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PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS

House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for Thursday 14 March 2013

Armed Forces

Penny Mordaunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the average annual cost, excluding deployment in operations of (a) Reaction Force Brigade and (b) Adaptable Force Brigade. [147864]

Mr Robathan: The future cost of a Reaction Force Brigade and an Adaptable Force Brigade will depend on the size, role and manpower mix of the units within each Brigade. Costs will be made up of a number of different elements including personnel, training, infrastructure, and equipment. Cost assessments will continue to develop as these Brigades are established over the next few years.

Buildings

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he is taking to sell his Department’s headquarters in Whitehall and move to cheaper premises in outer London. [147363]

Mr Francois: As part of the Ministry of Defence (MOD) rebasing programme, all potential options to make cost savings have been investigated, including looking at the MOD buildings in Whitehall. The MOD intends to vacate the Old War Office during financial year 2014-15 and the Government is currently examining options to re-use the building.

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the most recent valuation is of his Department’s headquarters in Whitehall. [147364]

Mr Francois: The market value of Ministry of Defence (MOD) property is normally only assessed when it comes up for disposal. No such assessment has been made of MOD Main Building as it continues to be a core site.
As part of the MOD’s quinquennial Asset Valuation programme, in November 2008 the net replacement cost of Main Building and the land it stands on was valued at £209.4 million and £63 million respectively. The land value was reassessed in January 2012 at £61.3 million.

Cybercrime

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department is taking to increase cyber defence capabilities. [148070]

Mr Robathan: As we set out in the strategic defence and security review, we attach a high priority to the cyber-defence of our systems.
We are taking steps to ensure our cyber defences can match the developing threat. As part of this we are investing in the Global Operations and Security Centre (GOSCC) at Corsham, which acts as our 24/7 defensive monitoring and management facility for cyber. The House of Commons Defence Committee recently recognised the GOSCC as a centre of excellence for good practice across Government. We are also working with our key industry partners to improve the cyber security of our supply chains.
Under the Defence Cyber Security Programme we are raising the cyber awareness of Ministry of Defence civilian and armed forces personnel, as well as improving the ways in which we train and manage our key cyber professionals. I cannot comment further on the detail of the measures we take to protect our systems since to do so would risk compromising national security.

Future Large Aircraft

Mr Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he has varied the original specifications required by his Department for purchase of the A400M aircraft. [147574]

Mr Dunne: The original requirement for the A400M aircraft, which was set at the time of the original programme approval in May 2000, has not changed.

Mr Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what studies have been conducted by his Department into the need for air to air refuelling capability by the A400M aircraft. [147575]

Mr Dunne: The Ministry of Defence has recently refreshed its study into Defence’s requirements for air-to-air refuelling capability. This concluded that Voyager will meet all requirements; therefore, there is no need for an air-to-air refuelling capability by the A400M Atlas.

House of Lords Written Answers for Tuesday 12 March 2013

Armed Forces: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Asked by Baron

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