.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, at what level in his Department the (a) 2010 development contract for the Ajax AFV and (b) 2014 production contract for the Ajax AFV was signed off.

Both contracts received appropriate Ministerial approvals and in the case of the 2010 development contract was also agreed by the then Chief Secretary to the Treasury (March 2010).

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment his Department has made of when HMS Diamond will return to operational service, following the completion of temporary repairs.

The repair to HMS DIAMOND is now complete. HMS DIAMOND sailed at the end of August and will return to operational duties with the Carrier Strike Group in due course.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, who is paying for the Power Improvement Project programme for each of the Type 45 destroyers; and what the total estimated cost is of that programme.

The Ministry of Defence is funding the Type 45 Power Improvement Programme. The current contract value is approximately £189 million.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will publish the parties and subjects of existing contracts with more than £1 million contract-value between his Department and Babcock or its subsidiaries.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) currently has 109 open contracts with Babcock International Group PLC, including known subsidiaries, with a contract value of more than £1 million.

The attached table contains the requested information. However I am withholding details of 17 contracts as disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.

Information about the contracts that the Department places with industry is available on GOV.uk as part of our MOD Trade, Industry and Contracts statistics: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/defence-trade-and-industry-index.

In addition, MOD contracts worth over £10,000 are published on the Government's Contracts Finder website, which is available on GOV.uk at: https://www.gov.uk/contracts-finder.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which Type 23 frigates are currently in (a) repair and (b) refit for the Royal Navy; and which company has primary responsibility for that work on each of those frigates.

Four Type 23 frigates are in upkeep (refit), HMS IRON DUKE, HMS SOMERSET, HMS SUTHERLAND and HMS ST ALBANS.

The company with prime responsibility for the upkeeps is Devonport Royal Dockyard Limited, which is owned by Babcock Marine.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the planned initial operating capability is for the proposed ocean surveillance ships for the Royal Navy; and what the individual acquisition cost is of those vessels.

The new Multi Role Ocean Surveillance Ship announced in the Defence Command Paper 2021 is currently in its pre-concept phase. No decisions have yet been taken on the likely acquisition costs or the definition of the initial operating capability for the ship.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the repair of the runway at RAF Brize Norton has been completed.

Following the most recent works to the surface, repair of the runway at RAF Brize Norton has been completed and was handed to the Operating Authority on 7 August 2021. However ongoing maintenance will be required and will be scheduled to take place on a pre-agreed basis.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the profit margin for General Dynamics on the Ajax AFV production contract.

General Dynamics UK is contractually required to produce a set number of Ajax AFVs to a required specification. The profit margin General Dynamics UK expect to generate a is commercial matter for the company.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what type of steroids, including the product name were administered to armed forces personnel who experienced hearing problems after participating in the trials of the Ajax AFV.

Patients assessed to benefit from steroid treatment for acute noise induced hearing loss received the steroid Prednisolone as tablets and/or intratympanic (placed by injection into the middle ear) Solu-medrone steroid solution.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 26 July 2021 to Question 36545 on Type 23 Frigates, with reference to the eight Type 23 frigates described as operationally available, how many were (a) ships on deployment and (b) ships generating for deployment.

To maintain our operational security, the figures provided in the answer of 26 July 2021 to Question 36545 cannot be broken down to the level of detail requested.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has made an assessment of which other armoured fighting vehicles in the global market have similar characteristics to the Ajax AFV.

Ajax is expected to deliver a first in class capability from what will be a fully digitalised platform. We remain committed to the programme. However, Defence regularly monitors what AFV capabilities are available in the Global Market.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the (a) initial and (b) final operating capacity is of the (i) Morpheus and (ii) Le TACIS communications programmes.

The current forecast for MORPHEUS Initial Operating Capacity (IOC) is Quarter 4, 2025 and the forecast for Full Operating Capacity (FOC) is Quarter 2, 2029.

The Land Environment Tactical Communication Information System Programme does not have a single Initial Operating Capability or Full Operating Capability. Instead, it is comprised of a number of sub-programmes and projects (including MORPHEUS), each of which have their own in-service dates.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which regiments of the British Army have been involved in his Department's trial programme for the Ajax Fighting Vehicle programme.

Trials are being run out of the Armoured Trials and Development Unit (ATDU). Due to the breadth of trials carried out by ATDU, personnel assigned to this unit are drawn from a broad cross section of the British Army.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will list all repair and refit tasks carried out by Babcock for the Royal Navy in the last 10 years, including for each such task (a) vessel name, (b) projected estimated length of time to complete the work,( c) actual time taken to complete the work and (d) fee paid to Babcock for completing that work.

It is not certain that the information requested by my right hon. Friend will be ascertainable for the entire 10-year period and such information would only be able to be provided after a significant commitment of resource. This is because the data required would need to be collated from a variety of sources, including the Maritime Delivery Support Framework contract, the data from which will be highly commercially sensitive.

I will write to him with further detail on his request with a focus on providing as much detail as possible for the recent period and I will place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the location is of each of the 12 remaining Type 23 frigates in the Royal Navy.

As of 14 September 2021, HMS IRON DUKE, HMS SOMERSET, HMS SUTHERLAND and HMS ST ALBANS are in upkeep/refit at Devonport Royal Dockyard.

HMS RICHMOND and HMS KENT are supporting Carrier Strike Group 2021 in the Far East.

HMS MONTROSE is forward deployed to the Middle East.

The remaining five Type 23 Frigates (HMS ARGYLL, HMS LANCASTER, HMS NORTHUMBERLAND, HMS PORTLAND and HMS WESTMINSTER) are located in UK waters or the North Atlantic and are available for operations. Of these, HMS ARGYLL is supporting Defence at Security Equipment International (DSEI) in London.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the weight is of the Ajax AFV (a) with and (b) without the additional armour package.

I refer the right hon. Member to my response to his question 36563 which was answered on 26 July 2021.

21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the initial operational capability is for each of the three vessels in the Fleet Solid Support Ship programme.

