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PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS

House of Commons and House of Lords Hansard Written Answers

Q

Asked by Mr Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi

(Slough)

[N]

Asked on: 04 February 2020

Cabinet Office

Cybercrime: Artificial Intelligence

12323

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether his Department plans to update the National Cyber Security Strategy on the use of artificial intelligence.

A

Answered by: Oliver Dowden

Answered on: 13 February 2020

Our current National Cyber Security Strategy (2016-2021) is delivering transformational change, building new capabilities and intervening to address the cyber threat.

Our manifesto has committed to investing more in cyber security, embracing new technologies and legislating to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online.

The government’s future approach to cyber security will form part of the Integrated Security, Defence and Foreign Policy Review, which will consider all aspects of our defence and security capabilities, including ways in which technological changes could have implications for our security.

Q

Asked by Tulip Siddiq

(Hampstead and Kilburn)

[N]

Asked on: 10 February 2020

Ministry of Defence

14776

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reason IMS Ltd paid non-audit fees to its auditors between 1997 and 1999; what steps his Department took to ensure the independence of audit opinion during that period; and whether his Department paid those fees.

A

Answered by: James Heappey

Answered on: 13 February 2020

During the period in question International Military Services Ltd was subject to standard auditing and reporting requirements for a commercial entity. All operating costs, including any auditing fees, would have been met from accumulated profit from business activities and investment interest. IMS accounts are publicly available at Companies House.

Q

Asked by Mr Kevan Jones

(North Durham)

Asked on: 05 February 2020

Ministry of Defence

Maritime Patrol Aircraft

12856

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps need to be taken before the new P-8 Poseidon aircraft reach full operational capability.

A

Answered by: James Heappey

Answered on: 12 February 2020

P-8 Poseidon full operating capability requires the full complement of nine aircraft, infrastructure and training facilities to be delivered at RAF Lossiemouth. These components will enable the RAF to become fully self-sustaining for generating trained personnel and for routine maintenance of the fleet of aircraft.

Q

Asked by Mr Kevan Jones

(North Durham)

Asked on: 05 February 2020

Ministry of Defence

Maritime Patrol Aircraft: Antisubmarine Warfare

12859

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the procurement of nine P-8 Poseidon aircraft on UK anti-submarine warfare capability; and if he will make a statement.

A

Answered by: James Heappey

Answered on: 12 February 2020

The P-8 Poseidon joins an integrated UK force of ships, submarines and helicopters in the anti-submarine warfare role. Poseidon’s introduction marks a significant upgrade in the UK’s ability to conduct anti-submarine operations, combined with a weapons system to counter these threats. The Poseidon is designed to conduct long range patrols providing extended surveillance missions at high and low altitudes. It is equipped with cutting-edge sensors which use high-resolution area mapping to find both submarines and surface vessels. It will also integrate seamlessly with our NATO allies. This will maintain operational freedom for our own submarines and apply pressure to those of our potential foes.

Q

Asked by Mr Kevan Jones

(North Durham)

Asked on: 05 February 2020

Ministry of Defence

Boeing

12866

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what commitment Boeing has given to maxmise UK workshare on future projects.

A

Answered by: James Heappey

Answered on: 12 February 2020

As part of the strategic prosperity relationship between Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) and Boeing, the company has committed to growing its UK footprint and to increase research and development and UK supply chain spending. The company funds an Office of UK Industrial Capability to identify potential suppliers and provide training to increase the success of UK companies in bidding for work. Boeing and HMG have carried out a series of trade missions to the US, each of which has attracted around 30 companies from across the UK, who have had an opportunity to showcase their capabilities to senior programme managers. As part of investments in Sheffield – the first Boeing owned production facility outside of the US – and Lossiemouth, the company has placed work with a range of local supply chain companies.

Q

Asked by Tulip Siddiq

(Hampstead and Kilburn)

[N]

Asked on: 06 February 2020

Ministry of Defence

International Military Services: Debts

13609

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the value is of the receivables in his Department’s accounts for money owed to his Department by IMS Ltd in relation to monies paid into court (a) at 31 March 2019 and (b) at 31 January 2020.

A

Answered by: James Heappey

Answered on: 11 February 2020

In the Department’s accounts to 31 March 2019 there was a prepayment in the Trade Receivables and Other Assets note of £451 million which relates to IMS Ltd. We do not produce accounts to 31 January 2020; the accounts to 31 March 2020 are planned to be published in July 2020.

