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PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS FROM PS2

Week Commencing 25 Feb 02

DEFENCE

Royal Ordnance

Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans there are for Royal Ordnance to source ammunition from overseas for MOD needs. [33028]

Dr. Moonie: The Ministry of Defence places contracts with RO Defence as the prime contractor for ammunition. The sourcing of ammunition and its component parts is a (25 Feb 2002 : Column: 683W) commercial decision that rests with the prime contractor. RO Defence is contracted to supply ammunition which is safe and suitable for use, provides both value for money and security of supply, and meets all the stringent requirements for UK service.

Hawk Aircraft (India)

Vera Baird: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what provision has been made for British aircrew to train (25 Feb 2002 : Column: 688W)Indian pilots in the use of Hawk aircraft if British Hawk aircraft are sold to India. [34077]

Dr. Moonie [holding answer 11 February 2002]: Details of BAE Systems bid to sell Hawk advanced jet trainer aircraft to India, including any provisions for training support, are a matter for the company and the Government of India. In line with its role of supporting legitimate defence exports, and a policy of offering spare training capacity to overseas customers, the Ministry of Defence may make UK aircrew and facilities available if requested.

Exports (Pakistan and India)

Vera Baird: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contracts for UK defence exports are expected to be signed with (a) Pakistan and (b) India in 2002. [34079]

Dr. Moonie [holding answer 11 February 2002]: The signing of contracts for UK defence exports is a matter for the commercial companies involved and their proposed customers.

Exports (Pakistan)

Vera Baird: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what defence exports the Government are engaged in promoting to Pakistan. [34078]

Dr. Moonie [holding answer 11 February 2002]: Details of commercial companies’ marketing strategies and promotions are a matter for the companies involved. It does, however, remain Government policy to support the promotion of legitimate defence exports to Pakistan that are compatible with our export control criteria.

RAF Eurofighters

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Eurofighters are planned to be delivered to the RAF in each of the next five years. ([35649]

25 Feb 2002 : Column: 689W)

Dr. Moonie: The Tranche 1 Eurofighter production contract with industry calls for six aircraft to be delivered to the RAF in financial year 2002-03, 14 in 2003-04, 19 in 2004-05 and 13 in 2005-06. Three additional aircraft will be procured for development purposes but will not enter service with the RAF. The Tranche 2 production contract is expected to be placed next year with deliveries commencing in 2006.

QinetiQ

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if development on QinetiQ land is covered by Crown immunity; and if he will make a statement. [35643]

Dr. Moonie: Property transferred to QinetiQ, and developed by them, is not subject to Crown immunity.

I assume that this question arises from the recent announcement by the Home Office that land owned by QinetiQ near Pershore is being considered as a potential site for an asylum-seeker accommodation centre. Assuming Pershore is one of the sites chosen, as soon as the Home Office purchase the land it becomes Crown land, and therefore any subsequent development would be covered by Crown immunity.

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he is the owner of QinetiQ; what powers he has to influence the disposal of property owned by QinetiQ; if these powers extend to the power to instruct disposal; and if he will make a statement. [35642]

Dr. Moonie: At present the Ministry of Defence wholly owns QinetiQ plc and its subsidiaries. Under the terms of the Business Transfer Agreement (BTA), signed on 1 July 2001, MOD

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