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House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 18 Mar 2011

Commando Helicopter Force

Mr David Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what he expects the complement of the Commando Helicopter Force to be in each of the next five years;
(2) what assessment he has made of the long-term viability of the Commando Helicopter Force; and if he will make a statement. [47144]

Peter Luff: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Minister for the Armed Forces, my hon. Friend the Member for North Devon (Nick Harvey) on 3 March 2011, Official Report, column 564W, to the right hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr Laws). As part of the Future Force 2020, the Strategic Defence and Security Review endorsed the Commando Helicopter Force as a key component of Littoral Manoeuvre Tailored Air Group and confirmed its requirement. In addition to Littoral Manoeuvre, the force supports Maritime Counter Terrorism and Land Operations. To ensure the longer term viability of the Commando Helicopter Force, it is intended to transfer the Royal Air Force Merlin helicopters Mk3/3a to the Royal Navy and to undertake a ship optimisation program to MK4/4a in order to provide embarked medium lift capability for Littoral Manoeuvre. The Commando Helicopter Force will also receive a small number of Battlefield Wildcat (Army) helicopters to replace the Lynx Mk7/9a.

Defence: Procurement

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which procurement projects engaged upon by (a) his Department and (b) each non-departmental public body and agency for which he is responsible had a designated senior responsible owner in the latest period for which figures are available; and on what date each officer was appointed in each such case.

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many senior responsible owners have been designated within his Department; and to which project each is assigned.

Peter Luff [holding answer 14 March 2011]: Senior responsible owners (SROs) for the Ministry of Defence’s (MOD)’s most significant business change and military capability programmes are formally appointed and are responsible to the Defence Board as their Sponsoring Group. These designated SROs are personally appointed by MOD’s Permanent Under-Secretary. A table detailing the appointments made since this policy was introduced in 2005 has been placed in the Library of the House. The policy does not distinguish between the MOD and its agencies, and has not been applied to its trading funds or non-departmental public bodies. The table shows appointments for both military capability and business change programmes and projects, the majority of which include procurement elements (for example, the procurement of information systems or building works in the case of business change programmes).

Harrier Aircraft: Redundancy

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether any pilots have been made redundant as a result of the deletion of the Harrier fleet.

Mr Robathan: No.

Military Aircraft

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many AWACS aircraft are declared ready for operations; and at what level of readiness such aircraft are held;
(2) how many Typhoon squadrons are declared ready for operations; and at what level of readiness such aircraft are held. [47755]

Nick Harvey: There are currently three operationally declared Typhoon squadrons and one flight. There are six AWACS aircraft declared for operations. I am withholding information on the level of readiness as its release would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability and effectiveness of the armed forces.

RAF Leuchars

Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 28 February 2011, Official Report, column 70W, on the Air Force: military bases, what the cost to the public purse was of the work at RAF Leuchars classified as redevelopment.

Peter Luff: Th

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