Ministry of Defence

We protect the security, independence and interests of our country at home and abroad. We work with our allies and partners whenever possible. Our aim is to ensure that the armed forces have the training, equipment and support necessary for their work, and that we keep within budget.



Secretary of State

 Portrait

Ben Wallace
Secretary of State for Defence

Shadow Ministers / Spokeperson
Scottish National Party
Angela Crawley (SNP - Lanark and Hamilton East)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Defence Procurement)
Martin Docherty-Hughes (SNP - West Dunbartonshire)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Defence Team Member)

Labour
John Healey (LAB - Wentworth and Dearne)
Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
Lord Coaker (LAB - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Defence)

Scottish National Party
Stewart Malcolm McDonald (SNP - Glasgow South)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Defence)

Labour
Lord Tunnicliffe (LAB - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Defence)

Liberal Democrat
Baroness Smith of Newnham (LDEM - Life peer)
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Defence)

Plaid Cymru
Hywel Williams (PC - Arfon)
Shadow PC Spokesperson (Defence)

Democratic Unionist Party
Gavin Robinson (DUP - Belfast East)
Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Defence)

Liberal Democrat
Jamie Stone (LDEM - Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross)
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Defence)
Lord Campbell of Pittenweem (LDEM - Life peer)
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Defence)
Junior Shadow Ministers / Deputy Spokesperson
Labour
Stephen Kinnock (LAB - Aberavon)
Shadow Minister (Defence)
Chris Evans (LAB - Islwyn)
Shadow Minister (Defence)
Stephanie Peacock (LAB - Barnsley East)
Shadow Minister (Defence)
Ministers of State
Jeremy Quin (CON - Horsham)
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
Baroness Goldie (CON - Life peer)
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State
James Heappey (CON - Wells)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
Scheduled Event
Monday 21st February 2022
14:30
Ministry of Defence
Oral questions - Main Chamber
21 Feb 2022, 2:30 p.m.
Defence (including Topical Questions)
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Debates
Tuesday 25th January 2022
Select Committee Docs
Wednesday 26th January 2022
00:00
Select Committee Inquiry
Tuesday 18th January 2022
Russia-Ukraine Crisis

The Defence Committee is holding an evidence session to respond to the latest events surrounding Russia's military build-up on the …

Written Answers
Thursday 27th January 2022
Armed Forces: Mefloquine
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department continues to apply the criteria introduced following the 2016 …
Secondary Legislation
Monday 15th March 2021
Personal Injuries (Civilians) Scheme (Amendment) Order 2021
This Order amends the Personal Injuries (Civilians) Scheme 1983 (“the Scheme”), which makes provision for the payment of pensions and …
Bills
Tuesday 26th January 2021
Armed Forces Act 2021
A Bill to continue the Armed Forces Act 2006; to amend that Act and other enactments relating to the armed …
Dept. Publications
Thursday 27th January 2022
14:00

Ministry of Defence Commons Appearances

Oral Answers to Questions is a regularly scheduled appearance where the Secretary of State and junior minister will answer at the Dispatch Box questions from backbench MPs

Other Commons Chamber appearances can be:
  • Urgent Questions where the Speaker has selected a question to which a Minister must reply that day
  • Adjornment Debates a 30 minute debate attended by a Minister that concludes the day in Parliament.
  • Oral Statements informing the Commons of a significant development, where backbench MP's can then question the Minister making the statement.

Westminster Hall debates are performed in response to backbench MPs or e-petitions asking for a Minister to address a detailed issue

Written Statements are made when a current event is not sufficiently significant to require an Oral Statement, but the House is required to be informed.

