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19 Apr 12. Parliament: Defence Debates. The House of Commons conducted two Defence-related Debates during the past week. MoD Logistics(Bicester) was discussed on 18 Apr 12 and the Armed Forces Covenant on 19 Apr 12. The Defence Equipment Minister replied for Logistics and the Personnel Minister for the Covenant.
Comment: The Logistics Debate is likely to be of greater interest to the Defence community, not least because there have been suggestions of “a fraudulent operation”. Fraud aside, the Minister produced some interesting statistics. There are, for instance, 8,000 deliveries a day across the logistics operation while the book value of the inventory, excluding explosive stores, is about £29,000m representing 500,000 different line items. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 12/16, 23 Apr 12)
BATTLESPACE Comment: Sources close to BATTLESPACE suggest that DE&S has taken the knife to spares inventories and is adjusting more to a Just In Time process. This has caused many manufacturers to suffer huge drop in orders and could have been a contributing cause to the closure of the BAE Brough facility.

23 Apr 12. Public Accounts Committee (PAC): Additional Session. The PAC is to take evidence from the Permanent Under Secretary on Carrier strike at 0945hrs on 26 Apr 12 in Room 15 of the Palace of Westminster.
(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 12/16, 23 Apr 12)

House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for Thursday 19 April 2012

Aircraft Carriers

Mr Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the Apache helicopter stowing capability of (a) HMS Ocean and (b) HMS Illustrious is; and what the equivalent capability of HMS Queen Elizabeth will be. [100501]

Peter Luff [holding answer 19 March 2012]: HMS Ocean is capable of stowing six Apache aircraft on the flight deck and a further 14 in the hangar. HMS Illustrious is capable of stowing eight Apache aircraft on the flight deck and a further seven in the hangar. HMS Queen Elizabeth will be capable of stowing up to 20 Apache aircraft on the flight deck and approximately 20 in the hangar.

Armed Forces: Surveillance

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what surveillance capabilities are currently deployable by the armed forces; and what such capabilities will be deployable in 2015. [101188]

Peter Luff: ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance) capability provides decision-makers across Defence with situational awareness and understanding, and underpins force protection.
We have a range of deployable in-service capabilities. These include the Sea King Airborne Surveillance and Control (SKASaC) helicopter, the Sentry Airborne Early Warning (AEW) aircraft and the Sentinel ground surveillance system, all of which were used in Libya; SKASaC and Sentinel remain deployed in Afghanistan. Additionally, Reaper, Hermes 450 and Desert Hawk Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) procured as Urgent Operational Requirements (UORs), are in use over Afghanistan and the Merlin HM Mk1 is deployed to provide support to Oman to counter illicit activity in the maritime domain. Between now and 2015, Hermes 450 will be replaced incrementally by Watchkeeper and withdrawn from service. These plans are under consideration as part of the current planning round, as is the future of capabilities acquired as UORs once they are no longer required in Afghanistan. We are developing programmes to maintain our capabilities on Unmanned Aerial Systems, imagery intelligence, signals intelligence, airborne surveillance and base/force protection over the next decade. Owing to the sensitive nature of these programmes, many of the details remain classified. ISTAR is also moving into emerging areas such as cyberspace, supporting the pan-Government security agenda.

Armoured Fighting Vehicles

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans his Department has to bring all Mastiff, Ridgback and Foxhound vehicles back to the

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