The Initial Operating Capability (IOC) for the Fleet Solid Support (FSS) programme will be met through the achievement of the entry into service of the first FSS Ship and each subsequent ship will enter service at the same capability standard. The date for FSS IOC and individual ship in service dates will not be determined until the Full Business Case is submitted and will be reliant on the delivery schedule agreed when the manufacture contract is awarded.

21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of (a) how often and (b) for how long the Type 31 Frigates will undergo maintenance after they have entered service.

In respect of both the Type 26 and Type 31 Frigate programmes, it is too early to say how often the ships will undergo routine maintenance. This will be decided as part of the negotiations with industry for support solutions.

21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of (a) how often and (b) for how long the Type 26 Frigates will undergo maintenance after they have entered service.

In respect of both the Type 26 and Type 31 Frigate programmes, it is too early to say how often the ships will undergo routine maintenance. This will be decided as part of the negotiations with industry for support solutions.

21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reason the Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme was cancelled.

Retiring Warrior early, rather than spending money on trying to extend a legacy capability, allows us to free up resources to invest in Boxer and modernising the UK Armed Forces. Such investment will include long-range precision missiles, unmanned systems and enhanced ISR.

21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the structure of the reporting chain is for Ajax Fighting Vehicle programme within Defence Equipment and Support.

The reporting chain for the Ajax programme within Defence Equipment and Support is as follows, listed from the top down:

Chief Executive Officer (4*)

Director General (Land) (3*)

Director Land Equipment (2*)

Head Vehicle Demonstration and Manufacture (1*)

Ajax Delivery Team

21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which roles within Defence Equipment and Support negotiated the (a) 2010 development contract and (b) 2014 production contract with General Dynamics for the Ajax Armoured Fighting Vehicle family.

Negotiation of the Ajax development and production contracts was carried out by senior commercial officers within Defence Equipment & Support; supported by individuals in finance and project management roles, with senior level oversight and assurance.

21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when the vibration and noise problems with the Ajax Armoured Fighting Vehicle Programme were first reported to (a) the Head of Defence Equipment and Support, (b) the Executive Committee of the Army Board and (c) Ministers.

The timelines related to Noise and Vibration are being investigated as part of the ongoing Health and Safety Review and I refer my right hon. Friend to today’s Written Ministerial Statement (HCWS260).

21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the cost is of 100 rounds of 40mm caseless armoured piercing ammunition for the Ajax Armoured Fighting Vehicle.

I refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 13 July to Question 32310.

21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many rounds of 40mm caseless ammunition the Ajax Armoured Vehicle would normally be expected to carry on operations.

The provision of this information could prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces and so I must withhold the detail my right hon. Friend has requested.

21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the sea-going status is of each of the four Astute Class and Two Trafalgar Class Submarines in service; and which of those submarines are (a) operationally available, (b) undergoing maintenance and/or a refit and (c) temporarily unavailable.

I refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 26 July 2021 to Question number 36546.

21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the planned timescale is for the initial operational capability for the Harpoon replacement for the Royal Navy.

A timescale for an initial operating capability would be determined during a future Surface to Surface Guided Weapon (SSGW) system procurement process. An Invitation to Negotiate has not been released and it would be inappropriate to comment further on future programme timelines.

21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the planned timescale is or the Type 45 Power Improvement Project; and when each individual ship in the class is currently scheduled to have completed its PIP upgrade.

HMS DAUNTLESS, the first of class to undergo the Type 45 Power Improvement Programme (PIP), is expected to complete the initial phase of the installation by Q3 2021. This follows reassessment of the programme to account for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on progress. The next phase of the programme will see DAUNTLESS undertake a rigorous trials programme in harbour and subsequently at sea.

The programme is dependent on the availability of ships to undertake the upgrade, balanced against the Royal Navy's standing and future operational commitments. It is still the case that all six Type 45 ships are expected to have received their PIP upgrade by the mid-2020s.

21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the sea-going status is of (a) HMS Albion and (b) HMS Bulwark; and whether those ships are (i) operationally available, (ii) undergoing maintenance and/or a refit, (iii) temporarily unavailable and (iv) laid up and/or held at extended readiness.

The information requested is provided below:

Class

Upkeep/Maintenance

Operationally Available

Total

Type 23

4

8

12

River Class Patrol Ships

0

3

3

River II Class Patrol Ships

0

5

5

RFA Tide Class

1

3

4

RFA Wave Class

1

1

2

RFA Landing Ship Docks

1

2

3

Sandown Class

0

5

5

Hunt Class Mine Counter Measure Vessels

2

4

6

HMS ALBION/HMS BULWARK

1

1

2

To maintain operational security these figures cannot be broken down to the level of detail requested. The information provided dividing vessels into “Upkeep/Maintenance” and “Operationally Available” (ships on deployment or generating for deployment) is correct at the time of release.

21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the sea-going status is of each of the (a) seven Sandown Class and (b) six Hunt Class Mine Counter Measure Vessels; and which of those ships are (i) operationally available, (ii) undergoing maintenance and/or a refit, (iii) temporarily unavailable and (iv) laid up and/or held at extended readiness.

The information requested is provided below:

Class

Upkeep/Maintenance

Operationally Available

Total

Type 23

4

8

12

River Class Patrol Ships

0

3

3

River II Class Patrol Ships

0

5

5

RFA Tide Class

1

3

4

RFA Wave Class

1

1

2

RFA Landing Ship Docks

1

2

3

Sandown Class

0

5

5

Hunt Class Mine Counter Measure Vessels

2

4

6

HMS ALBION/HMS BULWARK

1

1

2

To maintain operational security these figures cannot be broken down to the level of detail requested. The information provided dividing vessels into “Upkeep/Maintenance” and “Operationally Available” (ships on deployment or generating for deployment) is correct at the time of release.

21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the sea-going status is of each of the three Landing Ship Docks in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary; and which of those ships are (a) operationally available, (b) undergoing maintenance and/or a refit, (c) temporarily unavailable and (d) laid up and/or held at extended readiness.

