20 Apr 09. Procurement: House of Commons Debate. The House of Commons debated Defence Procurement (20 Apr 09). The Armed Forces’ Minister opened the Debate and the Defence Equipment Minister summed-up: their observations are summarised at page 3.
Comment: In the words of the Defence Equipment Minister, the House “had an interesting Debate, with a lot of extremely well-informed contributions. A certain amount of egregious nonsense has been spoken as well….”.(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/17, 27 Apr 09)
DEFENCE PROCUREMENT DEBATE 20 APR 09:
1. A better fit of body armour is expected to be in [Afghanistan] by Summer. (Columns 39/40.)
2.Further improvements are being made to the Infantryman’s helmet. (Column 40.)
3. There are now 200 Jackal [vehicles] in service and the new improved Jackal 2 is due to be delivered later this year. (Column 40.)
4. a. Mastiff continues to prove its worth…..and deliveries of the enhanced Mastiff 2 began in late 2008, bringing the available Mastiff fleet to more than 280.
b. Ridgeback…..is expected to start arriving [in Afghanistan] later this month.
c.The first batch of the Panther command and liaison vehicle has arrived [in Afghanistan]. (Column 41.)
5. The 12 Lynx Mk 9 helicopters which are being upgraded with new engines are expected to be deployed to Afghanistan in 2010. (Column 42.)
6. It is hoped to get to ‘initial gate’ with the FRES Scout vehicle within the next 10 months. (Future Rapid Effect System – Column 42.)
7. Ministers are to make an announcement of the MoD’s intentions to buy Tranche 3 [of Typhoon] as soon as they can and they “will try to keep the House informed”. (Column 44.)
8. Ministers have not yet taken a decision about numbers for the Future Surface Combatant. (Column 47.)
9. Industry is not calling for a new DIS at the moment. (Defence Industrial Strategy – Column 116.)
10. The UOR spend will be well over £1,000m in this financial year. (Urgent Operational Requirement/s – Column 116.)
11. A minimum of five years’ notice will always be given for any changes in [Naval] base porting. (Column 117.)
12. It is hoped to have a FRES utility vehicle in service within a decade. (Column 118.)
13. It is hoped that the MoD will be able to go out to competition for the Warrior (armoured vehicle) upgrade in a few months’ time. (Column 118.)
14. a. As well as the Lynx being deployed in Summer 2010 (para 5 above), Merlin helicopters from Iraq are to be deployed to Afghanistan later this year.
b. The Mark 3 Chinook will be available for Operational deployment within the next few months. (Column 120.) (Source: The column references are to HoC Hansard for 20 Apr 09.) (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/17, 27 Apr 09)