07 Jul 09. Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD): Debate. The House of Commons considered Ballistic Missile Defence during a debate (7 Jul 09) secured by Mr P Kilfoyle MP, a former Defence Minister. In his reply, the Armed Forces’ Minister denied that US proposals to place 10 ballistic missile interceptors in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic are aimed at reducing the effectiveness of Russia’s strategic missile forces.
Comment: A record of the debate can be found in Hansard (7 Jul 09), starting at Column 246 WH. On
25 Mar 09 the then Defence Secretary said that the Government saw BMD as “an important defensive capability”. Currently the UK provides missile early warning information from the radar at RAF Fylingdales for the US missile defence system and allows the US to route data via a satellite downlink at RAF Menwith Hill.
10 Jul 09. Russia: Defence Committee Report. The Defence Committee published (10 Jul 09) a Report on Russia: a new confrontation? The Report
concludes that “Russia does not currently pose a direct threat to UK homeland security, nor is likely to do so in the near future”. Relations between Russia and the West are complex and “characterised by mutual dependency”. The Report considers: NATO’s engagement with Russia; the Georgia conflict; energy security and global security matters.
Comment: The 265-page Report is published with the supporting oral andwritten evidence and is available from TSO and The Parliamentary Bookshop, as HC 276, for £24:50.
Jul 09. Parliament: Summer Recess. Both Houses rise on Tue 21 Jul and are due to return on Mon 12 Oct 09.Tours of Parliament are due to take place from Mon 3 Aug to Sat 3 Oct 09, with tickets available through Ticket Master (www.ticketmaster.co.uk).
House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 14 July 2009
Armoured Fighting Vehicles
Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what (a) type and (b) level of mine resistance tests the Navistar Defence Husky vehicle tactical support has been subjected; and if he will publish the results. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: Husky has successfully passed stringent mine blast
protection tests. I cannot, however, comment on the specific types and levels of mine resistant tests, as disclosure could prejudice the security of the armed forces.
Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 2 July 2009, Official Report, column 374W, on armoured fighting vehicles, what roles the 334 Panther vehicles not upgraded for deployment in Afghanistan will have. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: The Panther vehicles that have not been upgraded for
deployment in Afghanistan will be used for pre-deployment training, individual and collective training, and trials and development.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether the proposed terms of business agreement between his Department and BVT Shipyards includes provision for rationalisation of BVT facilities during its lifetime; (2) what recent discussions he has had with BVT Shipyards on redundancies arising from shipyard rationalisation; and if he will make a statement; (3) what discussions he has had with BVT Shipyards on their plans for shipyard rationalisation. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: As stated in the 2005 Defence Industrial Strategy (DIS, Cmnd 6697), MOD is committed to sustaining key sovereign capabilities, particularly in high end design, systems engineering and combat systems integration, to support the needs of the Royal Navy today and well into the future. As well as securing future capability, the DIS also signalled the need for a sensible balance between supply and demand over time. MOD is working with industry to make best use of taxpayers’ money in seeking opportunities for rationalisation and the delivery of efficiencies wherever possible. As part of ongoing commercial negotiations on a 15-year Terms of Business Agreement w