The information requested is provided below:

Class

Upkeep/Maintenance

Operationally Available

Total

Type 23

4

8

12

River Class Patrol Ships

0

3

3

River II Class Patrol Ships

0

5

5

RFA Tide Class

1

3

4

RFA Wave Class

1

1

2

RFA Landing Ship Docks

1

2

3

Sandown Class

0

5

5

Hunt Class Mine Counter Measure Vessels

2

4

6

HMS ALBION/HMS BULWARK

1

1

2

To maintain operational security these figures cannot be broken down to the level of detail requested. The information provided dividing vessels into “Upkeep/Maintenance” and “Operationally Available” (ships on deployment or generating for deployment) is correct at the time of release.

21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the sea-going status is of each of the (a) four Tide Class and (b) two Wave Class Fleet Tankers in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary; and which of those ships are (a) operationally available, (b) undergoing maintenance and/or a refit, (c) temporarily unavailable and (d) laid up and/or held at extended readiness.

The information requested is provided below:

Class

Upkeep/Maintenance

Operationally Available

Total

Type 23

4

8

12

River Class Patrol Ships

0

3

3

River II Class Patrol Ships

0

5

5

RFA Tide Class

1

3

4

RFA Wave Class

1

1

2

RFA Landing Ship Docks

1

2

3

Sandown Class

0

5

5

Hunt Class Mine Counter Measure Vessels

2

4

6

HMS ALBION/HMS BULWARK

1

1

2

To maintain operational security these figures cannot be broken down to the level of detail requested. The information provided dividing vessels into “Upkeep/Maintenance” and “Operationally Available” (ships on deployment or generating for deployment) is correct at the time of release.

21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the sea-going status is of each of the (a) five River II Class Patrol Ships and (b) three River Class Patrol Ships; and which of those ships are (a) operationally available, (b) undergoing maintenance and/or a refit, (c) temporarily unavailable and (d) laid up and/or held at extended readiness.

The information requested is provided below:

Class

Upkeep/Maintenance

Operationally Available

Total

Type 23

4

8

12

River Class Patrol Ships

0

3

3

River II Class Patrol Ships

0

5

5

RFA Tide Class

1

3

4

RFA Wave Class

1

1

2

RFA Landing Ship Docks

1

2

3

Sandown Class

0

5

5

Hunt Class Mine Counter Measure Vessels

2

4

6

HMS ALBION/HMS BULWARK

1

1

2

To maintain operational security these figures cannot be broken down to the level of detail requested. The information provided dividing vessels into “Upkeep/Maintenance” and “Operationally Available” (ships on deployment or generating for deployment) is correct at the time of release.

21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Armed Forces personnel have been injured whilst participating in the Ajax trials programme as of 21 July 2021.

I take the right hon. and Hon. Member’s questions as being in relation to the recent reports of noise and vibration identified in the ongoing Ajax demonstration phase. As such I would refer you to HCWS260, the comprehensive written statement I laid before this House on Monday 6 September.

21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what liquidated damages clauses are contained in the contract with General Dynamics for the Ajax Armoured Fighting Vehicle programme.

The Terms and Conditions of the contract with General Dynamics for the Ajax programme are commercially sensitive and legally confidential. I am therefore withholding this information from public release as its disclosure would prejudice commercial interests.

21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, who has been the Senior Responsible Owner of the Ajax armoured vehicle programme to date.

Since the Main Gate Business Case baseline approval in 2014 there have been three Senior Responsible Owners for the Armoured Cavalry 25 (AC25) programme. Prior to this, from 2010 (when Main Gate Business Case 1 was signed) to 2013, there were a further two SROs. This was when Ajax was part of firstly the Future Rapid Effect System (FRES) programme and then the wider Mounted Close Combat (MCC) portfolio.

April 2019 – current

Major General Simon Hamilton (SRO AC25)

November 2015 – April 2019

Major General Mark Gaunt (SRO AC25)

October 2013 – November 2015

Major General Nick Pope (SRO MCC and then SRO AC25)

November 2011 - October 2013

Maj Gen Bruce Brealey (SRO MCC)

November 2008 – November 2011

Brig Mike Riddell-Webster (SRO FRES then SRO MCC)

20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many CVR T Scimitar Reconnaissance vehicles remain in operational service with the British Army; and in which regiments those vehicles are deployed.

Details of the number of vehicles in the UK Armed Forces are published on an annual basis on the government’s website. The most recent publication can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/uk-armed-forces-equipment-and-formations-2020.

For reasons of security, we do not publish any further breakdown of this number.

Regiments of the British Army which operate these vehicles are:

1st Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers

1st Battalion The Royal Welsh

1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment

102 Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

5th Battalion The Rifles

8th Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

Kings Royal Hussars

Royal Dragoon Guards

Royal Lancers

Royal Tank Regiment

20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the total cost of the Puma upgrade programme was.

The total cost of the Puma Life Extension Programme was £371.6 million.

20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which vehicle performs the tracked armoured reconnaissance role in the British Army; and in which regiments is that vehicle deployed.

The CVR(T) and Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicle perform the tracked armoured reconnaissance role in the British Army. These vehicles can be found in the following regiments:

1st Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers

1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment

1st Battalion The Royal Welsh

1st Battalion Royal Horse Artillery

1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment

102 Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

19 Regiment Royal Artillery

22 Engineer Regiment

26 Engineer Regiment

3 Armoured Close Support Battalion

4 Armoured Close Support Battalion

5th Battalion The Rifles

6 Armoured Close Support Battalion

8 Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

King Royal Hussars

Queens Royal Hussars

Royal Tank Regiment

Royal Lancers

20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the cost is per flying hour of operating the (a) Typhoon, (b) F-35, (c) C-130J Hercules, (d) A400M, (e) P-8 Poseidon and (f) Ch-47 Chinook.

I am withholding the information requested as its release would prejudice commercial interests.

20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans he has to dispose of the Puma helicopters earmarked for retirement in the Integrated Review 2021.

