PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS FROM PS2 THE LEADING U.K. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS COMPANY
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to modify the CHARM 3 L27 depleted uranium kinetic energy round. 
Mr. Ingram: We have no plans to modify the L27 CHARM 3 round.
Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 27 October, Official Report, column 518W, on ammunition manufacturers, whether BAE Systems Land Systems (a) manufactures the small arms ammunition in the UK and (b) is on a fixed term contract; what proportion that company’s supplies represents of small arms ammunition supplied to British forces; and where the balance comes from. 
Mr. Ingram: Small arms ammunition supplied to the Ministry of Defence by BAE Systems Land Systems (BAES LS) is manufactured in the UK at the Radway Green facility under the terms of the MOD/BAES LS Framework Partner Agreement. This 10 year agreement was signed in 2000.
BAES LS supply approximately 95 per cent. of the MOD’s current small arms ammunition requirements. The balance is supplied from companies in Sweden, Israel, Finland, Germany, Canada, Norway and Belgium.
Challenger 2 Upgrade
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has (a) to replace and (b) to upgrade the L30A1 high-pressure 120mm rifled gun fitted to the Challenger 2 tank. 
Mr. Ingram: There are no plans to upgrade the L30A1 gun fitted to the Challenger 2 tank. However, studies are being undertaken to provide information for our future direct fire weapon requirements. This might include a potential replacement for the current Challenger 2 gun.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to upgrade the (a) L31 HESH and (b) L34 smoke rounds used by the L30A1 gun. 
Mr. Ingram: We have no plans to upgrade the L31 HESH and L34 smoke rounds. However, the next production run of these rounds will have a slightly modified fill to improve its insensitive munitions performance.
Future Aircraft Carriers
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons revised in-service dates of 2013 and 2016 for the two Future Aircraft Carriers were published on the Department’s website on 19 September; and why this information was subsequently removed. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 7 November 2005]: The dates were published on the website in error. These dates were removed as the in-service dates (ISDs) for the Future Aircraft Carriers will only be set following the main investment decision and once they have been approved by Ministers. This decision has not yet been taken, and will only be taken when we know with confidence the risks involved in building the carriers, when we have a proper understanding of the costs involved and the implications in terms of the wider interface with other projects, and for the shipbuilding industry.
Hearing Loss (Service Veterans)
Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what research he has commissioned on hearing loss among armed services veterans; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Touhig: Neither the Ministry of Defence, which is responsible for veterans’ matters, nor the former Department of Social Security, which was responsible for the War Pensions Scheme until 2001 and remains responsible for the related civilian Industrial Injuries Scheme, have commissioned any research on this issue. The Government’s approach to noise-induced sensorineural hearing loss assessment is based on contemporary scientific evidence and understanding. This has been confirmed in recent years by several reviews carried out by independent audiological experts including an Industrial Injuries Advisory Council review. The Ministry of Defence routinely scrutinises the published peer reviewed literature to ensure that compensation policy and approaches continue to take account