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PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS

14 Feb 12. Defence Committee. The Defence Committee will be publishing a report on Developing Threats: Electro-Magnetic Pulses (EMP) at 00.01 am (BST) on Wednesday 22 February 2012. This will be the Committee’s Tenth Report of Session 2010–12 (HC 1552). The report will be made available on the Committee’s website, www.parliament.uk/defcom, on Wednesday 22 February and copies may be purchased from the Parliamentary Bookshop (12 Bridge Street, Westminster, London, SW1A 2JX) on the day of release.

House of Lords Written Answers for Tuesday 14 February 2012

Armed Forces: Aircraft

Question

Asked by Lord West of Spithead
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they are taking to engage ex-maritime patrol aircraft aircrew and analysts in the Royal Navy’s anti-submarine warfare force.[HL15261]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): While there are currently a number of gaps for both Merlin observers and aircrew, within the Royal Navy Merlin anti-submarine warfare (ASW) force, the training pipeline is full and will remain so until completion of the conversion to Merlin Mk2 in April 2013. Where there are Royal Air Force ASW aircrew currently serving within the Royal Navy ASW Merlin force then, where possible, they will either continue to be engaged or, if wishing to do so, will be considered for transfer to the Royal Navy. There are currently no wider plans to engage ex-maritime patrol aircraft aircrew in the Royal Navy’s ASW force. The Royal Air Force has also embarked on the Seedcorn initiative whereby their qualified aircrew conduct one-way exchanges with a variety of Commonwealth and allied forces. This initiative is aimed at sustaining the Ministry of Defence’s ability to operate high-end fixed-wing maritime patrol aircraft, whilst maintaining the highly perishable specialist skill-sets of its personnel. The Royal Air Force has also deployed maritime-experienced aircrew to other Royal Air Force aircraft types where their generic intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance skills can be exploited.

House of Lords Written Answers for Friday 10 February 2012

Question

Asked by Lord West of Spithead

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether it is their intention that the United Kingdom’s anti-submarine warfare, particularly passive anti-submarine warfare, techniques and training, should be based on nuclear attack submarines, Merlin helicopters and towed array frigate force.[HL15260]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The United Kingdom’s anti-submarine warfare protection doctrine is designed to counter the threat faced in both deep water and littoral scenarios through the provision of a layered approach to detecting and defending against potential and actual threats. This is based on the utilisation of a range of assets, including nuclear attack submarines, Merlin helicopters and a towed array frigate force.

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