27 Jun 14. Defence Committee. NEW INQUIRY: ARMED FORCES (SERVICE COMPLAINTS AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE) BILL. It was announced in the Queen’s Speech on 4 June 2014 that legislation would be introduced to improve the complaints system in the Armed Forces through the creation of an Ombudsman. The Armed Forces (Service Complaints and Financial Assistance) Bill to give effect to these changes was introduced in the House of Lords on 5 June and had its second reading on 23 June. The Defence Committee is today announcing an inquiry into the provisions of the Bill relating to the Service Complaints system and the creation of a Service Complaints Ombudsman. The Committee is particularly interested in:
* The method of appointment of the proposed Service Complaints Ombudsman.
* The proposed powers of the Service Complaints Ombudsman and whether these are adequate.
* The effectiveness of the proposed changes to the Service Complaints system.
* What additional measures should be included in the Bill?
House of Commons Written Answers 26 June 2014
Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft
Sir Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what assessment he has made of the Lightning II’s combat capability against the (a) Chinese J-20, (b) Russian Sukhoi PAK FA and (c) Russian Su-35S fighter aircraft; 
(2) what assessment he has made of the Lightning II’s combat capability against the Russian (a) NNIIRT 55Zh6M Nebo Mobile and (b) Almaz-Antey S-400 / SA-21 Growler SAM System radar systems; 
(3) what assessment he has made of the extent to which overseas espionage has compromised the fighting ability of the Lightning II; and if he will make a statement; 
(4) what the loss/exchange ratio for the Lightning II is. 
Mr Dunne: The Lightning II aircraft is specifically designed to operate in a contested environment. Regular simulator work and operational analysis is carried out to confirm the system’s performance and operational test of the aircraft is planned to do the same. The air system currently meets or exceeds our requirements. I am withholding the level of detail requested as its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.
Type 26 Frigates
Mr Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many variants of the Type 26 global combat ship are being planned. 
Mr Dunne: On current plans, all Type 26 global combat ships will have the same base level of capability but equipment fits tailored to task will enable them to meet their specific operational requirements.
Mr Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many countries have expressed an interest in operating the Type 26 global combat ship. 
Mr Dunne: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 3 December 2012, Official Report, column 615W, to my hon. Friend the Member for Portsmouth North (Penny Mordaunt).
House of Commons Written Answers 25 June 2014
Stephen Phillips: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he is taking to work with his international counterparts on ensuring that the Afghanistan Government continues to maintain security in sparsely populated areas of that country following the withdrawal of international troops. 
Mr Francois: The international security assistance force’s (ISAF) combat mission will end this year and the Afghan national security force (ANSF) will assume full responsibility for security across Afghanistan. The UK and our international partners have committed to providing long-term support to the Afghan Government, including continued development of the ANSF, as part of the follow-on resolute support mission. This is subject to the necessary legal permissions being in place before the end of this year. The UK is also contributing an additional £70 million per year until 2017 towards ANSF sustainment.
House of Commons Written Answers 24 June 2