Most Recent Commons Appearances by Category
Jan. 10
Oral Questions
Feb. 05
Topical Questions
Dec. 16
Written Statements
Jun. 15
Adjournment Debate
View All Ministry of Defence Commons Contibutions

Bills currently before Parliament

Ministry of Defence does not have Bills currently before Parliament


Acts of Parliament created in the 2019 Parliament

Introduced: 26th January 2021

A Bill to continue the Armed Forces Act 2006; to amend that Act and other enactments relating to the armed forces; to make provision about service in the reserve forces; to make provision about pardons for certain abolished service offences; to make provision about war pensions; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Wednesday 15th December 2021 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 18th March 2020

A Bill to Make provision about legal proceedings and consideration of derogation from the European Convention on Human Rights in connection with operations of the armed forces outside the British Islands.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Thursday 29th April 2021 and was enacted into law.

Ministry of Defence - Secondary Legislation

This Order amends the Personal Injuries (Civilians) Scheme 1983 (“the Scheme”), which makes provision for the payment of pensions and allowances to, or in respect of, civilians who were killed or injured during the 1939-1945 World War.
This Order amends the Armed Forces and Reserve Forces (Compensation Scheme) Order 2011 (S.I. 2011/517) (“the principal Order”), which provides for benefits to be payable to, or in respect of, a person by reason of injury, illness or death caused wholly or partly by service in the regular or reserve armed forces.
View All Ministry of Defence Secondary Legislation

Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

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We are demanding that the government treats Gurkhas fairly and pays them the same pension as other British veterans of the same rank and service. Many Gurkhas joined the Queen’s Gurkha Army believing their pension would sustain them and their families but sadly this has not been the case.

View All Ministry of Defence Petitions

Departmental Select Committee

Defence Committee

Commons Select Committees are a formally established cross-party group of backbench MPs tasked with holding a Government department to account.

At any time there will be number of ongoing investigations into the work of the Department, or issues which fall within the oversight of the Department. Witnesses can be summoned from within the Government and outside to assist in these inquiries.

Select Committee findings are reported to the Commons, printed, and published on the Parliament website. The government then usually has 60 days to reply to the committee's recommendations.


11 Members of the Defence Committee
Tobias Ellwood Portrait
Tobias Ellwood (Conservative - Bournemouth East)
Defence Committee Chair since 29th January 2020
John Spellar Portrait
John Spellar (Labour - Warley)
Defence Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Gavin Robinson Portrait
Gavin Robinson (Democratic Unionist Party - Belfast East)
Defence Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Emma Lewell-Buck Portrait
Emma Lewell-Buck (Labour - South Shields)
Defence Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Mark Francois Portrait
Mark Francois (Conservative - Rayleigh and Wickford)
Defence Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Richard Drax Portrait
Richard Drax (Conservative - South Dorset)
Defence Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Sarah Atherton Portrait
Sarah Atherton (Conservative - Wrexham)
Defence Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Stuart Anderson Portrait
Stuart Anderson (Conservative - Wolverhampton South West)
Defence Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Derek Twigg Portrait
Derek Twigg (Labour - Halton)
Defence Committee Member since 11th May 2020
Kevan Jones Portrait
Kevan Jones (Labour - North Durham)
Defence Committee Member since 11th May 2020
Dave Doogan Portrait
Dave Doogan (Scottish National Party - Angus)
Defence Committee Member since 5th January 2022

50 most recent Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department

24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many veteran ID cards have been issued by his Department as of 24 January 2022.

Since December 2018, there have been 43,913 HM Armed Forces Veterans’ Recognition Cards issued to service leavers as part of phase one. Phase two will see the Cards made available to existing veterans. A forecast of the size of the veteran population is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/769727/20190107_Background_Quality_Report_-_Population_Projections_-_UK_Armed_Forces_Veterans_residing_in_Great_Britain_-_2016_to_2028.pdf

No estimate has been made as to how many of those are likely to apply for a Card.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent estimate has he made of the number of veterans eligible for a Veterans ID card who have yet to receive their Veterans ID card.

Since December 2018, there have been 43,913 HM Armed Forces Veterans’ Recognition Cards issued to service leavers as part of phase one. Phase two will see the Cards made available to existing veterans. A forecast of the size of the veteran population is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/769727/20190107_Background_Quality_Report_-_Population_Projections_-_UK_Armed_Forces_Veterans_residing_in_Great_Britain_-_2016_to_2028.pdf

No estimate has been made as to how many of those are likely to apply for a Card.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has (a) undertaken a risk assessment on behalf of those members of the Services travelling to Beijing as part of Team GB and (b) issued personal security advice and information to those serving personnel who are expected to travel.

