House of Commons Written Answers 16 July 2014
Unmanned Air Vehicles
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 30 June 2014, Official Report, column 354W, on Afghanistan, how many evidence-based assessments have been carried out by his Department on the effects of lethal targeting; and if his Department will carry out or commission further assessment on use of remotely piloted air systems in Afghanistan in carrying out a post-campaign strategic review. [R] 
Mr Francois: All weapons released by UK Combat aircraft in Afghanistan, be that Fast Jet, Remotely Piloted Air System or Rotary Wing platforms, are done so under the command of a pilot bound by UK Rules of Engagement. Following each release of a weapon by a UK platform, post mission analysis and a battle damage assessment is completed in theatre. I am withholding further details as their disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces. The Secretary of State for Defence has previously said that there will be a need to review the strategic lessons from the Afghanistan campaign, but that time will be when combat operations are complete and all relevant information is available.
House of Commons Written Answers 14 July 2014
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much of the £1.2 billion underspend in his Department’s equipment budget in 2012-13 arose as a result of programme slippage; what programmes were behind schedule; and for what reason those programmes were behind schedule. 
Mr Dunne: Our analysis of the £1.2 billion underspend in 2012-13 in our equipment programme shows that it has been caused by a combination of factors, including better than expected outcomes from contract negotiations; budget being allocated for risks that did not materialise; and the impact of programme slippage against plans. A detailed analysis of programme slippage by programme is not currently available, but further work to improve our detailed understanding of variations against planned spending patterns and the implications for project costs in future years is nearing completion. Due to our improved financial discipline the Treasury have allowed us to carry over in-year underspends into our future year budgets. The last National Audit Office Major Projects Report showed an 88% reduction in overall project delays. We now have the assurance of a stable and well managed budget and confidence that defence programmes are affordable and deliverable.
Royal Armoured Corps
Sir Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has for the future establishment, equipment and role of the Royal Armoured Corps; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Francois: Under the Army 2020 structure, the Royal Armoured Corps will be formed of 10 Regular Regiments made up of three Armoured Regiments, three Armoured Cavalry Regiments and three Light Cavalry Regiments with the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment continuing to support public duties and ceremonial commitments; four Reserve Regiments and one independent Regular squadron providing a Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Area, Survey and Reconnaissance capability. The overall establishment of the Royal Armoured Corps will be around 6,000.
The Armoured Regiments will continue in their existing role as direct combat units and will continue to be equipped with the Challenger 2 tank. From 2020, the Close Reconnaissance troop is planned to have the Scout Specialist Vehicle (SV). The Armoured Cavalry Regiments will continue to provide a manned reconnaissance and surveillance capability. They will be equipped with Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) and, from 2020, the Scout SV. The Light Cavalry Regiments will provide a highly mobile tactical reconnaissance capability in both mounted and dismounted roles, mainly equipped with Jackal and C