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PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS

House of Commons Written Answers 8 April 2014

Afghanistan

Sir Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department took to ensure British companies were made aware of the tendering process for the contract to return British military equipment from Afghanistan; and how many British companies tendered for that contract. [194641]

Mr Dunne: The Ministry of Defence is bound by European Union (EU) public procurement directives which demand fair and open competition across the EU for all contracts involving the expenditure of public funds.
Defence Equipment and Support is currently seeking proposals from Industry (under an existing Framework advertised in 2011) to provide an air transport service to move cargo between the UK and Afghanistan in support of Operation Herrick. Within that framework, there are seven companies, which are either UK companies or have offices within the UK, competing for this work.

Aircraft Carriers

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many times a day the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier will be able to enter Portsmouth Harbour during spring tides. [194528]

Mr Dunne: The Queen Elizabeth class carriers would be able to enter Portsmouth Harbour twice a day, on each of two daily high tides, as could the Invincible class carriers.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) which companies tendered for the Portsmouth Harbour dredging contract; [194529]
(2) when the Defence Infrastructure Organisation will allow the contract to dredge Portsmouth Harbour so the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier can navigate it; what estimate he has made of the contract’s cost to the public; and when work will (a)commence and (b) finish. [194526]

Mr Dunne: The contract to dredge Portsmouth Harbour is expected to be awarded in April 2015 and is worth £20 million to £40 million. Work will commence following the appointment of the successful bidder, and will be completed ahead of HMS Queen Elizabeth’s arrival in late 2016.
The bidders for the contract are Boskalis Westminster Ltd, Van Oord UK Ltd and Dredging International NV.

Armed Forces: Vehicles

Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 27 March 2014, Official Report, column 317W, on armed forces: vehicles, which specific sites for vehicle storage have spare capacity; how much spare capacity is available at each such site; how many vehicles are stored at each such site; and if he will make a statement. [194671]

Mr Dunne: There is spare capacity at the following dedicated vehicle storage sites: Ashchurch, Stafford, Ayrshire, Chivenor (Royal Marines) and Kinnegar. Ashchurch has 20% available capacity and 4,140 vehicles on site, Stafford has 38% available capacity and 495 vehicles on site, Ayrshire has 40% available capacity and 2,186 vehicles on site, Chivenor has 41% available capacity and 227 vehicles on site, Kinnegar has 29% available capacity and 213 vehicles on site. These figures will fluctuate as the study into the optimum vehicle storage solution matures.

Army

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made on the effect of changes in the size of the regular Army on the UK’s ability to fulfil NATO obligations. [195230]

Mr Francois: We remain fully confident the UK is able to fulfil its obligations to NATO as we implement our Future Force 2020 plans. As explained to NATO Allies during recent NATO defence planning discussions, the UK has a realistic and achievable plan to meet our target of a sensible whole force balance and the UK already has an enviable reputation in NATO for addressing the defence planning targets the Alliance gives us.

Defence Equipment and Support

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the timelines and milestones for Defence Equipment and Support Transformation will be published online and on the defence intranet. [1951

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