The Ministry of Defence is proud of all Defence personnel involved with Team GB, and takes their security very seriously. Risk assessments regarding the 2022 Winter Olympics have been conducted by the Department in collaboration with Government partners. Tailored security threat awareness briefings have been, and will continue to be, delivered by security teams to Defence personnel travelling to Beijing to participate in the Games.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 21 January 2022 to Question 106614 on Ministry of Defence: Stonewall, for what reason his Department did not maintain financial records of the £14,681 the Army spent on Stonewall in the 2017-18 financial year; and what his Department's requirements are for recording and retention of financial expenditure.

In my response to Question 103509 on 18 January and to Question 106613 on 21 January, the Army spent £17,181 in FY2017-18. £2,500 of this was for Stonewall Membership. The remaining £14,681 was spent on Stonewall Conferences as well Stonewall training courses which are purchased on an ad-hoc basis by the Army LGBT+ network. As the full breakdown and specifics are held on archived IT systems it would take time to retrieve and collate the information in a more granular format.

FY2017-18

Cost

Training

£13,641

Conference Fees

£1,040

Government policy is that financial records should be kept for up to seven years. Government departments and agencies’ accounts have to be laid before Parliament and are therefore preserved as published Parliamentary papers. Therefore, supporting documentation may be destroyed after any limitation periods have expired.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reason the basing arrangements for HMS Spey and HMS Tamar in the Far East has changed from a base in Singapore to a service contract with BAE Systems not in Singapore.

The Batch 2 OPVs are highly versatile platforms with the advantage of being suitable for maintenance in a large number of ship yards around the world. Thus, whilst BAE Systems continue to have the contract for maintenance of these ships, they do not need to be tied to maintenance in a single home base. This maximises range and utility.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
18th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they seek to reconcile a focus on tackling the proliferation of advanced military technologies with prioritising the development and integration of new technologies “required for near-peer, high-tech warfighting”, such as “AI-enabled autonomous capabilities” as identified in the Ministry of Defence’s Defence in a Competitive Age paper, published in March 2021.

The Ministry of Defence is committed to developing and deploying AI-enabled systems responsibly and promoting responsible use worldwide.

The UK will work with allies and partners to address the issue of proliferation of advanced military technologies such as AI-enabled autonomous capabilities. This will include reinforcement of the disarmament and export control regimes, treaties and organisations; development of the means of preventing AI proliferation or misuse; and monitoring the risks of AI exacerbating existing counter-proliferation and arms control challenges. This will ensure that the opportunities gained from the development and integration of new technologies are balanced with appropriate controls.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
18th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they maintain the position that the UK does not possess fully autonomous weapon systems and has no intention of developing them.

Our position on fully autonomous weapon systems is clear and unchanged. The UK does not possess fully autonomous weapon systems and has no intention of developing them.

When deploying autonomous weapon systems we will always ensure meaningful and context-appropriate human involvement across the system lifecycle from development to deployment, ensuring human responsibility for outcomes.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
18th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the potential impact of increasing autonomy in weapons systems on (1) civilian protection, and (2) compliance with international humanitarian law.

The deployment in armed conflict of any weapon system - including one with autonomous functions - which does not distinguish between combatants and civilians would be contrary to International Humanitarian LAW (IHL) and therefore unlawful. We strongly believe that AI and autonomy within weapon systems can and must be used lawfully and ethically. Autonomous systems have the potential to support the better application of IHL by improving the evidence, analysis and timeliness of decision making.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
18th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the International Committee for the Red Cross’s analysis that a new legally-binding instrument, including prohibitions and positive obligations, is required to regulate autonomous weapons systems.

