Thursday, January 21, 2016

RN Parliamentary Questions Answered

Courtesy of 
Think Defence


Fisheries: Protection: Written question - 21579

Q Asked by Douglas Chapman(Dunfermline and West Fife) 07 January 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which military assets provide fisheries protection within the UK's exclusive economic zone.

A Answered by: Penny Mordaunt Answered on: 14 January 2016

The River Class Offshore Patrol Vessels HMS TYNE and HMS SEVERN and the Survey Vessel HMS ECHO currently provide the Royal Navy's contribution to fishery protection duties within the United Kingdom's exclusive economic zone.

Aircraft Carriers:Written question - 21186

Q Asked by Andrew Rosindell(Romford) 06 January 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to ensure former aircraft carrier personnel do not become deskilled before the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers come into active service.

A Answered by: Penny Mordaunt 14 January 2016

Comprehensive training programmes, including embedding personnel with the US and French Navies, ensure that skills are retained and developed in support of the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers coming into service.

Navy: Training:Written question - 21360

Q Asked by John Spellar(Warley) 06 January 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether training in celestial navigation is provided for new recruits to the Royal Navy.

A Answered by: Penny Mordaunt 15 January 2016

For new recruits, celestial navigational training is only undertaken by Royal Marine recruits in weeks eight and 10 of their training as part of the Royal School of Military Survey lessons. However, celestial navigational training (referred to as Astro(navigational) training within the Service) is taught to Naval Officers as part of targeted career training courses at the Maritime Warfare School at HMS Collingwood. These include: Initial Warfare Officers, the Fleet Navigation Officers Course and in a Specialist Navigation Course (for those officers undertaking specialist training in navigation at Lieutenant/Lieutenant Commander rank with a view to navigating larger vessels such as carriers and amphibious assault ships).

Nuclear Weapons:Written question - 21550


We177b
MOD

Q Asked by Paul Flynn(Newport West) 07 January 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, on what date the decision was made not to proceed with developing a future theatre nuclear weapon (FTNW); and how much had been spent on (a) the vehicle element and (b) the warhead element of the FTNW programme up to that point.

A Answered by: Mr Philip Dunne 15 January 2016

On 18 October 1993, the then Secretary of State for Defence informed Parliament (Official Report, column 32): "we have concluded that our previous requirement for a new stand-off nuclear weapon capability is not a sufficiently high priority to justify the procurement of a new nuclear system in the current circumstances. Instead, we will plan, after the WE177 eventually leaves service in the long term, on exploiting the flexibility and capability of the Trident system to provide the vehicle for the delivery of our sub-strategic deterrent."

Also on 19 July 1993 (HC Deb vol 229 cc83-4W), the then Minister for Defence Procurement provided the following information about expenditure to evaluate options for the Future Theatre Nuclear Weapon:

Expenditure to the end of March 1993 on studies of possible vehicles:

Year           £
1989-90 928,518
1990-91 1,372,329
1991-92 1,870,285
1992-93 2,658,471

Information on costs incurred on the Future Theatre Nuclear Weapon warhead programme was withheld for reasons of national security. Those reasons no longer apply but this information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

AWE: Regulation:Written question - 21555

Q Asked by Paul Flynn(Newport West)Asked on: 07 January 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what (a) enforcement action was taken and (b) warning letters were issue against the Atomic Weapons Establishment by regulatory authorities in 2014 and 2015; and which of those enforcement actions are ongoing.

A Answered by: Michael Fallon 15 January 2016

The Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) received a single Improvement Notice from the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) on 8 June 2015. This Improvement Notice remains open; the ONR and the AWE have agreed a set of actions that enable this to be closed by the due date of 30 September 2016.
No regulatory authority has taken enforcement action against the AWE in 2014 and 2015, and no warning letters have been issued.

Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft:Written question - 21578

Q Asked by Douglas Chapman(Dunfermline and West Fife) 07 January 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department plans to build facilities to simulate the possibility of the future F35B Lightning II aircraft operating in austere operating bases.

A Answered by: Mr Philip Dunne 14 January 2016

The Ministry of Defence is procuring a Lightning II Integrated Training Centre (ITC) at its main operating base at RAF Marham. The ITC will house full mission simulators with the capability of simulating the full range of bases from which the F-35 may be required to operate.

Trident:Written question - 21558

Q Asked by Paul Flynn(Newport West) 07 January 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he plans to publish the UK's Future Nuclear Deterrent: 2015 Update to Parliament.

A Answered by: Michael Fallon 14 January 2016

A further update will be published this year.

HL4884 – Aircraft Carriers: Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft (Answered)

January 20, 2016

MOD

Lord West of Spithead

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 18 December 2015 (HL4510), which part of the Strategic Headquarters in the Ministry of Defence will make the decision for Sea Lightning squadrons to be embarked; and whether that part of the Strategic Headquarters is responsible for programming all aspects of ship training that constitute the basis for complex training involving all aspects of whole ship and Sea Lightning operation.

Earl Howe

Following Ministerial direction, the decision to embark our Lightning II Squadrons for operational purposes would be taken by the Chief of Defence Staff, as the military strategic commander responsible for the planning, direction and conduct of all military operations. The Front Line Commands remain responsible for force generation and for ensuring that training requirements are met for all carrier assets.

