24 Jan 08. Russian Aircraft: Further Visits. The Defence Equipment Minister said (24 Jan 08) that Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) aircraft had been scrambled on 11 days between 1 Oct 07 and 18 Jan 08 in order to identify Russian military aircraft.
Comment: The Minister’s predecessor had earlier (17 Oct 07) said that QRA aircraft had been launched on four separate days during August and September 2007 in order to intercept Russian aircraft. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0805, 28 Jan 08)
House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 22 Jan 2008 (pt 0011)
Atlas Consortium: Contracts
Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons the Atlas
consortium was awarded a DII add-on contract in December 2006; what progress has
been made on the original contract; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: I refer the hon. Member to the answer my predecessor gave on
30 January 2007, Official Report, column 154-55W to my hon. Friend the Member
for North-West Leicestershire (David Taylor). Delivery of some elements of the Defence Information Infrastructure (Future) (DII(F)) increment 1 are up to a year behind the original plan; however increments 1 and 2a have been combined to provide a more efficient and effective overall delivery plan. Over 22,000 DII(F) terminals have been delivered, supporting over 62,000 users.
BOWMAN Combat Radio System: Batteries
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it his
policy to release the general design specification for Bowman batteries and
invite a range of companies to tender for their supply. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: No. The Bowman prime contract was let in 2001 and the prime
contractor, who has a commitment to supply the Bowman suite of batteries until
2009, issued a set of performance criteria and tested the market to ensure that
the supplier offering the most appropriate, cost effective solutions was
selected. A Bowman power study is being conducted which, when complete, should assist with ensuring that improved capabilities are delivered to the armed forces and aid the future procurement strategy for batteries.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has
made of the ability of ABSL/AEA to provide batteries for Bowman to the standard
required in theatre; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Department has not undertaken an assessment of ABSL/AEA’s
ability to provide batteries for Bowman to the required standard. Overall
responsibility to MOD for the standard of the product rests with the Bowman
Prime Contractor, General Dynamics United Kingdom Ltd. However, ABSL Power
Solutions, as the battery provider, is responsible for the quality and assurance
of their products.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons Bowman
HF batteries have been recalled for replacement; and who was responsible for
ensuring that the quality of this product was of the standard necessary for
theatre before it was sent overseas. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: In 2006, Bowman High Frequency (HF) Mark 1 radio batteries
were recalled when it became evident that an immersion requirement had not been
met and water ingress could occur. The battery provider, ABSL Power Solutions
agreed to replace all Mark 1 HF batteries at no cost to the Department and the replacement programme is continuing. Overall responsibility to MOD for the standard of the product rests with the Bowman prime contractor, General Dynamics United Kingdom Ltd. However, ABSL Power Solutions, as the battery provider, is responsible for the quality and assurance of their products.
Iraq: Peacekeeping Operations
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions he has had with the Government of Iraq on apprehending those responsible for the murder of six members of the