No disposal agreements have yet been made regarding the Puma helicopters earmarked for retirement.

20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many CVR T Scimitar Reconnaissance vehicles have been disposed of in the last 10 years; to which nations; and what the cost incurred or revenue gained was to his Department of those disposals.

Over the last 10 years, a total of 123 Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) Scimitar have been sold; 42 via a Government-to-Government sale to Latvia, and 81 via the Defence Equipment Sales Authority's Surplus Vehicles Contract.

Due to the way in which historic disposals information is recorded, it is not possible to provide exact details of the income generated for Scimitar. However, the combined sales return for all variants of the CVR(T), totalling 592 vehicles, is £3.82 million (excl. VAT).

20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what is the all-up weight with any added armour of the (a) CVR T Scimitar Armoured Fighting Vehicle, (b) Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicle, (c) Ajax Armoured Fighting Vehicle, (d) AS-90 self-propelled gun and (e) Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank.

I thank the right hon. Member for his question, however I must inform him that I am withholding the information requested, as its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.

20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what his timetable is for the Meteor air-to-air missile to achieve initial operating capability on the F-35 aircraft.

Initial development work for Meteor integration has progressed well. The Lightning Delivery Team within Defence Equipment and Supply (DE&S), through F-35 Joint Program Office has signed a contract to integrate Meteor in the middle of the decade.

20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the sea-going status is of each of the (a) four Astute class and (b) two Trafalgar class SSN submarines in commission; and which of those boats are (i) operationally available and (ii) undergoing maintenance and/or refit.

It is UK policy to not disclose the operational availability of submarines, as to do so would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of our Armed Forces. Our submarines continue to meet all operational commitments.

20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the (a) location and (b) operational status is of each of the 48 F-35 aircraft on order from Lockheed Martin.

21 Lightning aircraft have been delivered to the UK by Lockheed-Martin. The remaining 27 aircraft remain at various stages of production.

The location of the 21 delivered aircraft in mid-July 2021 is broken down as follows:

17 Squadron, Edwards AFB USA - Three

207 Squadron, RAF Marham - Eight

617 Squadron embarked on HMS Queen Elizabeth - Eight

RAF Marham Maintenance and Finishing Facility - Two

20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the through-life cost of the F-35 programme; and on what £/$ exchange rate that assumption is based over the lifetime of the programme.

The estimate of the through-life cost of the F-35 programme is £18.76 billion. Based on the endorsed forty-eight F-35B Programme of Record, this estimate includes sunk costs (already recognised in Defence Accounts) and forecast costs (future expenditure until F-35 Out of Service Date). The sunk costs were recognised at the £/$ exchange rate when the expenditure occurred. Any forecast costs that are transacted in USD$, are converted to GBP£ using the relevant Ministry of Defence Corporate Planning Assumptions for the Annual Budgeting Cycle.

20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans he has for the CH-47 Chinook Bravo November when it leaves operational service; and whether those plans involve donating that helicopter to the Royal Air Force Museum at Hendon.

Recognising the historical service of this airframe, it is likely that it will be gifted to a suitable Museum ensuring the important RAF stories associated with the aircraft will be preserved and shared to inspire future generations.

20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what is the sea-going status of each of the 13 Type 23 frigates; and which of those ships are (a) operationally available, (b) undergoing maintenance and/or a refit and (c) temporarily unavailable due to propulsion problems.

The information requested is provided below:

Class

Upkeep/Maintenance

Operationally Available

Total

Type 23

4

8

12

River Class Patrol Ships

0

3

3

River II Class Patrol Ships

0

5

5

RFA Tide Class

1

3

4

RFA Wave Class

1

1

2

RFA Landing Ship Docks

1

2

3

Sandown Class

2

5

7

Hunt Class Mine Counter Measure Vessels

2

4

6

HMS ALBION/HMS BULWARK

1

1

2

To maintain operational security these figures cannot be broken down to the level of detail requested. The information provided dividing vessels into “Upkeep/Maintenance” and “Operationally Available” (ships on deployment or generating for deployment) is correct at the time of release.

Twelve Type 23 frigates are included as HMS MONMOUTH left Royal Navy service on 30 June 2021.

20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the revised acquisition cost is of the three E-7 Wedgetail aircraft proposed for purchase under the Integrated Review 2021.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 13 April 2021 to Question 175732 to the hon. Member for North Durham (Mr Jones).

20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the date on which the (a) last E-3D sentry aircraft will be retired from operational service and (b) first E-7 Wedgetail will achieve initial operating capacity in Royal Air Force service.

We will retire the E-3D Sentry from operational service later in 2021, as part of the transition to the more modern and more capable fleet of three E-7 Wedgetail aircraft, which are expected to enter service in December 2023.

The United Kingdom remains part of the NATO AEW&C Force Headquarters.

20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has sought compensation or other financial recompense from Airbus following problems with the A400m aircraft.

Airbus are contracted to design and supply the A400M aircraft, including the rectification of technical issues. Airbus are held to their contractual obligations by the appropriate commercial mechanisms including retention of payments.

20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what his planned timetable is for the A400M aircraft to replace the C-130J Hercules aircraft in the special forces transport role; and what estimate he has made of the cost of converting the A400M aircraft to undertake the role previously performed by the C-130J Hercules aircraft.

It has been the longstanding position of successive Governments not to comment on the capabilities of the UK special forces, as to do so would put personnel and operations at risk.

Capability performance is assessed against the contribution it will make to counter the threats we face, now and into the future. The A400M, as the successor to the C-130J, is a highly capable modern aircraft, offering many advantages over the current C-130J capability, including a greater range and payload capacity.

20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much (a) Airbus and (b) his Department has spent on tackling reliability issues with Royal Air Force A400m aircraft as at 20 July 2021.

There is no additional cost to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) for the programme of work to improve the reliability of the A400M, which is funded by industry. The MOD is unable to comment on the cost to Airbus, which is a matter for the company.

20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many A400M aircraft his Department plans to purchase for the Royal Air Force.

