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PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS

Apr 07. RAF Aerobatic Team: Funding Assured. The Armed Forces’ Minister said (26 Mar 07) that there were no plans to reduce the funding for the Red Arrows, which for the next three financial years was expected to be: £5.6m; £5.7m and £5.9m.
Comment: The Minister was responding to silly newspaper stories about the future of the Red Arrows (and the coloured smoke discharged during their displays). RAF Scampton, the present home base for the Red Arrows, is one of several airfields which are “under review”. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0715, 16 Apr 07)

Apr 07. Strategic Lift: Defence Committee Session. The Defence Committee is to take evidence on Strategic Lift from senior Staff Officers at 10.30hrs on Tue 24 Apr 07 in the Thatcher Room at Portcullis House.
Comment: Those wishing to attend the evidence session are advised to check the venue by calling the Committee Office (020-7219 2033) on Mon 23 Apr 07. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0715, 16 Apr 07)

Bowman

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty’s Government: What plans they have to reduce the weight of the Bowman personal radio set to that specified by the Army for full portability by soldiers operating on foot. [HL2936]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Drayson): Work is continuing to determine how best to improve the portability of the Bowman VHF manpack radio, with the current focus on the ancillaries (such as batteries, cabling and carrying system).

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty’s Government: What steps are being taken to reduce the time taken for the Bowman radio set to “drop in” for inter-crew communications in Army vehicles. [HL2937]

Lord Drayson: The next increment of Bowman combat infrastructure and platform (CIP) capability, due to be fielded next year, is expected to reduce the time taken for the Bowman radio set to “drop in” for inter-crew communications. This improvement will be verified during testing and trialling of the increment.

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty’s Government: What steps they are taking to reduce the time taken for data terminals on Bowman radio sets to become operational after switch-on. [HL2938]

Lord Drayson: The Ministry of Defence is working to reduce the total time for data terminals attached to Bowman radio sets to become operational after switch-on. This is being achieved by reducing initialisation time, developing best practice standard operating procedures and delivering appropriate initialisation training.

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether the free channel search and the frequency-hop option on VHF on the Bowman military radio system are proving satisfactory. [HL2939]

Lord Drayson: The frequency-hopping capability afforded by the Bowman VHF radio has been satisfactorily demonstrated. The free channel search mode has been demonstrated within the constraints on use typical to this form of frequency agility.

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty’s Government: What plans they have to prevent the Bowman Army radio system from interfering with the electronic counter-measures carried on Army vehicles. [HL2940]

Lord Drayson: The Ministry of Defence does not comment on the detail of electronic counter-measures (ECM) capability in order to safeguard the security of our Armed Forces. The interoperability of all systems that operate within the electromagnetic spectrum is an issue under constant review. The ECM capability fielded is world leading.
Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty’s Government: What has been the total cost to date of the Bowman military radio system. [HL2941]

Lord Drayson: The forecast cost to the department for the delivery of the Bowman military radio system under existing contracts, as reported in the Major Projects Report 2006, is £2.017 billion.

Armed Forces: Clansman

Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty’s Government: What assessment the Ministry of Defence has made of its original appointment of the Archer consortium to

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