Lord West of Spithead
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answers by Earl Howe on 16 December (HL4512 and HL4513), what “when necessary to deliver the carrier strike program” means precisely.
Our aim is to ensure that embarked, jointly manned F-35B air squadrons operate to the same harmony guidelines. The overall principle is that we will manage all embarked air squadrons – which will include Fixed and Rotary Wing forces and personnel from all three Services – to ensure that the different harmony guidelines which all three Services routinely apply, do not adversely affect the way in which the operational output of the aircraft carriers will be delivered, and that they do not undermine joint unit or joint force cohesion. This principle will be given practical application as we continue our work to develop the routine carrier, combat air and helicopter operating cycles from 2020.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assistance his Department is providing to the National Museum of the Royal Navy in making urgent repairs to HMS Victory.
Mr Philip Dunne
In March 2012 the custodianship of HMS Victory transferred to the HMS Victory Preservation Company, a charitable trust established as part of the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) to ensure the preservation of the ship for future generations.
Part of this arrangement was a £25 million grant from the Ministry of Defence matched by a similar grant from the Gosling Foundation. The Heritage Lottery Fund contributed an addition £5 million from its Catalyst Fund. These funds form an endowment for the maintenance of the vessel. The NMRN continues to receive Grant in Aid from the Royal Navy, but the maintenance and repair of the ship is the responsibility of the Museum and the Trust.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Boeing P-8 Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft he expects to enter service in 2019-20.
Mr Philip Dunne
The Ministry of Defence is currently engaged in detailed negotiations on the Boeing P-8 Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft. As the Prime Minister announced to the House on 23 November 2015 (Official Report, column 1059), we intend for at least three of the aircraft to be in place by the end of the Parliament.