The UK has ordered 22 A400M aircraft of which 20 have been received, with a further two to be delivered.

20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many A400M aircraft were operationally available on average in each week in June 2021.

The weekly average number of A400M aircraft operationally available for the month of June 2021 is given in the table below:

Week Beginning

Number of Aircraft

31 May 2021

6

7 June 2021

7

14 June 2021

7

21 June 2021

9

28 June 2021

8

14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the sea-going status is of each of the six Type 45 Destroyers; and which of those ships are (a) operationally available, (b) undergoing maintenance and/or a refit and (c) temporarily unavailable due to propulsion problems.

HMS DEFENDER is currently deployed as part of the Carrier Strike Group (CSG21) while HMS DIAMOND has experienced some technical issues and has detached from CSG21 for maintenance, inspection and defect rectification.

HMS DARING and HMS DUNCAN are currently undergoing planned deep maintenance.

HMS DAUNTLESS, the first of the Type 45 Destroyers to undergo a Power Improvement Project upgrade, is expected to return to sea for trials this year.

HMS DRAGON is undergoing a period of planned maintenance in advance of further operational commitments.

14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the length of time it would take for HMS Dragon to (a) put to sea to replace HMS Diamond as an escort to the Carrier Strike Group and (b) take up station with that Group.

While operating in the eastern Mediterranean, HMS DIAMOND experienced some technical issues and has detached from the Carrier Strike Group for maintenance, inspection and defect rectification. She is expected to re-join the Task Group during the Indo-Pacific phase of the deployment.

14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the nature is of the propulsion issue affecting HMS Diamond; and when that issue first occurred.

While operating in the eastern Mediterranean, HMS DIAMOND experienced some technical issues and has detached from the Carrier Strike Group for maintenance, inspection and defect rectification. She is expected to re-join the Task Group during the Indo-Pacific phase of the deployment.

14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the timescale for the repair of HMS Diamond's propulsion issue such that that ship can rejoin the Carrier Strike Group.

While operating in the eastern Mediterranean, HMS DIAMOND experienced some technical issues and has detached from the Carrier Strike Group for maintenance, inspection and defect rectification. She is expected to re-join the Task Group during the Indo-Pacific phase of the deployment.

14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what alternative procurement options he has for the replacement of the capability envisaged from the Ajax Armoured Vehicle programme in the event that that programme is cancelled; and if he will make a statement.

The Ministry of Defence remains committed to Ajax.

14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the initial operating capability for the Type 83 Destroyer.

The Type 83 Destroyer will replace the Type 45 Destroyers when they go out of service in the late 2030s. It is anticipated that the concept phase for the Type 83 Destroyers will begin in the next few years.

14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the initial operating capability for the Type 32 Frigate; and how will it differ in capability terms from the Type 31 Frigate.

The roles and capabilities for the Type 32 Frigate will be decided following the concept phase, which is in its early stages. Therefore, it is too early to compare capabilities with the Type 31 Frigate.

14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the initial operating capability for the Type 31(e) Frigate.

On current plans, the initial operating capability date for the Type 31 frigate will be 2027.

14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy published in March 2021, what plans he has for the Tranche 1 of Typhoon aircraft when they leave service.

The Ministry of Defence is currently reviewing potential disposal options for the RAF's Tranche 1 Typhoon aircraft which on current planning will go out of service in March 2025.

14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the initial operating capability for the SSNR programme to replace the Astute class submarines.

The Submersible Ship Nuclear (Replacement) project is currently in the Programme Definition and Design Phase, during which the Ministry of Defence will identify potential capability solution choices.

14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the anticipated length of service is of the incumbent Head of the Submarine Delivery Agency.

The salary band for the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Defence Equipment and Support is £280,000 - £284,999. The anticipated length of service is four years to 20 May 2022.

The salary band for the Head of Defence Digital (Chief Information Officer) is £120,000 - £208,100. The incumbent is employed on a permanent contract.

The salary band for the CEO of the Submarine Delivery Agency is £280,000- £285,000. The incumbent is employed on a five-year contract that commenced in September 2017.

14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the salary band is of the Head of the Submarine Delivery Agency.

The salary band for the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Defence Equipment and Support is £280,000 - £284,999. The anticipated length of service is four years to 20 May 2022.

The salary band for the Head of Defence Digital (Chief Information Officer) is £120,000 - £208,100. The incumbent is employed on a permanent contract.

The salary band for the CEO of the Submarine Delivery Agency is £280,000- £285,000. The incumbent is employed on a five-year contract that commenced in September 2017.

14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the anticipated length of service is of the incumbent Head of Defence Digital.

The salary band for the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Defence Equipment and Support is £280,000 - £284,999. The anticipated length of service is four years to 20 May 2022.

The salary band for the Head of Defence Digital (Chief Information Officer) is £120,000 - £208,100. The incumbent is employed on a permanent contract.

The salary band for the CEO of the Submarine Delivery Agency is £280,000- £285,000. The incumbent is employed on a five-year contract that commenced in September 2017.

14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the salary band is of the Head of Defence Digital.

The salary band for the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Defence Equipment and Support is £280,000 - £284,999. The anticipated length of service is four years to 20 May 2022.

The salary band for the Head of Defence Digital (Chief Information Officer) is £120,000 - £208,100. The incumbent is employed on a permanent contract.

The salary band for the CEO of the Submarine Delivery Agency is £280,000- £285,000. The incumbent is employed on a five-year contract that commenced in September 2017.

14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the anticipated length of service is of the incumbent Head of Defence Equipment and Support.

The salary band for the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Defence Equipment and Support is £280,000 - £284,999. The anticipated length of service is four years to 20 May 2022.

The salary band for the Head of Defence Digital (Chief Information Officer) is £120,000 - £208,100. The incumbent is employed on a permanent contract.

The salary band for the CEO of the Submarine Delivery Agency is £280,000- £285,000. The incumbent is employed on a five-year contract that commenced in September 2017.

14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the salary band is of the Head of Defence Equipment and Support.

