13 Oct 11. Middle East: Foreign Secretary’s Statement. The Foreign Secretary delivered (13 Oct 11) a Statement to the House of Commons on The Middle East and North Africa. In Libya, the Foreign Secretary noted that British aeroplanes and attack helicopters have flown some 3,000 sorties and damaged or destroyed about 1,000 former regime targets.
The Foreign Secretary went on to cover events in Syria, Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Jordan and Israel/Palestine. In conclusion: “The Arab Spring has brought conflict and uncertainty,
but it undoubtedly has the potential to bring about the greatest single advance in human freedom since the end of the Cold War.”.
Comment: The Foreign Secretary’s Statement is an excellent round-up of events in the Middle East and the UK’s official position. The speech is, of course, recorded in Hansard. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 11/40, 17 Oct 11)
House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 17 Oct 2011
Armoured Fighting Vehicles
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the preferred bidder for the Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme will be announced.
Peter Luff: An announcement concerning the main investment decision for the Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme will be made shortly.
Astute Class Submarines
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his most recent estimate is of the (a) completion date and (b) cost to the public purse of the Valiant Jetty programme. 
Peter Luff: The latest forecast completion date for the Valiant Jetty project is September 2012, which puts the in-service date out to December 2012. This is nearly four years after the contracted completion date of October 2008. The current contractual maximum price of the project is £134 million. However, the contractor, AMEC, is forecasting an out-turn of around £92 million over this figure. Under the terms of the contract AMEC is responsible for the first £50 million of this cost overrun. The Ministry of Defence may be liable for a proportion of any cost overrun beyond £50 million over the maximum price, but only insofar as AMEC is able to show that the additional costs in question have been reasonably and properly incurred.
Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of invoices from suppliers his Department paid within 10 days of receipt in July and August 2010. 
Peter Luff: The percentage of UK supplier invoices paid by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) within 10 working days for July 2010 was 98.9%, and for August 2010 was 98.7%. These invoices were for UK suppliers only. Information for overseas suppliers is not held in the format requested. The MOD now reports percentage of invoices paid within five working days. The requirement for the Department to report percentage of invoices paid within 10 working days was changed in May 2010. The percentage of UK supplier invoices paid within five working days for July 2010 was 95.7% and for August was 96.8%. The monthly MOD prompt payment statistics can be found on the following website: http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/AboutDefence/What
European Fighter Aircraft
Graham Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what discussions (a) he and (b) his officials have had with their counterparts in (i) HM Treasury and (ii) the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on a slow-down in orders for tranche 3A of the Eurofighter; and when such discussions took place; (2) what discussions (a) he and (b) his officials have had with BAe systems on a slow-down in orders for tranche 3A of the Eurofighter; and when such discussions took place; (3) what discussions (a) he and (b) his have had with their counterparts from
partner core nations on a slow-down in tranche 3A of the Eurofighter; and when such discussions took pla