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20 Mar 08. US commitment to NATO ‘at risk’. US commitment to Nato risks being undermined because some European nations are unwilling to deploy more troops in Afghanistan, MPs have warned. The Commons Defence Committee said there was a lack of political will among European governments. In a report on the alliance’s future, it said failure in Afghanistan would deal a severe blow to allied unity. The committee urged NATO leaders to send more troops and with less caveats when they meet in Bucharest next month. (Source: BBC)

Commons Hansard 19 Mar 2008

Type 45 Destroyers

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what increases there have been in the planned capability of Type 45 destroyers since the stating of an intention to order (a) up to 12 and (b) eight such vessels. [193139]
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Type 45 Air Defence destroyer is planned to operate with the Co-operative Engagement Capability system which greatly enhances the ship’s maritime air defence capability. In the light of this improved networked capability, reduced conventional threat and our revised concurrency assumptions, we assessed that we would need fewer of these platforms.

Commons Hansard 20 Mar 2008

Departmental Computers

Mr. Heath: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his Department’s policy is on turning off computers (a) at the end of each work day and (b) at weekends; what the policy is for Sea King integrated project team employees at Sherborne, Dorset; and if he will make a statement. [193504]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The current policy applied may vary dependant on the particular computer system employed at any given location, and the local security operating procedures (SyOps) that will also apply. The ongoing migration to the Defence Information Infrastructure (Future) system will bring about a common policy requiring a workstation which is to be left unattended for a prolonged period of time, and in particular if it is to be left overnight or out of normal operating hours, to be logged off and powered down. It will however need to be left connected to the mains power supply so that software upgrades can be carried out remotely and automatically over the network during quiet hours. The Sea King IPT currently operates on the Equipment Air Support Network which requires users to undertake shutdown and restart at the end of each working day, thereby leaving computers powered on so that software upgrades can be carried out at any time.
Iraq: Detainees

Commons Hansard 25 Mar 2008

BAE Systems

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether her Department has responded formally to the US Department of Justice request for mutual legal assistance with regard to BAE Systems. [193923]
Meg Hillier: I refer the hon. Member to previous answers provided on this matter. I can confirm that the Home Office received a request for assistance from the USA in respect of corruption allegations concerning BAE Systems. The request is being dealt with in accordance with the bi-lateral treaty on mutual legal assistance between the UK and the USA. It would be inappropriate to comment further.

Lords Hansard 25 Mar 2008

Written Statements

Royal Navy: Surface Warship Maintenance

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor
of Bolton): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Defence (Des
Browne) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The House will wish to be aware of an update to the alternative contracting arrangements for surface warship maintenance and repair. These arrangements were signalled as part of the wider defence industrial strategy and today’s announcement is an important step towards ensuring that the capability requirements of the Royal Navy continue to be met now and in the future.

In 2004, the Ministry of Defence (MoD), in consultation with industry, launched a study (th

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