The salary band for the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Defence Equipment and Support is £280,000 - £284,999. The anticipated length of service is four years to 20 May 2022.

The salary band for the Head of Defence Digital (Chief Information Officer) is £120,000 - £208,100. The incumbent is employed on a permanent contract.

The salary band for the CEO of the Submarine Delivery Agency is £280,000- £285,000. The incumbent is employed on a five-year contract that commenced in September 2017.

14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which the 10 largest programmes are by value in his Department's latest Equipment Plan; and what estimate he has made of the (a) acquisition cost and (b) through-life cost of each of those programmes.

We plan to publish the Ministry of Defence's 2021-2031 Equipment Plan in Autumn 2021.

The 10 largest programmes by whole life costs in the department's Equipment Plan, as of 31 March, are:

Programme Name

Dreadnought

Complex Weapons Portfolio

Type 26 Global Combat Ship Programme

Nuclear Warhead Capability Sustainment Programme

Land Environment Tactical Communication and Information Systems

Astute Boats 1-7

Future Maritime Support Programme

Lightning Programme

Future Beyond Line Of Sight

Armoured Cavalry

The department reports on these programmes as part of the Government's Major Projects Portfolio which includes whole life cost data:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/major-projects-data#2021-data.

Cost estimates are developed in accordance with HM Treasury guidance (including The Green Book and HM Treasury Business Case Guidance) and the MOD's guidance on investment approvals (Joint Service Publication 655). Costs are regularly scrutinised and monitored through these processes.

The Infrastructure and Projects Authority will be publishing their annual report shortly that will include those whole life costs that can be disclosed while respecting ongoing competitive tendering or other commercial sensitivities.

14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what his planned timetable is for publishing his Department's next Equipment Plan.

We plan to publish the Ministry of Defence's 2021-2031 Equipment Plan in Autumn 2021.

The 10 largest programmes by whole life costs in the department's Equipment Plan, as of 31 March, are:

Programme Name

Dreadnought

Complex Weapons Portfolio

Type 26 Global Combat Ship Programme

Nuclear Warhead Capability Sustainment Programme

Land Environment Tactical Communication and Information Systems

Astute Boats 1-7

Future Maritime Support Programme

Lightning Programme

Future Beyond Line Of Sight

Armoured Cavalry

The department reports on these programmes as part of the Government's Major Projects Portfolio which includes whole life cost data:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/major-projects-data#2021-data.

Cost estimates are developed in accordance with HM Treasury guidance (including The Green Book and HM Treasury Business Case Guidance) and the MOD's guidance on investment approvals (Joint Service Publication 655). Costs are regularly scrutinised and monitored through these processes.

The Infrastructure and Projects Authority will be publishing their annual report shortly that will include those whole life costs that can be disclosed while respecting ongoing competitive tendering or other commercial sensitivities.

14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the scheduled initial operating capability is for the Morpheus Programme.

I refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave to the right hon. Member for North Durham (Mr Kevan Jones) on 2 July 2021 to Question 21158.

13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he has plans to replace the repair ship RFA Diligence.

The Royal Navy has no current plans to procure a replacement for the former RFA DILIGENCE.

The capability previously delivered by DILIGENCE can be provided through a range of sources, including the deployment of a Royal Navy Forward Support Unit, or utilising well-established commercial arrangements and international agreements, such as the use of other countries' bases and facilities.

13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will list the contractors involved in the Crowsnest AEW helicopter programme and their individual responsibilities within the overall prime contract.

The main contractors that are involved in the Crowsnest programme are: Lockheed Martin UK as the Prime Contractor; Thales UK Ltd as the Mission System Supplier; Leonardo Helicopters UK Ltd as the Aircraft Integrator; and QinetiQ Ltd as Independent Evaluator.

13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans he has to replace RFA Argus when it leaves service.

Following the uplift in funding for Royal Navy shipbuilding announced in the Integrated Review in March 2021, a number of options are being considered as part of the Royal Naval Shipbuilding Pipeline regarding the future provision of afloat medical support once RFA ARGUS leaves service.

13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he intends to exercise any contractual penalties against Lockheed Martin UK for the delays to the Crowsnest AEW helicopter programme.

The Ministry of Defence is currently withholding a portion of the contract price due to late delivery of the capability on the basis of the Schedule Performance not meeting the contracted milestones. This would become repayable on the achievement of full capability in line with the terms of the contract.

We continue to reserve our position with Lockheed Martin UK in respect of any further consideration relating to Contract performance.

13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the unit cost is of a round of 40mm armour piercing ammunition for the main armament of the Ajax Armoured Vehicle.

The main armament of the Ajax armoured vehicle uses the Armour Piercing Fin Stabilised Discarding Sabot-Tracer (APFSDS-T) round. I am withholding the unit cost as its disclosure may prejudice commercial interests.

13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans he has for the procurement of a new Medium Lift helicopter.

Detailed work continues on the procurement strategy for the New Medium Helicopter; which remains under development.

13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when the Sea King AEW Mk 2 (a) entered and (b) left operational service.

The Sea King AEW Mk2 entered operational service in 1982 and was withdrawn in 2003.

13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans he has for the replacement of the Crowsnest AEW helicopter programme.

A number of options are being developed for consideration by the Ministry of Defence.

In partnership with the Royal Navy, the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) has launched the Look out! Maritime Early Warning Innovations competition, which aims to develop alternative future concepts for the Early Warning systems currently deployed in Maritime Task Groups.

13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Ajax Armoured Vehicles are air portable in a single lift in the (a) C-17 and (b) A400M aircraft.

A single turreted, fully-armoured AJAX vehicle can be flown in a C-17 with minimal preparation. Two Ajax variant vehicles can be transported in a C-17, after further suitable preparation.

It is intended that all Ajax variants will be capable of air transportation in an A400M aircraft with some level of strip. Stripped items would be transported separately. Four stripped-down Ajax variant vehicles would be transported in four A400M aircraft and the stripped items in a further two A400M aircraft.

