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PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS

04 Apr 11. Redundancies: Dates and Numbers. Armed Forces Redundancies were debated in the House of Commons on 4 Apr 11, to coincide with details of the redundancy programmes for the Royal Navy and the Army (such details for the RAF having been released on 1 Mar 11). As already announced, the number of military personnel is to be reduced by 17,000 (5,000 RN/RM, 7,000 Army & 5,000 RAF). The first of up to four tranches (or batches) of individuals selected for redundancy are to be informed on 1 Sep 11 (Army & RAF) or 30 Sep 11 (RN/RM). Volunteers will then serve six months’ notice before leaving the Armed Forces while those who have not volunteered for redundancy will serve 12 months’ notice. The Personnel Minister said (5 Apr 11) that the MoD had launched a voluntary early release scheme for Civil Servants on 28 Feb 11, with a target of releasing 4,000 staff by 31 Mar 12. The total number of applications received by the closing date was 13,832.
Comment: Only the MoD could introduce a category of “volunteers for compulsory redundancy”. (‘Hansard’, 4 Apr 11, Column 748.) The ‘rush to the exit’ by MoD Civil Servants says a great deal about the state of morale within the MoD. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 11/15, 11 Apr 11)

04 Apr 11. Storm Shadow Missile: Costs. The Defence Equipment Minister said (4 Apr 11) that Storm Shadow provided precision strike against high value hardened targets such as command bunkers. The missile was contracted for in 1997 and is now held on the MoD balance sheet at a value of some £790,000 per missile, including the costs of producing an integrated weapon system. A further £160m was incurred in development costs.
Comment: Announcement of contract signature with Matra BAe Dynamics (now MBDA) for over £700m was made on 11 Feb 97. Storm Shadow met the MoD’s requirement for a Conventionally Armed Stand-Off Missile. The number of missiles covered by the contract has not been revealed, but is estimated at about 900. The MoD describes Storm Shadow as “one of the most advanced weapons of its kind in the world”.(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 11/15, 11 Apr 11)

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