04 Mar 10. Equipment: Defence Committee Report. The Defence Committee published (4 Mar 10) a Report on Defence Equipment 2010. The main sections of the Report cover: DE&S (Defence Equipment & Support) Progress and Performance; Funding of Defence Equipment & Support and Procurement Reform. Key programmes examined in detail include: Examination of the Equipment Programme; Future Rapid Effect System (FRES); A400M; Future Carrier and Joint Strike Fighter; Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability (MARS); Type 45 Destroyer and Helicopters. The Committee concludes that: “The MoD is spending hundreds of millions of pounds a year on unproductive activities because it has commissioned more work than it can afford to pay for.”.
Comment: When it comes to money, parts of the Report read as though extracted from ‘Alice in Wonderland’. Para 54 et seq reveals that the MoD claimed to have reduced the equipment funding gap in 2009 from £21,000m to £6,000m. However, MoD representatives were unable to explain this extraordinary arithmetic.
Mar 10. Defence Committee: Work in Progress. The Committee has finished taking oral evidence for its forthcoming Report on Afghanistan. Two of the Committee’s Reports are in preparation: The Comprehensive Approach and The Contribution of ISTAR to Operations. (ISTAR: Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition & Reconnaissance.) There will be no further Reports until after the next Government has been elected. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/10, 08 Mar 09)
House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 10 Mar 2010
Armed Forces: Parachuting
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when his Department plans to award the Main Stores Parachuting contract. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: We do not recognise this contract description. However, we are currently evaluating tenders received for the award of a medium weight air drop parachute delivery system development contract. It is too early to state when a production contract may be awarded.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he has had recent discussions with his US counterpart on the development of a parachute delivery
Mr. Quentin Davies: The Secretary of State for Defence has not had any recent discussions with his US counterpart on the development of a parachute delivery system. However, at the working level, information is frequently shared with US counterparts.
Armoured Fighting Vehicles
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many armoured vehicles of each type in each armed service were (a) in service and (b) available for operations on the latest date for which figures are available. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: I am withholding information on the numbers of vehicles available as its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces. The number of armoured vehicles of each type in service is shown in the following table:
Vehicle Total number in service
Challenger 2 345
(Mk 2 and Bulldog) 1,487
(all variants) 577
House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 09 Mar 2010
Mr. Cameron: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what long-range maritime cover will be in place following the withdrawal of the Nimrod Mk2s in April 2010 prior to the introduction of the Nimrod Mk4s in 2012. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: I refer the hon. Member to the answer the Minister for the Armed Forces, my hon. Friend the Member for Harlow (Bill Rammel