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PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS

House of Commons Written Answers 7 May 2014

Puma Helicopters

Mr Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his policy is on the long-term future of the Puma helicopter; and if he will make a statement. [197133]

Mr Dunne: We expect the Puma to continue in service, providing medium support helicopter lift until around 2025. Initial Operating Capability of the Puma Mk2 fleet is on schedule to be achieved in March 2015, with Full Operating Capability in December 2015.

Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Mr Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his policy is on the use of Bay Class Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships; and if he will make a statement. [197484]

Mr Dunne: The Royal Fleet Auxiliary, working closely with the Royal Navy, is an integral part of the United Kingdom’s maritime capabilities. The Bay Class amphibious landing ships are used as required to support naval operations. This use is in accordance with the extant health and safety, merchant navy, and international maritime regulations.

Satellites: West Freugh

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what satellites currently use facilities at West Freugh for data transmission. [197170]

Mr Dunne: The satellite reception capability at the West Freugh site is currently used to receive satellite observed environmental data (meteorological, oceanographic and observed weather) from several different satellite sources. I am withholding details of specific satellites as disclosure would or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether Skynet 5 satellites can use facilities at West Freugh for data transmission. [197171]

Mr Dunne: Skynet 5 does not currently use the facilities at West Freugh for data transmission.

Tornado Aircraft

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what consideration his Department gave to procuring the Rangeless Airborne Instrumented Debriefing System with Collision Warning software for installation on the Tornado aircraft. [197168]

Mr Dunne: The requirement of the Ministry of Defence was for an Instrument Debriefing System. Records of any consideration given to the procurement of additional capabilities are no longer centrally held and the retrieval of this information would be possible only at disproportionate cost.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence by whom the decision was taken not to proceed from the Technology Demonstrator Phase of the EASAMS collision warning system to Full Development and Production; and whether that decision was reflected in the relevant platform risk registers. [197169]

Mr Dunne: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 7 April 2014, Official Report, column 96W. Risk Registers are not designed to record the outcome of the scoping of systems which are at pre-concept stage.

Trade Unions

Graeme Morrice: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department has any plans to end the employee trade union membership dues check-off system. [196762]

Anna Soubry: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, my hon. Friend the Member for Ludlow (Mr Dunne), on 2 April 2014, Official Report, column 730W, to the hon. Member for Leicester South (Jonathan Ashworth).

Type 45 Destroyers

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when each Type 45 Destroyer will be installed with the ECPINS-W Subs software; and what estimate he has made of the total cost of that installation. [196953]

Mr Dunne: The Electronic Chart Precise Integrated Navigation System software is planned to be installed on the Type 45 Destroyers (T45) as the primary element of the Warship Electronic Chart Display and Information System (WECDIS) navigation capability. This will enhance the Type 45’s navigation capability, which currently u

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