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15 Sep 10. House of Commons: Military Debates. The House debated the Military Aviation Industry on 15 Sep 10. (Hansard, Column 971 et seq.) The Defence Equipment Minister responded to many of the points raised by Members. (Hansard, Column 993 et seq.)
The House debated the Strategic Defence and Security Review on 16 Sep 10. (Hansard, Column 1037 et seq.) The Armed Forces Minister replied to some 30 speeches from Members. (Hansard, Column 1121 et seq.)
Comment: In the Aviation debate, the Minister stressed the importance of advanced technologies such as unmanned air systems. There was also a clear statement on exporting: “we will support the drive for exports with an active and innovative programme of Defence Diplomacy and Ministers will play an important and personal role in that.”. The Minister was also clear “that the current Defence programme is unaffordable”.
The Minister in the SDSR debate was obviously constrained in what he could say, but he reiterated: “The Government will publish their findings from the SDSR later this Autumn, in co-ordination with the outcome of the cross-Governmental Spending Review.”. One of the better contributions to the debate came from Sir Menzies Campbell. (Hansard, Column 1060 et seq.)
(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/37, 27 Sep 10)

07 Sep 10. Nimrod MRA4 Aircraft: Cost. The Defence Equipment Minister said (7 Sep 10) that the procurement costs for the Nimrod MRA4 until
June 2010 are approximately £3,400m. Comment: The final Nimrod MR2 sortie was flown in March 2010. The replacement MRA4 fleet is expected to achieve initial operating capability in October 2012, eventually totalling nine aircraft. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/37, 27 Sep 10)

15 Sep 10. Compulsory Drug Testing (CDT): Dismissal from Service. The Personnel Minister said (15 Sep 10) that 732 Service personnel had been dismissed in 2009 for using illegal substances, a figure that was slightly down on the previous four years. The Minister reiterated that the misuse of drugs is “inconsistent with Service life”.
Comment: A random CDT programme was introduced in the Army in May 1995, in the RN/RM in April 1997 and in the RAF in November 1998. Service personnel of all ranks are liable to be tested “any time, any place, anywhere”. The level of positive results following CDT has been fairly consistent at around 0.5%.(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/37, 27 Sep 10)

House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 16 September 2010


BAE Systems

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland on what date he was informed that the Ministry of Defence had asked BAE Systems to consider the implications of reducing the number of aircraft carriers from two to one or zero. [15674]

Michael Moore: The Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) includes an examination of all major equipment and support contracts. The Government need to ensure the future programme is both coherent with future defence needs and affordable. I am in regular contact with colleagues on the progress of the SDSR.

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland on what date he met the Secretary of State for Defence to discuss the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers following the confirmation by BAE that it had been asked by the Ministry of Defence to consider the possibility of cancelling one or both ships.

Michael Moore: I have regular discussions with the Secretary of State for
Defence on all matters relating to the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), including the future of the Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carriers. I will continue to engage with both Cabinet colleagues and Scottish stakeholders throughout the SDSR process, in order to best represent the strategic and economic benefits that flow from Scotland’s defence installations and associated industries.

21 Sep 10. United States: Defence Trade Treaty. The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved (21 S

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