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House of Commons Written Answers 10 March 2014

Aircraft Carriers

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the re-baselining of the QE Class aircraft carrier has been completed and whether the programme has been re-approved. [190161]

Mr Dunne: As announced by the Secretary of State for Defence, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), on 6 November 2013, Official Report, columns 251-4, following agreement of a new Heads of Terms for the programme between the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, the programme has been rebaselined at £6.2 billion. The revised programme will be subject to formal re-approval by the MOD approval authorities. We expect this to take place in the spring.

Military Aircraft

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when his Department received copies of Martin-Baker’s Special Information Leaflets, SIL 704 and SIL 704A; and what steps it has taken to incorporate the revised checks into the appropriate maintenance publications. [190344]

Mr Dunne: Special Information Leaflet (SIL) 704 was received on 15 November 2011 and SIL 704A on 18 November 2013. Corresponding Ministry of Defence (MOD) Technical Instructions were issued on 16 November 2011 and 5 December 2013 respectively to ejection seat maintenance units. Both Technical Instructions mandated checks of the ejection seat drogue shackle that were more stringent than those laid down in the SILs. In both cases, amendment action to the appropriate MOD maintenance publications commenced soon after issue of the Technical Instruction.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a list of Martin-Baker’s Special Information Leaflets, with contents summary, issued between 1990 and 1996. [190345]
Mr Dunne: Martin-Baker Aircraft issues Special Information Leaflets (SIL) to the Ministry of Defence as a contract deliverable for each aircraft type. The Department does not therefore necessarily receive a copy of every SIL issued by the company. Information on SILs relating solely to aircraft types and equipment that are no longer in-service is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. A list of those SILs that are known to have been received by the Department between 1990 and 1996, with contents summaries, will be placed in the Library of the House.

Unmanned Air Vehicles

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many trained and operational unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) pilots there have been in the Army since 2004; and in which countries those pilots have flown UAVs. [R] [172870]

Mr Francois: I will write to the hon. Member with the information requested. Substantive answer from Mark Francois to Tom Watson:
I undertook to write to you in answer to your Parliamentary Question about unmanned aircraft systems on 31 October 2013 (Official Report, column 549W). To answer your question, as at 31 October 2013, the number of unmanned aircraft pilots the Army has trained since 2004 is 868. Since 2004, pilots have operated unmanned aircraft in a variety of countries including, the United Kingdom, Iraq, Afghanistan, Jordan, Kenya, Canada and the United States of America. In researching this answer, my officials identified an error in an earlier response which my predecessor (Andrew Robathan) provided you on 17 June 2013 (Official Report, column 502W). It has been brought to my attention that while the number of students who passed the UAS ground school course since April 1999 was correctly identified as 461, this information did not fully address your question. This is because the answer did not take account of those personnel who have undertaken conversion training from earlier systems or refresher training. The answer should therefore have stated that the actual number of Army personnel who have received training was 1062 not 461, although it is likely that th

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