14 Mar 12. NEW INQUIRY: Defence Acquisition. The Defence Committee announced a major new inquiry into Defence Acquisition. The Committee will consider whether the White Paper National Security through Technology will assist the UK in responding to the threats it may realistically be expected to face. The Committee specifically aims to address the following issues:
* The interaction between and mutual compatibility of the Gray and Levene reforms, and the extent to which the reforms are achievable in the light of the current and foreseeable restrictions on resources, including personnel, and the need for MoD Head Office and Defence Equipment and Support to continue to perform their primary functions
* How the requirements of national defence and security and the required capabilities are determined; how decisions are taken between alternative solutions and on whether and when projects should be initiated; how the balance of needs and resources is allocated between different services and commands; how the provision of support to the required capabilities in integrated into the acquisition; oversight of equipment budget; and the MoD’s relationship with industry.
* The procurement processes used; relationship between principles of open competition and technological advantage; input from industry (including SMEs) and from the end military user; making the chosen acquisition strategy work; recruitment, training and retention of skilled personnel at both customer and procurement roles at all levels; transparency and accessibility of the processes; monitoring and control of projects.
* Maintenance of the UK military industrial base; the provision of UK research and development by both MoD and industry; how far the White Paper provides clarity for industry; support for exports and the extent to which the principle of off-the-shelf procurement is compatible with this; how lessons have been learned from past successes and failures including in the acquisition of Urgent Operational Requirements; and the implications of bi- and multi-lateral procurement. The Committee would welcome written evidence to this inquiry. This should be sent to the Clerk of the Defence Committee by Wednesday 4 April 2012.
House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for Tuesday 13 March 2012
Mr Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress he has made with the Article 36 legal review of CHARM3; and if he will make a statement. 
Nick Harvey: The review is close to completion and will report to MOD Ministers shortly. The review conclusion will be published shortly.
House of Lords Written Answers for Monday 12 March 2012
Armed Forces: Aircraft
Asked by Lord West of Spithead: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Astor of Hever on 27 February (WA 192-3), whether a list of enhancements required to allow the deployment of Tornado aircraft in place of Harriers to Kandahar was ever produced, or whether Tornadoes were deployed to Kandahar without any airfield modifications.[HL16069]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): We continually make infrastructure improvements to Kandahar airfield. It is not possible to isolate specific costs or modifications related solely to Tornado.
Armed Forces: Destroyers and Frigates
Asked by Lord West of Spithead: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether three destroyers and frigates are required to ensure that one destroyer and frigate can remain on a deployed task.[HL16036]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): Force generation factors are applied when planning the frigate and destroyer force structure and these take into account the nature, location and duration of tasks and commitments. I am withholding further information as its release would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness and security of our Armed