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PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS

House of Lords Written Answers for Thursday 22 March 2012

Asked by Lord Marlesford: To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many former members of HM Forces have outstanding legal claims as a result of the effects of the 1958 Christmas Islands nuclear tests; how many such cases have been settled; and what sums were involved. [HL16326]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: The nuclear test veterans’ legal action consists of 1,011 cases from the 1950-60s, 10 of which were selected as lead cases to be tried on the preliminary issue of limitation.
On 14 March 2012, the Supreme Court ruled, on a majority decision, in all respects save one case that the lead cases are statute barred and declined to allow the claims to proceed; the Ministry of Defence did not appeal one of the 10 lead cases. In handing down judgment, all seven justices hearing the cases recognised that the veterans would face great difficulty proving a causal link between illnesses suffered and attendance at the tests. The claims were described as having no reasonable prospect of success and doomed to fail. It remains to be seen whether the veterans’ legal representatives attempt to further pursue any of these claims. None of the cases has been subject to financial settlement.

House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for Thursday 22 March 2012

Afghanistan: Military Aid

Mr Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Afghan (a) police and (b) soldiers NATO forces have trained. [100261]

Nick Harvey: Since the NATO Training Mission—Afghanistan (the organisation responsible for training the Afghan National Security Forces) was established in 2009, the size of the Afghan National Police and the Afghan National Army has grown by 50,000 and 87,000 respectively. These have all been trained by NATO.
These figures do not account for those either currently being trained or those subsequently lost through attrition. The Afghan National Security Forces currently stand at 145,000 Afghan National Police and 184,000 in the Afghan National Army and are on track to reach their combined target force of 352,000 by October 2012.

Mr Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how long it has taken to train (a) an Afghan soldier for policing duties and (b) an Afghan policeman in the latest period for which information is available. [100262]

Nick Harvey: The Afghan National Army do not conduct policing duties—these are carried out by the Afghan National Police. However, phase one Basic Warrior Training for soldiers joining the Afghan National Army takes nine weeks. If a soldier is not already literate, this is accompanied by a further eight weeks of literacy training. On completion of phase one training a soldier will then complete additional training with his unit before being deployed. The length of this is not pre-defined and will depend on various circumstances.
The Afghan National Police initial police training course lasts for eight weeks. There are then a range of subsequent courses which members of the Afghan National Police can complete depending on specialism and career progression.

Aircraft Carriers

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the potential cost to the public purse of fitting the Queen Elizabeth Class carrier with the US Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System. [101181]

Peter Luff: I am withholding the information as its disclosure would prejudice commercial interests.

Early Warning Systems

Sheryll Murray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assets his Department plans to deploy in an Airborne Early Warning capacity in the next decade. [100666]

Nick Harvey: Sentry is the UK’s land-based, fixed-wing, Airborne Early Warning (AEW) and Control platform which, with a crew of 18 and long endurance of up to 18 hours, can conduct long range surveillance, detection and interception of air contacts. Sentry forms part of the UK’s contribution to NATO; the six UK aircraft ge

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