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PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS

09 Feb 11. FORMAL CONSIDERATION: ARMED FORCES BILL. Following the last oral evidence session on the Armed Forces Bill, the Bill will be formally considered in the Public Committee Room on the following dates and times:
Thursday 10 February 2011
Committee Room 14, Palace of Westminster
2.10 pm
Tuesday 15 February 2011
Committee Room 14, Palace of Westminster
10.10 am
Tuesday 15 February 2011
Committee Room 14, Palace of Westminster
2.10 pm
Thursday 17 February 2011
Committee Room 14, Palace of Westminster
10.10 am

01 Feb 11. The Commonwealth: UK’s Role. Answering Parliamentary Questions (1 Feb 11), the Foreign Secretary said that he remained committed “to strengthening the UK’s relationship with the Commonwealth and ensuring that we are at the centre of plans to reinvigorate this unique organisation for the benefit of all its current and future members”.
Comment: The Commonwealth now includes 54 nations with 31% of the world’s population. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 11/06, 07 Feb 11)

House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 03 Feb 2011

Lynx Helicopters

Mr Carswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will review the terms under which the Future Lynx contract was awarded. [37183]

Peter Luff: There are currently no plans to review the terms under which the Future Lynx contract was awarded. The strategic defence and security review has confirmed that Lynx Wildcat continues to represent the best solution to deliver the combined requirement of both the Royal Navy and Army. However, as part of the Department’s wider contract re-negotiating strategy all major equipment procurements will be reviewed for possible savings measures.

Mr Charles Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what effect withdrawing RAF Nimrods will have on the armed forces’ ability to (a) detect and (b) track foreign military operations; and if he will make a statement. [38018]

Mr Robathan: The armed forces retain a number of assets capable of detecting and tracking foreign military operations. In view of the sensitive and classified nature of some of the military tasks for which the Nimrod MRA4 was theoretically designed, I cannot comment further on these capabilities.

Nuclear Weapons

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when preliminary discussions commenced with the French government on the scope of the treaty between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the French Republic relating to joint radiographic/hydrodynamics facilities; and which teams from (a) his Department and (b) the Atomic Weapons Establishment were involved in preparation of the treaty. [37493]

Peter Luff: Substantive discussions on the potential scope of a treaty between the UK and France for the construction and operation of joint radiographic facilities at Valduc, France and the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), commenced in July 2010. These followed preliminary discussions based on an earlier proposal made in January 2009. Within the Ministry of Defence these discussions were led by a multidisciplinary team including policy, technical and legal experts. Support from AWE was provided by the Directorate of Research and Applied Science.

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contracts (a) have been awarded and (b) are expected to be awarded for the inception, design and construction of Project Hydrus at the Atomic Weapons Establishment. [37495]

Peter Luff: Project Hydrus is part of the Nuclear Warhead Capability Sustainment Programme and is, therefore, incorporated in the management and operation contract between the Ministry of Defence and AWE Management Ltd. Work under this contract, in relation to Hydrus, includes the awarding of subcontracts by AWE plc for inception, design, site preparation and construction. I am withholding the details of these contracts as disclosure would prejudice commercial interests. The collaborative Anglo

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