13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether any delays were caused to the Crowsnest AEW helicopter programme by poor maintenance of the Merlin helicopter originally assigned to the trials programme.

Maintenance activities on the originally assigned helicopters, either scheduled or unscheduled, did not cause a delay to the trials programme. The aircraft successfully undertook ground-based trials to assess electromagnetic compatibility. In addition, the radar flight trials programme was not impacted.

13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether any personnel involved in the trials of the Ajax armoured vehicle have subsequently required medical treatment.

I refer the right hon. Member to the answer provided by my Noble Friend Baroness Goldie on 29 June 2021 HL1163. Work continues to ensure those who may have been put at risk by the trials are identified and offered medical intervention if appropriate.

As previously stated at the request of Ministers, the Permanent Secretary commissioned a Health and Safety review of the AJAX trials (which will include updating the number of personnel affected). The Secretary of State has confirmed that the summary review will be published.

13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he has plans to merge the categories of (a) trade trained strength, (b) trained strength and (c) recruits under training in calculating the total liability of the Army Reserve by the end of 2021.

Under Future Reserves 2020, the Army Reserve has a structure (workforce requirement) of circa 31,650 which will remain the same in 2021.

Under the Defence Secretary's announcement and launch of the Defence Command Paper, we will see a more productive integration of the Army Reserve by 2025. Work to refine the exact breakdown of the future structure is still ongoing however, there is currently no plan to change the categorisation of Untrained, Trained and Trade Trained for the Army Reserves. The Army does not anticipate a need for any change of definition either now or beyond the implementation of the Integrated Review.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what is the proposed total liability of the Army Reserve, including (a) trained strength and (b) recruits not yet trained, by the conclusion of 2021.

Under Future Reserves 2020, the Army Reserve has a structure (workforce requirement) of circa 31,650 which will remain the same in 2021.

Under the Defence Secretary's announcement and launch of the Defence Command Paper, we will see a more productive integration of the Army Reserve by 2025. Work to refine the exact breakdown of the future structure is still ongoing however, there is currently no plan to change the categorisation of Untrained, Trained and Trade Trained for the Army Reserves. The Army does not anticipate a need for any change of definition either now or beyond the implementation of the Integrated Review.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the proposed total liability is of trained strength of the Army Reserves at the end of calendar year 2021.

Under Future Reserves 2020, the Army Reserve has a structure (workforce requirement) of circa 31,650 which will remain the same in 2021.

Under the Defence Secretary's announcement and launch of the Defence Command Paper, we will see a more productive integration of the Army Reserve by 2025. Work to refine the exact breakdown of the future structure is still ongoing however, there is currently no plan to change the categorisation of Untrained, Trained and Trade Trained for the Army Reserves. The Army does not anticipate a need for any change of definition either now or beyond the implementation of the Integrated Review.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what type of (a) radar and (b) command system is used on the Crowsnest AEW helicopter programme.

CROWSNEST is a mechanically rotating radar. The mission system is an updated version of the CERBERUS mission system previously used on Sea King Mk7.

13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether any armed forces personnel were treated for smoke inhalation following the fire aboard FRA Victoria on May 10 2021.

As a precautionary measure, a number of Royal Fleet Auxiliary personnel were taken to Dorchester Hospital and treated for smoke inhalation following the fire onboard RFA FORT VICTORIA on 10 May 2021. They were released later that day and no further medical treatment has been required.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans he has to reduce the carbon footprint of the light aircraft training fleet.

It is expected that the RAF will have its first zero emission aircraft operational by the end of this decade, which, through Project TELUM, will provide its youth air experience aircraft for air cadets, university cadets and elementary flying training.

We hope to launch the competition for Project TELUM in 2023, but this remains to be confirmed, as the requirement will be informed by studies being conducted by the RAF's Rapid Capabilities Office and the Defence and Security Accelerator, which are still ongoing.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when it plans to issue the competitive tender for Project Telum for light aircraft flight training.

It is expected that the RAF will have its first zero emission aircraft operational by the end of this decade, which, through Project TELUM, will provide its youth air experience aircraft for air cadets, university cadets and elementary flying training.

We hope to launch the competition for Project TELUM in 2023, but this remains to be confirmed, as the requirement will be informed by studies being conducted by the RAF's Rapid Capabilities Office and the Defence and Security Accelerator, which are still ongoing.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how long it takes on average to train a Royal Air Force fast jest pilot from initial recruitment to full operational status under the Military Flying Training System.

It is not within the remit of UK Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS) to deliver pilots to 'full operational status'. UKMFTS only delivers the Phase 2 element of flying training which prepares pilots in readiness for their entry to Phase 3 training: a platform specific Operational Conversion Unit (OCU). Pilots go on to achieve operational status, known as Combat Ready, approximately six months after completing their OCU training.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which companies comprise the Ascent consortium which operates the Military Flying Training System.

Ascent Flight Training is a joint venture between Babcock International and Lockheed Martin.

6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the Ajax armoured vehicle is air portable in the A400m aircraft.

We fully expect that Ajax will be air portable by not only the A400M Atlas but also the C-17.

6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much money has been paid to General Dynamics UK for the Ajax Armoured Vehicle Programme as at 6 June 2021.

As of 6 June 2021, £3,167 million (incl. VAT) has been paid to General Dynamics UK. This spend has been on overlapping Design, Demonstration and Manufacture activity, including vehicle development and trials, manufacturing, major assemblies, armour turrets and facilities.

6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the total cost is of the Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme to date.

The cost of the Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme to 31 March 2021 is £594.6 million (inc VAT). This figure is potentially subject to change due to ongoing commercial negotiations following the Integrated Review announcement.

6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans he has to replace the capability lost as a result of the cancellation of the Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme.

Operational Analysis highlighted the requirement for the Army to reconsider how it creates the conditions for success in the close battle. Following the Integrated Review, two Armoured Brigade Combat Teams will be formed from the modernisation of two Armoured Infantry Brigades. It is intended that over the next decade these will be equipped with Ajax armoured reconnaissance, Challenger 3 Main Battle Tanks and Boxer mechanised infantry vehicles.

