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Written Answers to Questions
Tuesday 21 May 2002

Depleted Uranium
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the UK sites where armour piercing and hard target penetrating warheads containing depleted uranium have been used, indicating the numbers used on each site in each year since 1990. [43414]

Dr. Moonie: Since 1990, Depleted Uranium (DU) has been fired on the ranges at Kirkudbright, Eskmeals and West Freugh.

Approximately 215 rounds of the Phalanx weapons system were fired in 1990, all of which entered the sea 2km below low-water mark. There have been no DU firings since.

Errors have unfortunately been identified in the figures for DU projectiles fired at the Kirkudbright Training Area given in the responses on 5 December 2001, Official Report, column 342W, to the hon. Member for Galloway & Upper Nithsdale (Mr. Duncan) and on 14 June 2000, Official Report, column 644W, and 19 June 2000, Official Report, column 27W, to the then hon. Member for Galloway & Upper Nithsdale (Mr. Morgan). It is unclear how these inconsistencies occurred but it is possible the source figures came from data for planned firings rather than actual firings or there may have been a simple miscalculation. The above figures correct these errors.
Colchester Garrison

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the development of the new Colchester Garrison. [52449]

Mr. Ingram: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 7 May 2002, Official Report, column, to the Member for Essex North (Mr. Jenkin).

Apache Helicopter

Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on progress with trials of the Army’s Apache AH Mk 1 attack helicopter. [53517]

Dr. Moonie: Trials of the Apache WAH64 Attack Helicopter are progressing satisfactorily. Delivery of an initial operational capability to the army, consisting of the first operational Apache Squadron, is expected in August 2004.

Merlin Helicopters
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what savings accrued to the Defence Budget from the reduction in the planned order of Merlin helicopters. [54903]

Dr. Moonie: There have been no reductions in planned orders of Merlin since the Strategic Defence Review.
Medical Treatment

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the reason underlying the number of service personnel who are medically downgraded; and if he will make a statement. [54128]

Dr. Moonie [holding answer 7 May 2002]: There are many reasons for Service personnel being medically downgraded on either a temporary or permanent basis. Personnel who are temporarily downgraded have incurred an injury or developed a medical condition for which they are receiving or awaiting treatment or are recuperating. Servicewomen who are pregnant or have recently given birth are also temporarily medically downgraded. Personnel who have a long term medical condition which prevents them from undertaking their full range of duties, but which allows them to be retained with limited employability, are placed in a permanently downgraded category.

Work is currently in hand in the Ministry of Defence to develop improved analysis of the causes of medical downgrading. This will enable us to ensure that we are adopting the most effective means of prevention and treatment wherever these are appropriate.
Medical Categories (Royal Navy)

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of the Royal Navy are in the medical categories (a) baby, (b) PO, (c) P2, (d) P2X, (e) P2U3, (f) P2L3, (g) P3R, (h) P3P, (i) P7RA, (j) P7RB, (k) P7RC, (l) P7RD and (m) P8; in each case what percentage of (i) establishment and (ii) actual manning this represents; and if he will make a statement.

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