Q

Asked by Tulip Siddiq

(Hampstead and Kilburn)

[N]

Asked on: 04 February 2020

Ministry of Defence

International Military Services: Legal Costs

12316

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how the International Military Services Ltd payment in respect of the court case in 2001 was accounted for in his Department’s financial statements of that year.

A

Answered by: James Heappey

Answered on: 10 February 2020

The Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) 2001 Annual Report and Accounts includes IMS Ltd under section 9.1 Other Investments, against a sum of 19,999,999 non-preferential shares valued at £1 each. Note 9.3 makes it clear that IMS Ltd ceased trading on 31 July 1991 and will be liquidated following the settlement of outstanding contracts. MOD has written down the value of the investment to nil.

Q

Asked by Mr Kevan Jones

(North Durham)

[N]

Asked on: 05 February 2020

Ministry of Defence

Maritime Patrol Aircraft: Procurement

12857

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate his Department has made of the number of (a) hardware and (b) software components procured from UK-based companies in the new P-8 Poseidon aircraft.

A

Answered by: James Heappey

Answered on: 10 February 2020

Boeing has estimated that around 5% of every P-8 aircraft produced globally is UK content.

Q

Asked by Mr Kevan Jones

(North Durham)

[N]

Asked on: 05 February 2020

Ministry of Defence

Maritime Patrol Aircraft: Procurement

12858

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he plans to increase the number of newly-purchased P-8 Poseidon aircraft to 16.

A

Answered by: James Heappey

Answered on: 10 February 2020

The Government has committed to undertake an Integrated Foreign Policy, Security and Defence Review which will consider all aspects of our Defence and security capabilities.

Q

Asked by Mr Kevan Jones

(North Durham)

[N]

Asked on: 05 February 2020

Ministry of Defence

Maritime Patrol Aircraft: Sonar

12862

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which sonobuoys will be integrated into the nine new P-8 aircraft; and whether those sonobuoys will be supplied by a UK-based company.

A

Answered by: James Heappey

Answered on: 10 February 2020

The RAF P-8A Poseidon aircraft is being delivered in the same configuration as that operated by the US Navy. This was an important consideration in the investment decision for the project as it delivers economies of scale from being part of a larger programme and helps ensure interoperability with close allies. Consequently, RAF aircraft will be equipped with the same Mk 54 torpedoes and range of sonobuoys as US Navy aircraft. These are not manufactured by UK-based companies.

Q

Asked by Mr Kevan Jones

(North Durham)

[N]

Asked on: 05 February 2020

Ministry of Defence

Maritime Patrol Aircraft: Repairs and Maintenance

12864

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, at which military location the nine new P-8 aircraft will undergo maintenance and repair.

A

Answered by: James Heappey

Answered on: 10 February 2020

The Main Operating Base for the RAF P-8A Poseidon fleet will be RAF Lossiemouth, where a new Strategic Facility designed to accommodate everyone who operates and supports the aircraft is being constructed. The building includes a three-bay hangar where the RAF Poseidon Line Squadron will maintain the aircraft.

Q

Asked by Caroline Lucas

(Brighton, Pavilion)

Asked on: 30 January 2020

Ministry of Defence

HMS Audacious

10350

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the effect of the delay in the delivery of HMS Audacious to the in-service dates of the (a) final three Astute submarines; (b) Dreadnought submarines; (c) the schedule for dismantling out of service nuclear submarines and (d) the requirements for nuclear licensed dock capacity at Devonport; and if he will make a statement.

A

Answered by: James Heappey

Answered on: 06 February 2020

The delay to the delivery of Audacious will have some impact on the schedule for the next Astute Class, Anson. We remain committed to delivering all seven Astute boats by the end of 2026. The Dreadnought programme is unaffected and remains on track for the first of the Dreadnought class submarines to enter service in the early 2030s. The planned in-service dates for Royal Navy submarines are withheld as disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces. The schedule for dismantling decommissioned nuclear submarines is unaffected. Work to determine the future infrastructure requirements at Devonport is continuing and is unaffected by the delay to the delivery of Audacious.

Q

Asked by Jeremy Hunt

(South West Surrey)

[N]

Asked on: 30 January 2020

Ministry of Defence

Unmanned Air Vehicles: France

10339

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what progress has been made on the development of an unmanned combat air system programme with France; and if he will make a statement.

A

Answered by: James Heappey

Answered on: 04 February 2020

The UK is continuing to work with France in the £65 million Future Combat Air Systems Technology Development Co-operation (FCAS TDC) programme. This programme is primarily aimed at improving the interoperability of current and future UK and French combat air platforms.

 

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