We regularly engage with a wide range of stakeholders on lethal autonomous weapon systems (LAWS), including those - such as the International Committee of the Red Cross - that believe a new legally binding instrument on LAWS is necessary. The UK does not support calls for a legally binding instrument on LAWS. Our view remains that International Humanitarian Law (IHL) provides a robust, principle-based framework for the regulation of weapons development and use, and we will continue to engage at the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons seeking to clarify the prohibitions and positive obligations around the use of autonomous weapon systems under IHL.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department continues to apply the criteria introduced following the 2016 publication of the Defence Committee report (HC567) calling for restrictions on the prescribing of the antimalarial drug Lariam (Mefloquine) to Service personnel; if he will arrange for a consolidated table to be published of the twice-yearly data, subsequently compiled, showing the (a) number of individuals prescribed Lariam in each six-month period since such data began to be released, (b) percentages of those individuals prescribed Lariam who (i) did and (ii) did not receive face-to-face assessments, prior to the issuing of the prescriptions during each six-month period, and (c) totals of other antimalarials prescribed to Service personnel during each six-month period; whether it is his policy that the use of Lariam on a scale greater than that since 2016 should be permitted in future; and whether he accepts the original recommendation by the Defence Committee that Lariam should be designated as a drug of last resort, to be prescribed to Service personnel only (A) if an individual is unable to tolerate any of the available alternatives; (B) after a face-to-face individual risk assessment; and (C) after he or she has been made aware of the available alternatives and given the choice between such alternatives and Lariam; and whether his Department has an evidential basis for challenging evidence of serious side effects previously caused to some Service personnel when Lariam was widely dispensed within the Armed Forces.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) revised its malaria prevention policy in response to the Defence Select Committee Inquiry. As a result, it remains the policy that mefloquine only be prescribed to Service personnel by a doctor, after a face-to-face malaria health risk assessment and alternatives to mefloquine have been identified as unsuitable. There are no plans for this policy to change in the future.

The Government publishes official statistics every six months on Mefloquine Prescribing in UK Armed Forces. All future official statistics will include the supplementary table requested.

It is admitted, on the balance of probabilities, that as a prophylactic mefloquine can cause a range of minor to moderate psychiatric symptoms in certain individuals for a limited period of time. The causal relation between mefloquine and severe or long-term symptoms has not been shown. Whether it has caused any symptoms in individual cases will be a matter for expert evidence.

The issue of longer-term sequelae is currently being litigated and the MOD has the support of eminent experts in the fields of psychiatry, neuro-psychiatry, epidemiology, neurotoxicology and psychopharmacology whose evidence is privileged and will be disclosed in due course within the litigation. Their evidence is consistent in its conclusion that there is insufficient evidence to establish a link between taking mefloquine and long-term psychiatric illness or neurological damage.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
21st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when his Department plans to publish the Defence Space Strategy.

We are planning for the publication of the Defence Space Strategy to happen soon.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
21st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what his Department's plans are for the Skynet 6 Enduring Capability programme; and when his Department plans to publish a timeline for that programme.

The Enduring Capability requirement consists of two elements: the satellites and the ground-based infrastructure. Both are important investments within the Defence Space Strategy, giving opportunity to lever the best of UK space research and development. This will deliver long term innovative solutions for the which can overcome the increasingly hostile threats that we face in space.

We continue to refine the Enduring Capability satellite requirement and procurement approach. As part of this refinement, we will be undertaking further industry engagement which will inform the satellite programme timeline.

The exact timings for the ground-based elements are dependent on the final agreements reached on the preceding programme of ground and flight control provision (the Service Delivery Wrap, which is currently being competed).

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 9 June 2021 to Question 10187, on Chinook Helicopters: Procurement, how many jobs are expected to be supported in the wider UK supply chain for manufacture and long-term support.

The current number of UK industry jobs supporting the Chinook helicopter fleet is estimated to exceed 450 across the UK defence supply chain. This includes around 100 jobs under the contract with BDUK to install state-of-the-art Infra-Red Suppression Systems across some of the Chinook fleet.

