13 Mar 08. ISTAR: Defence Committee Inquiry. The Defence Committee announced (13 Mar 08) that it was launching an Inquiry into ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance). The Committee’s inquires will initially focus on the role of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in providing ISTAR capability.
Comment: The Committee has indicated that it would welcome written evidence on ISTAR until 18 Apr 08. Oral evidence sessions are due to take place during May and June 2008. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0812, 17 Mar 08)
Commons Hansard 18 Mar 2008
Armoured Fighting Vehicles
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Challenger 2 main battle tanks are in service. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: There are 345 Challenger 2 main battle tanks currently in service.
AWE Aldermaston: Protest
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his Department’s policy is on the Aldermaston Easter protest. 
Des Browne: The MOD recognises the democratic right of individuals to participate in lawful and peaceful protest activities.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of the receipts received on asset sales for disposed estates was kept by the Exchequer in each financial year since 2001. 
Derek Twigg: The Ministry of Defence agrees targets for receipts in respect of the disposal of land and buildings with HM Treasury as part of the periodic spending reviews. Spending budgets in each financial year are agreed and set accordingly. From 2001 to 2007 all receipts, amounting to some £1.5 billion, deriving from the sale of land and buildings by MOD have been retained within the Defence budget.
Lords Hansard 18 Mar 2008
Tuesday 18 March 2008
Ministry of Defence: Contractors
Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether the Ministry of Defence has rejected, on the basis of excessive mark-up, any charges made by BAE Systems in respect of land system components supplied by sub-contractors; and if so, what penalties were imposed on BAE Systems.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): The mark-up that BAE Systems adds to sub-contractors costs is pre-agreed with the MoD. The MoD goes directly to sub-contractors to avoid paying these mark-up costs if it judges that this procurement strategy offers best overall value-for-money. If MoD chooses to source directly from sub-contractors no penalties are imposed on BAE Systems.
Ministry of Defence: Headley Court
Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty’s Government: When the review being undertaken by the Ministry of Defence into the facilities at Headley Court will be completed; and whether the results of the review will be published in full.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): The outcome of this review and its availability was raised in the House of Commons Defence Select Committee report Medical Care for the Armed Forces published on 18 February. I can confirm that we are in the process of reviewing what our future requirements for rehabilitation are likely to be. This involves not only the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) at Headley Court, but also our regional rehabilitation units (RRUs). We expect the review to be completed shortly. The Government are currently considering the House of Commons Defence Select Committee’s report and intend to publish their formal response to the Committee within two months.