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PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS

07 Feb 14. Select Committee Announcement. THE DEFENCE MATERIEL STRATEGY. Wednesday 12 February 2014, The Grimond Room, at 2.30 pm.
Witnesses:

* Bernard Gray, Chief of Defence Materiel

* Jon Thompson, Permanent Under Secretary, Ministry of Defence
This is the second evidence session for this inquiry. The witnesses will be questioned on the Defence Materiel Strategy, in particular the plans to make the Defence Equipment and Support organisation into a trading entity following the cancellation of the competition to appoint a Government owned, Contractor operated (GoCo) consortium to manage the procurement of defence equipment.

House of Commons Written Answers 6 February 2014

France

Sir Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress was made at the recent Franco- British summit in relation to defence equipment collaboration; and if he will make a statement. [186324]

Mr Dunne: Significant progress was made on equipment co-operation at the Franco-British summit on 31 January 2014. We signed documents that will enable a two-year joint feasibility phase for the Future Combat Air System (FCAS). It will see British and French industries working together on vehicle design and characteristics, propulsion and systems. Additionally, the UK continues to support France with the best information possible to help inform their major decision points for acquiring a Tactical Unmanned Air System. Defence Ministers also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the development and manufacture of a Future Anti-Surface Guided Weapon that will arm the Wildcat naval helicopter against a range of predicted future threats in complex environments. In addition, we committed to the initial design stage for an unmanned under water vehicle capable of finding and neutralising seabed mines. We expect to place a contract later this year. We also agreed to continue to work with industry to deliver a common value for money support plan for the A400M transport fleet. There are also ongoing discussions to explore opportunities in the land domain.

Military Aviation Authority

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether people who have signed non-disclosure orders relating to Military Aviation Authority reports can obtain legal and technical advice which would necessitate others having sight of the document. [186072]

Anna Soubry: Yes. Recipients of Military Aviation Authority Service Inquiry reports who have signed a non-disclosure agreement may show the report to others for the purposes of obtaining legal and technical advice. Such persons will be asked to acknowledge the requirement to protect the information, and advisers other than legal advisers will be asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

Unmanned Air Vehicles

Rehman Chishti: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 29 January 2014, Official Report, column 598W, on drones, what definition he uses of contingent purposes. [186125]

Mr Dunne[holding answer 4 February 2014]: The definition of contingent purposes is to ensure that the UK is able to deal with a wide range of security challenges to UK interests. This requires a variety of capabilities.

Rehman Chishti: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 29 January 2014, Official Report, column 598W, on drones, what possible options he is considering for future basing options of Reaper drones. [186126]

Mr Dunne[holding answer 4 February 2014]: I have nothing further to add to the answer I gave on 29 January 2014.

Rehman Chishti: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 29 January 2014, Official Report, column 598W, on drones, when a final decision will be reached as to the future basing options for Reaper drones. [186127]

Mr Dunne[holding answer 4 February 2014]: A final decision is likely to be made by the end of 2014.

House of Commons Written Answers 4 February 2014

Afghanistan

N

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