HL4885 – Astute Class Submarines (Answered)

January 20, 2016

MOD


Lord West of Spithead

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 8 December 2015 (HL4049), whether HMS Astute was laid down on 31 January 2001, launched on 8 June 2007 and commissioned on 27 August 2010; and whether HMS Artful was laid down on 11 March 2005 and launched on 17 May 2014 and is planned to be commissioned in March 2016.

Earl Howe

The dates that the noble Lord refers to, including the planned commissioning date for Artful, are correct. The build time for the Astute class submarines has reduced with every boat built to date; for HMS Astute, the time taken from start of manufacture to operational handover was 170 months, which included first of class trials, and for Artful was 137 months.

22464 – Aircraft Carriers: Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft (Answered)

January 20, 2016

MOD

Douglas Chapman

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many take-off tests for the F35B Lightning II have been completed using the Queen Elizabeth-class simulating ski ramp at US NAS Patuxent River.

Mr Philip Dunne

F-35B ski ramp jump testing at Naval Air Station Patuxent River began in 2015 and, as at 31 December 2015, 20 test launches had successfully been completed. The programme of test launches from the land-based ski jump ramp is scheduled to be completed in late 2017.

22463 – Aircraft Carriers: Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft (Answered)

January 20, 2016



Douglas Chapman

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has commenced a program of testing shipborne rolling vertical landing of the F35B Lightning II.

Mr Philip Dunne

Shipborne rolling vertical landing (SRVL) testing will begin during the UK’s F-35B first of class flying trials, which are scheduled to take place aboard HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH from 2018. SRVL testing is scheduled for completion in 2020. A program of SRVL simulation testing will continue until first of class flying trials begin.

HL4971 – Aircraft Carriers: Harrier Aircraft (Answered)

January 20, 2016



Lord West of Spithead

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answers by Earl Howe on 16 December 2015 (HL4512 and HL4513), how long RAF Joint Force Harrier squadrons had to stay on board anti-submarine warfare carriers to ensure all pilots were flight qualified.

Earl Howe

Depending on weather and aircraft serviceability, it usually took Joint Force Harrier Squadron pilots, on average, three to four weeks to qualify for combat operations from an Invincible Class carrier.

HL4886 – Nuclear Submarines (Answered)

January 20, 2016

MOD


Lord West of Spithead

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 8 December 2015 (HL4047), whether the build time of HMS Vanguard from beginning of whole boat construction to commissioning was six years 11 months; and, if so, why the first Vanguard replacement will take in excess of 14 years, as laid out in the Strategic Defence and Security Review.

Earl Howe

The Vanguard class were built at the end of an extensive period of UK submarine production. UK industrial capacity diminished following the subsequent 10 year gap in submarine building, which is a key factor in the Successor build schedule. Additionally, the Vanguard build duration, which was more than eight years in duration, did not include sea trials, which take several years. The dates for Successor reported in the Strategic Defence and Security Review do include that activity.

HL4931 – Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft (Answered)

January 20, 2016

MOD

Lord Campbell of Pittenweem

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their most recent estimate of the in-service date for the F-35B aircraft.

Earl Howe

UK F-35B Lightning II Initial Operating Capability remains on schedule for 2018.

HL4930 – Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft (Answered)

January 20, 2016

MOD
Lord Campbell of Pittenweem

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether their most recent estimate of the unit cost of the UK’s F-35Bs has been revised (1) upwards, or (2) downwards, as a result of updated information provided by the US Joint Strike Fighter programme.

Earl Howe

We continue to see a reduction in aircraft unit costs which is in line with the estimates shown in the annual US Selected Acquisition Report. The UK’s F-35 programme remains within its cost approval limit as detailed in the National Audit Office Major Projects Report 2015.

22480 – Minesweepers (Answered)

January 21, 2016

MOD photo of HMS Brocklesby, believed to be one of three mine warfare vessels being cut in latest SDSR


Mrs Madeleine Moon

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Hunter Class mine countermeasures vessels have completed their re-engineering; when he expects all eight to be completed; and if he will make a statement.

Mr Philip Dunne

To date, work to replace the propulsion system on four of the Hunt Class mine countermeasures vessels has been completed with the fifth due for completion later this year. Due to changes applied to the ships upkeep programme combined with the need to address emerging engineering issues, work on the remaining three vessels is now scheduled for completion by late 2019.


21757 – Australia: Nuclear Weapons (Answered)

January 21, 2016

MOD
Stewart Malcolm McDonald

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if the Government will issue issuing an apology to the indigenous people of Australia for British nuclear tests carried out on their land in the 1950s and 1960s.

Mark Lancaster

In 1968, Australia signed an agreement with the UK confirming that the clean-up of all test sites had been completed satisfactorily. As announced to the House on 10 December 1993,(Official Report, column 421), the Government agreed to make an ex gratia payment of £20 million to the Federal Government of Australia as a contribution to the cost of the further clean-up of the Maralinga site. A copy of the note giving effect to this agreement was placed in the Library of the House. The note also records that the Government of Australia indemnified the Government of the UK against claims from Australian nationals or residents. The Government now regards the matter as closed.



2 comments:

  1. looks like stuff from thinkdefence

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  2. Public domain information used by several publications.

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