29 Jan 09. Personnel: House of Commons Debate. The House of Commons debated (29 Jan 09) Armed Forces Personnel. The Debate was opened by the Armed Forces’ Minister and summed-up by the Junior Defence Minister.
Comment: The Debate is recorded in Hansard, starting at Column 501. The Junior Defence Minister expressed his anger (Column 546) that the BBC had released a story about the number of foreign citizens serving in the Army before an official announcement had been made. As it is, a Statement is expected to be made to Parliament in the near future. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/06, 02 Feb 09)
Lords Hansard text for 3 Feb 2009
Armed Forces: Aircraft
Asked by Lord Jones: To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many A400M heavy lift aircraft they have ordered; and at what estimated cost. [HL709]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor
of Bolton): The UK has ordered 25 A400M aircraft. The estimated cost is £2,632
million as reported in the Major Projects Report 2008. This figure includes
development, production and some training and initial support costs.
Armed Forces: Helicopters
Asked by Lord Astor of Hever: To ask Her Majesty’s Government which agency or agencies within the Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defence are responsible for holding spare parts for helicopters; and what steps they are taking to ensure that spares are held and recorded by a process which allows access to the right spares at the right time. [HL892]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): Spares holdings are held in industry, in MoD depots, at main operating bases and in forward and deployed locations. Routine logistics processes throughout the spares supply chain ensure that the holding arrangements are constantly reviewed and optimised. All spares holdings are subject to formal processes to ensure they can be accounted for at all times.
The optimum level of spares holdings is determined in conjunction with industry and is periodically refined based on information drawn from actual operating experience. The optimum numbers and locations for spares holdings vary with the nature of operations and are therefore subject to change.
House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 03 Feb 2009
Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of
Merlin helicopters have been fit for service in each year since 2003. 
Mr. Quentin Davies [holding answer 2 February 2009]: I will write to the hon.
Member with the information requested.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department
receives information on the work and research of the US Joint Improvised
Explosive Device Defeat Organisation; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: The MOD regularly exchanges information on work and research
with its allies to the mutual benefit of all parties. As part of continuing
successful coalition operations, MOD discusses such topics with the US.
Unmanned Air Vehicles
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many non-UK owned
or operated unmanned aerial vehicles transited through UK airspace in 2008.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: There were no non-UK owned or operated unmanned aerial
vehicle transits through UK airspace in 2008.
House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 02 Feb 2009
Iraq: Peacekeeping Operations
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what factors he will take
into account when making decisions on the number of troops to be deployed in
Mr. Hutton: As the Prime Minister set out on 18 December 2008, Official Report,
columns 1233-1235, we will complete our remaining military tasks in Iraq by 31
May 2009 and move to a normal bilateral defence relationship. As p