House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 16 Mar 2011
Air Force: Military Bases
Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library each item of correspondence his Department has received from HM Treasury in respect of its RAF basing review. 
Nick Harvey: The analysis of the Ministry of Defence (MOD)’s estates and basing requirements goes far beyond a “RAF basing review”. The MOD is currently undertaking a comprehensive review of the estates and basing implications of the conclusions of the Strategic Defence and Security Review and the comprehensive spending review. This does include the consequences of the changes to the RAF’s force structure, but also includes the basing, accommodation and training requirements in the UK of units returning from Germany; changes to the structure of the Army; reductions in the overall numbers of service personnel and MOD civil servants; and the requirement to achieve efficiencies from better use of the Defence estate. As a matter of routine business this work is being undertaken with the involvement of officials from HM Treasury, but it would not be appropriate to place correspondence from Treasury officials on the policy making process in the Library of the House.
Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a copy of each item of correspondence his Department received from hon. Members in respect of its RAF basing review. 
Nick Harvey: Correspondence between hon. Members and Ministers is not normally disclosed in order to protect confidentiality.
Air Force: Redundancy
Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many trainee pilots on courses of study leading to qualifications for flying Harrier aircraft have been made redundant to date under his Department’s recent redundancy programme.
Nick Harvey: None.
Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the operational life is of the (a) L16, (b) L17 and (c) L18 propellant charges used for kinetic energy penetrator ammunition; 
(2) whether his Department plans to (a) replace or (b) extend the life of the propellant charge used in kinetic energy penetrator ammunition. 
Peter Luff: The life of L16, L17 and L18 propellant charges in kinetic energy penetrator ammunition depends on whether the ammunition has been issued to operational (deployed) units or whether it is held in conditioned storage. In the case of deployed ammunition, the life of the charges is normally six months; for ammunition in conditioned storage this varies from between five and 10 years. The life of the propellant charges used in kinetic energy penetrator ammunition is extended provided it is shown to be safe and suitable for continued service. This is demonstrated through a rigorous in-service surveillance programme. While there are currently no plans to replace the propellant charge used in kinetic energy penetrator ammunition, we do investigate options to replace existing charge systems when the current in-service systems can no longer be supported.
Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what assessment he has made of the suitability of Bay-class landing ship docks for humanitarian assistance duties;
(2) what estimate he has made of the average lifespan of a Bay-class landing ship dock;
(3) what assessment he has made of the suitability of Bay-class landing ship docks for undertaking the duties of Atlantic Patrol Ship (North);
(4) what assessment he has made of the suitability of (a) RFA Fort George and
(b) RFA Largs Bay for counter-piracy operations.
Nick Harvey: The Royal Navy has a range of vessels that are used to carry out humanitarian assistance, Atlantic patrol and counter-piracy operations. The standard service life of Bay Class Landing Ship Dock Auxiliary (LSDA) is 25 years as articulated