The UK and US Governments reached agreement in March 2021 to procure a future Chinook Capability as part of the Chinook Capability Sustainment Programme. This long-term investment is highly likely to provide sustainment of UK supply chain jobs and opportunities in the support of the Chinook Platform.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the number of UK jobs created by the £64 million contract awarded to BDUK to improve the defence systems of the UK's Chinook fleet.

The current number of UK industry jobs supporting the Chinook helicopter fleet is estimated to exceed 450 across the UK defence supply chain. This includes around 100 jobs under the contract with BDUK to install state-of-the-art Infra-Red Suppression Systems across some of the Chinook fleet.

The UK and US Governments reached agreement in March 2021 to procure a future Chinook Capability as part of the Chinook Capability Sustainment Programme. This long-term investment is highly likely to provide sustainment of UK supply chain jobs and opportunities in the support of the Chinook Platform.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
21st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will make it his policy to publish daily data on Channel crossings.

Detailed planning for Operation ISOTROPE is underway and further information, including relating to periodic data reporting, will be announced in due course.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
21st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much the planned upgrades at (a) NSA/NRO Menwith Hill and (b) USAF Fairford will cost; and (b) who will pay for those upgrades.

Planned upgrades at Menwith Hill and Fairford will be funded by the United States.

An approximation of planned upgrade costs can be found below.

Menwith Hill

$40 million

Fairford

$300 million

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to fund (a) training and (b) infrastructure in cyber technology for national defence purposes.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) works closely with the National Cyber Security Centre and other government departments in support of national defence purposes. The Department is funding the delivery of transformative defensive cyber capabilities through a range of transformation programmes - both cyber defence specific and those delivering the wider digital transformation of the MOD.

The Defence Cyber School is upskilling MOD and government personnel with the tech capabilities needed for cyber professional roles, and our Cyber Confident initiative is delivering improved training and awareness for all, so that our people are an effective frontline of defence.

We have put in place a comprehensive program of activity to modernise and stay current in the face of a dynamic risk profile. These measures, co-ordinated across the whole Department and in partnership with other government experts, focus on enhancing skills, processes and technology to strengthen the ability of the MOD to prevent, detect, respond and recover from cyber-attack.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to protect (a) water plants, (b) power plants and (c) other critical national infrastructure.

Within the UK, the safety and security of individual pieces of critical national infrastructure is the responsibility of the relevant commercial operator and Police force for the geographical area in which it is located. At the strategic level, the department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is responsible for the overall operation and resilience of the UK's domestic energy sector. The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is responsible for the overall operation and resilience of the UK's water sector. The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) provides advice on the resilience of Critical National Infrastructure across the UK.

The Ministry of Defence and the UK Armed Forces are responsible for the security and territorial integrity of the UK as a whole. Defence of the UK and its overseas territories from the malicious intent of our adversaries is the first task of the Ministry of Defence and our Armed Forces. This extends to being prepared to defend against and counter external hostile threats to our way of life and the delivery of critical services. I would, however, like to reassure you that I have received no indication that the Armed Forces would be required to provide protection water plants, power plants, or to other critical national infrastructure in the foreseeable future.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many new vessels will need to be (a) procured or (b) leased to provide sufficient cross-decking capacity to deliver his Department’s new responsibilities for the cross channel migration operation.

Detailed plans for operation ISOTROPE are under development and further information will be made available to the House in due course. This may include making available additional naval surface or air capabilities, and procurement or leasing activity will be considered as needed.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
20th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what progress has been made on the Autonomy and Artificial Intelligence Collaboration (AAIC) Partnership Agreement signed with the US Air Force Research Laboratory in December 2020; and if he will place a copy of that agreement in the Library.

Thanks to this collaboration good progress has been made in developing AI and Autonomy tools for use against priority operational challenges and scenarios. The latest milestone event (along with a review conducted by the deputy principles) was held in October 2021, demonstrating how the UK and US can integrate AI technology to create an end-to-end machine learning research development and deployment ecosystem, enabling rapid data-sharing and algorithm development, evaluation and deployment: . A report was published and is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/us-and-uk-research-labs-collaborate-on-autonomy-and-ai.

