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Defence Systems and Equipment

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Prime Minister if he will be attending the Defence Systems and Equipment International Exhibition in September. [3944]
The Prime Minister: No.

Nuclear Deterrent
Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when a decision will be taken on the replacement of Trident; and if he will make a statement. [4845]
John Reid: I have nothing to add to the answer that I gave on 7 June 2005, Official Report, column 466W to the hon. Member for New Forest, East (Dr. Lewis).

Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which units are designated by his Department to be deployed to Afghanistan during (a) 2005 and (b) 2006. [3698]
Mr. Ingram: The United Kingdom will deploy the 1st Battalion The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment to Afghanistan in October 2005, to replace the 2nd Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, as our principal contribution to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul and Northern Afghanistan.
In May 2006, the Headquarters Group of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) will deploy to Kabul as the Headquarters of the ISAF. We are currently assessing the nature and scale of our future commitment in Afghanistan.
Aircraft Carriers
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what (a) discussions and (b) meetings officials in his Department have had with their counterparts in France about possible collaboration on the (i) acquisition and (ii) construction of aircraft carriers; and if he will make a statement; [3921]
(2) what discussions have taken place with French defence officials regarding the adoption by France of the UK’s aircraft carrier design; and how much he expects France to pay for the right to use the UK design. [3920]
Mr. Ingram: Ministry of Defence officials have met their French counterparts on several occasions to discuss what the possibilities might be for co-operation between our two countries in the procurement of our respective next generation aircraft carriers. It is too soon to say what, if any, co-operation there will be as both countries believe that areas of beneficial co-operation are best determined by our respective industries. Ongoing studies by industry will determine the optimum and most cost-effective way in which any co-operative options can be implemented. It would be inappropriate to speculate on what industry’s proposals may consist of, but Governments will take a view on their proposals, when available, later this year.
Computer Facilities
Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what computer facilities are provided within individual battalions for (a) officers and (b) non-commissioned officers to perform their duties. [3257]
Mr. Touhig: Every Army unit has access to computers and officers and non-commissioned officers have access to such facilities where their role requires it. The Defence Information Infrastructure (DII) programme is currently being introduced and will further enhance capability and accessibility of computer systems by early 2007.
Defence Training Review
Peter Viggers: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons his Department was not permitted to make an in-house bid for the Defence Training Review. [4711]
Mr. Touhig [holding answer 15 June 2005]: The Ministry of Defence’s contracting strategy for the Defence Training Review rationalisation programme, which has been developed with the MOD Private Finance Unit and the Treasury, has confirmed the suitability and probity of PFI/PPP as the procurement route.
This strategy includes a public sector comparator which has been developed on the basis of how the Department would proceed if the PFI/PPP was not available. While it has the associated detail of an in-house bid, the capital investment r

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