The Armoured Brigade Combat Team will be centred around a digitally connected nucleus of integrated capabilities, including Ajax, Boxer, Challenger 3 and AH64E. Modernised long-range effects, including precision weapons and surveillance, is intended to significantly improve the ability to deal with threats at long range, creating the conditions for success for the Armoured BCT and reducing risk in the close battle.

As part of this modernisation we intend to accelerate and enhance the Boxer programme. The new fleet of modernised wheeled APCs will replace the Warrior IFV fleet and Boxer will become the primary mechanised infantry platform for the Army as Warrior is retired from service.

6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he has plans to change the categorisation for Army reserves, including (a) untrained reserves, (b) trained strength reserves and (c) trade trained strength reserves.

There is currently no plan to change the categorisation of Untrained, Trained and Trade Trained for the Army Reserves. The Army does not anticipate a need for any change of definition.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when the new Strike Brigade will be in-service.

The development of the Strike capability continues at pace with ongoing experimentation within 1st Armoured Infantry Brigade. The formation of the strike brigade is dependent on the delivery schedule of the vehicles that will be used within the brigade. I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Minister for Defence Procurement (Jeremy Quin) on 9 March 2020 to Question 24277.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the cost to the public purse is of (a) the F-35 programme and (b) each F-35 aircraft.

The price of an F-35B from Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Lot 11 which comprises the last finalised contract is $115 million. This covers airframe and engine cost and represents a 24% price reduction from our first aircraft ordered. We expect this downward trend to continue in future lots.

Costs of the overall Lightning Programme are set out in the Ministry of Defence Government Major Projects Portfolio data, 2019, which is available in the Library of the House.

11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Airbus A400m aircraft have been delivered to the RAF; and what the timetable is for the final delivery of that aircraft to be made.

To date, 20 aircraft have been delivered to the RAF, with the final delivery planned for 2022.

11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the salary band is of the head of Defence Equipment and Support.

The salary of the Chief Executive of Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) is published in the DE&S Annual Report and Accounts, which is available on gov.uk at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/defence-equipment-support-annual-report-and-accounts-2018-to-2019

The Chief Executive's current salary band is £270,000 - £275,000.

3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what is the expected out-of-service dates of AS-90s; and if he will make a statement on its replacement.

The expected out-of-service date for the AS-90 is 2030. Work is underway to identify a replacement to respond to the threats we will face out to the 2050s.

3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to identify a replacement for the Land Rover Wolf.

The Army will bring into service a range of wheeled, protected vehicles to replace Land Rover Wolf (and other in-service vehicles) in the roles which require protected vehicles. These vehicles will be called the Multi Role Vehicle - Protected (MRV-P).

The Government is undertaking an integrated review of Britain's security, defence and foreign policy which will consider all aspects of our defence and security capabilities. A key strand of the review will explore how we modernise the equipment and improve the capability of our world-class Armed Forces, including that of the British Army, which may require further changes to extant programmes.

3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what is the (a) original and (b) most recent estimated cost to the public purse of the warrior capability sustainment development programme; and when he expects vehicles produced through that programme to come into service.

The Warrior Capability Sustainment Project (WCSP) aims to deliver an operational fleet of upgraded Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicles, with improved survivability and firepower, until at least 2040.

The original cost of the WCSP demonstration and manufacture phases in 2011 was estimated at £1.319 billion, with the most recent estimated cost being £1.546 billion. Manufacture discussions to confirm a date the vehicles will come into service are ongoing.

3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the cost to the public purse is of the challenger 2 life extension programme; and when are vehicles produced through that programme expected to enter into service.

Challenger 2 remains a key capability for the Armed Forces as the British Army's main battle tank. The Challenger 2 Life Extension Programme will provide a suite of capability upgrades and substantially extend its service life.

Commercial negotiations surrounding the Challenger 2 Life Extension Project are being conducted and therefore it is not possible to disclose costs at this stage. Similarly, these negotiations will establish in service delivery dates.

3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what is the expected into-service date of Ajax armoured vehicles; and if he will make a statement.

AJAX is a highly complex project, delivering the first fully digitised vehicle in the Land domain.

AJAX's in service date is projected to be July 2020 though work is currently underway to confirm the achieveability of this date.

27th Feb 2020
To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, what the latest estimate is of the cost of the restoration and renewal programme for the Palace of Westminster.

The cost estimate for the restoration and renewal (R&R) programme, including the restoration of the Palace and temporary accommodation for the House of Lords, will be determined as part of an outline business case (OBC), which is being prepared by the R&R Sponsor Body. The OBC is being developed in line with the resolutions agreed by both Houses in early 2018, which endorsed the Joint Committee on the Palace of Westminster's recommendation that a full and timely decant of the Palace was the best and the most cost-effective delivery option.

In June 2015 the Independent Options Assessment (IOA) was published. It was produced by a Deloitte-led consortium in 2015, and was then considered by the Joint Committee on the Palace of Westminster which published its report in 2016. Both these events predated the establishment of the shadow Sponsor Body in September 2018. For full decant, the IOA estimated indicative costs for comparative purposes at between £3.52 billion and £3.87 billion, and assumed a construction start date of 2020. It cautioned that no budget could be set until a detailed design brief and means of delivery were agreed, and that these figures should not be taken as setting or estimating a budget for the Restoration and Renewal Programme. The IOA was not intended to provide fully costed estimates for the programme as they would be contingent upon full surveys, inspections, designs and the agreement of requirements. To provide these is the purpose of the shadow Sponsor Body's outline business case.

Once the programme's scope, requirements and forecast benefits have been determined the proposed approach to the works, including a funding envelope and schedule, will be put before both Houses for decision in 2022 as required by section 7 of the Parliamentary Buildings (Restoration and Renewal) Act 2019. Throughout the development of the OBC there will be a rigorous review of all options and costs, in line with best practice established by the Infrastructure and Projects Authority and external reviews by the National Audit Office.