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Written Ministerial Statements
Friday 25 February 2005

Offshore Patrol Vessel Contract
The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Mr. Adam Ingram): I am pleased to announce that the Ministry of Defence has approved the award of a contract with VT Maritime Affairs Ltd for the charter and logistic support of a new 1,854 tonne patrol vessel for use in the Falkland Islands.
The new ship will be a modification of the highly successful river class ships, also chartered from VT, currently employed for fishery protection. Like them, the new patrol vessel will also follow an innovative public-private partnership arrangement for the provision of maritime capability. While manned by the Royal Navy, the Department will pay a set monthly fee for the provision of the ship and a guaranteed level of availability, with an incentivised payment structure to ensure that any shortfalls are dealt with promptly and effectively.
The vessel will thus provide a significant increase in availability as compared with the old, and increasingly difficult to maintain, castle class ships that have provided the Falkland Islands patrol capability for the past two decades.
It is planned that the ship will enter service in 2007 and be chartered for an initial period up to 2012. Over this period, she will generate in excess of £2 million savings compared with continuing to run the old ships, while providing at least as good an overall capability at a much lower level of risk.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the A400M. [216552]
Mr. Ingram: A contract for the development and production of the A400M aircraft was signed with Airbus Military on 27 May 2003 by the Organisation for Joint Armaments Co-operation on behalf of the participating nations (Germany, France, Turkey, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom). The contract milestones are being achieved, and as previously announced, on 16 December 2003, Official Report, column 839W the aircraft’s planned In-Service Date for UK is 2011.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much money has been spent on aircraft research by his Department in (a) Lancashire and (b) the North West since 1997. [216232]
Mr. Ingram: We recognise the importance of the aerospace industry in the North West, both to the Ministry of Defence and the wider economy. We have not placed any ‘research’ contracts with companies in the North West region but as you will be aware, the Ministry of Defence places a considerable volume of work with companies in the region on both new programmes and support for in-service aircraft. Much of the work on new programmes is classified as ‘development’, however, details on money spent on such programmes is not held centrally, and therefore could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. John Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the value was of the enabling contract for the Harrier Joint Upgrade and Maintenance Programme awarded to BAE Systems on 15 November 2004. [217385]
Mr. Ingram: £20.7 million.
Mr. John Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Harrier GR7s are being upgraded at BAE Warton; and at what cost. [216319]
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the likely costs of (a) upgrading and (b) servicing fast jets at BAE Warton. [216882]
Mr. Ingram: At present nine Harrier aircraft are being modified at Warton. Three aircraft have already completed their modification. The 12 Harrier aircraft are being upgraded for a total cost of some £33 million (VAT exclusive).
Planned upgrades to bring all Tranche 1 Typhoon aircraft to the same standard are included in the production contract price. The majority of this work is likely to be carried out at BAE Warton. Subsequent upgrades hav

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