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PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS

PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS FROM PS2 THE LEADING U.K. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS COMPANY
Contact: ps2@btinternet.com

DEFENCE
Afghanistan
Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what programme of activities is planned for the British Provincial Reconstruction Team in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. [120047]
Mr. Ingram: The UK-led Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) is due to deploy to Mazar-e Sharif next month when it will begin its tasks of spreading the influence of the Afghan Transitional Authority, stimulating Security Sector Reform (SSR) and facilitating reconstruction. These aims will be achieved through liaison with local leaders, monitoring and assessment of local conditions and progress with SSR. The PRT will engage closely with Non-Governmental Organizations and international agencies.
Armoured Battlefield Support Vehicles
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the number of vehicles to be procured under the (a) FRES, (b) FCLV, (c) Warrior MLI and (d) Armoured Battlefield Support Vehicle programmes. [119494]
Mr. Ingram: No decisions have yet been made regarding the quantities of vehicles that might be acquired under any of these programmes. These determinations are normally made as part of the main investment approval for a project.
Army Uniforms
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many hats available to the Guards Regiment have been made from real fur; from which animals they have been derived; and how many animals he estimates would have been killed to provide the fur used. [117835]
Mr. Ingram: The only hat available to the Guards Regiments made from real fur is the ceremonial bearskin cap, which is made from the fur of the Black Bear. The Regiment currently holds 2,258 of these caps. It is not possible to accurately estimate the number of pelts used, as the number required for each cap varies; one bear pelt can make on average between one and two caps. A total of 1,396 caps have been procured over the last 10 years (1993 to 2002). Since 2001, a refurbishment programme has been in place designed to ensure that we reduce the requirement for new caps to a minimum. A total of 329 caps have been refurbished since this programme began.

C130K Fleet
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the estimated run on costs are for the (a) C130K and (b) C17 aircraft; and what additional structural work will be needed on the C130K fleet to keep the aircraft operational until their out of service date. [117498]
Mr. Ingram: The cost of maintaining the C130K fleet is estimated at around £30 million per year (covering maintenance and support, but not the cost of aircrew, fuel, etc.). Based on current plans, it is expected that these aircraft will be withdrawn from service around the end of this decade. To ensure that the fleet remains operational up to this point, it is expected that modifications will be required on most of the fleet to maintain structural integrity of the aircraft. A more substantial work package, including outer wing replacement, may be required for several C130K aircraft that have undertaken more demanding flying tasks during recent operations.
We currently operate four C-17 aircraft obtained under lease until 2008. If we exercise the option to extend the lease on all four to 2010, the additional costs are estimated at around £130 million in total. This sum includes the cost of the lease extension and in-service costs for the two-year period 2008-10.
Defence Contracts
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the (a) date of initial gate approval, (b) target date for main gate approval, (c) approved cost of the assessment phase and (d) cost of demonstration and manufacture phase at initial gate are for the (i) Future Joint Combat Aircraft, (ii) Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft, (iii) in Transit Visibility, (iv) Indirect Fire Precision Attack, (v) Inner L

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