We do not intend to place the Project Arrangement in the House Library. The hon. Member may also wish to be aware that the Project Arrangement would fall within the scope of the qualified exemption provided for at Section 27 (International Relations) of the Freedom of Information Act. I am therefore withholding the information as its disclosure would or would be likely to prejudice relations between the United Kingdom and another State.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
20th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the Government's policy is on the UK developing systems that operate without human intervention in the weapon command and control chain.

The United Kingdom does not possess, and has no intention of developing fully autonomous systems which operate without human intervention in the weapon command and control chain.

When deploying autonomous weapon systems, we will always ensure meaningful and context-appropriate human involvement across the system lifecycle from development to deployment, ensuring human responsibility for outcomes.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
20th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with (1) BA Systems, or (2) Babcock, regarding the build rate of the (a) Type 26 frigates, or (b) Type 31 frigates.

Ministers and officials hold regular meetings with defence contractors and suppliers, including BAE Systems and Babcock to discuss a variety of subjects, including frigate programmes.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
21st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reason omitted estimates and data for jobs supported by MOD expenditure have been delayed for the report entitled MOD regional expenditure with UK industry and commerce and supported employment 2020/2021; and when that data will be published.

The omitted estimates and data for jobs supported by Ministry of Defence expenditure have been delayed due to a delay in the availability of the latest employment and turnover data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), caused by the impact of COVID-19 on the ONS Business Surveys. The ONS figures are required for the calculation of employment estimates. Subject to the availability of data from the ONS, we estimate that we will be able publish a revision of the bulletin to include the jobs estimates for 2020-21 in early summer 2022.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he plans to respond to the letter of 6 October 2021 from the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle on the proposed Royal yacht.

I responded to the hon. Member on 25 January 2022.

Ben Wallace
Secretary of State for Defence
20th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent progress has been made on the Fleet Solid Support Ship competition.

As announced on 1 September 2021, four consortia, all of which include significant UK involvement, have been awarded Fleet Solid Support (FSS) ship Competitive Procurement Phase contracts to mature their proposals. The project is on track to receive final manufacture tenders in July 2022. The Ministry of Defence expects to be able to award a manufacture contract for the FSS ships within two years of competition launch in May 2021.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many and what types of vessels which will be brought under Royal Navy command when it takes primacy for tackling illegal Channel crossings.

Detailed planning for Operation ISOTROPE is underway and further detail will be announced in due course. The capabilities that Defence makes available for this task are likely to include the same classes of naval vessels and airborne intelligence and surveillance assets that have previously supported the Home Office with countering small boat migration in the Channel.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the Navy have interception or interdiction powers for taking primacy over illegal Channel crossings.

The Royal Navy's role will focus on efficient command and coordination of cross-Government assets to improve surveillance, detection and interception capabilities. No new legal powers for the Navy are envisaged at this time.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many requests made under the Freedom of Information Act have been declined under the grounds set out in section 26 of that Act in each of the last five years.

The Ministry of Defence publishes this information quarterly and annually through the Cabinet Office. The quarterly and annual information for 2017-2020 is available on the gov.uk website. The annual Freedom of Information Statistics for 2021 will be published in spring 2022. However, the first three quarters for 2021 are available on gov.uk.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/government-foi-statistics.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
20th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many and what proportion of applications for payments under the (a) War Pensions and (b) Armed Forces Compensation Scheme are declined at the (i) initial application stage, (ii) the appeal stage, and (iii) at the tribunal stage.

Between 1 April 2009 and 31 March 2021:

Of the 107,882 disablement claims cleared at initial review under the War Pension Scheme (WPS), 34,965 (32%) were declined. During this period 11,748 tribunal decisions were made. 7,016 (60%) of which were rejected by the Tribunal and found in the Department's favour.

Declined initial reviews include rejected first and second/subsequent disablement claims and maintained assessments at second/subsequent claim. Declined tribunal decisions include disallowed disablement entitlement appeals and maintained assessment appeals. Both exclude reduced assessments.

Please note, there is no internal appeals process under the WPS and as such an answer to question (ii) cannot be provided.

Of the 94,426 injury/illness claims cleared under the AFCS, 29,615 (31%) were initially rejected. Of the 18,921 reconsiderations cleared under the AFCS, 13,993 (74%) were declined. During this period 7,550 tribunal appeals were cleared. 3,561 (47%) of which were rejected and found in the Department's favour.

Declined reconsiderations and tribunal appeals includes disallowed and maintained claims but excludes reduced awards.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
20th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many applications for payments under the (a) War Pensions and (b) the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme were made in each year from 2010.

The number of disablement claims registered under the War Pension Scheme (WPS) and the number of injury/illness claims registered under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) in each financial year from 2009-10 to 2020-21 is presented in Table 1.

Table 1: Registered Disablement1 claims under the War Pension Scheme and Registered Injury/Illness claims under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, by financial year2, numbers- 1 April 2009 – 31 March 2021

Financial Year

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

War Pension Scheme

13,819

12,330

11,840

11,878

12,149

11,043

Armed Forces Compensation Scheme3,4

5,302

6,527

7,305

7,774

8,699

8,964

Financial Year

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

Total

War Pension Scheme

10,496

9,065

8,998

8,865

8,441

4,774

123,968

Armed Forces Compensation Scheme3,4

9,246

9,087

9,457

8,842

8,059

5,300

94,562

Source: War Pension Computer System (WPCS) and Compensation and Pension System (CAPS)

1. Disablement claims include both First and Second/Subsequent claims.

2. By financial year of claim registered.

3. Injury/Illness claims registered by the service person. Survivors’ Claims are not included in this response.

4. These figures exclude registered events which end up being cancelled or withdrawn. However, there were 1,703 registered initial injury/illness claims which were pending as at 31 March 2021, many of which may end up being removed.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which British Army infantry battalion is due to be the first to receive the Boxer AFV.

Following the Integrated Review, the Boxer fleet will be an integral part of the new Armoured Brigade Combat Teams. The decision on which British Army infantry battalion will be the first to receive the vehicles is yet to be confirmed.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will publish the (a) TDEL and (b) whole life costs of the Morpheus programme.

The Ministry of Defence is not able to release financial information regarding forecasted TDEL (whole life costs) for the MORPHEUS programme as it would prejudice our ability to conduct future negotiations with Industry in order to deliver best value for money.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
20th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the replacement for the SA80 assault rifle will be manufactured in the UK.

A decision has not been taken on where the replacement will be manufactured, as consideration of the replacement options has not yet completed.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will publish the TDEL costs of the AESA radar upgrade.

The total financial approval for the AESA radar is £818.9 million and this is intended to deliver a prototype European Common Radar System (ECRS) Mk2 radar ready for flight trials and critical design review for the ECRS Mk2 production radar.

The strategic intent to continue ECRS Mk2 development and integrate the radar onto Typhoon was confirmed in the Defence Command Paper. However, the investment required to do so is subject to final approval.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to Question 100453, for what reason the whole life costs of the P-8 programme has fallen.

I refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 20 January 2022 to Question 105386.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
20th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when the Government plans to announce the replacement for the SA80 assault rifle.

The requirements for a replacement to the SA80 family of weapons are currently being investigated. The Army, working with the other services, is leading on this process.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
20th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 5 January 2022 to Question 93929, what assessment he has made of the extent to which the restoration of the heating at RAF Cranwell is a sustainable solution to the restoration of heat.

The repair to restore the heating in the College Hall Officers' Mess at RAF Cranwell is a long-term solution. Additional work is planned to mitigate against future pipework issues, which, in turn will ease any future maintenance.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
20th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the SA80 assault rifle go out of service in 2025; and whether he is planning to extend its service life.

The SA80’s current Out of Service Date is 2030.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the anticipated date is of first deliveries of the Boxer AFV to the first unit.

As confirmed by the Secretary of State in the future soldier announcement, units will start to receive their first vehicles from 2023.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he has plans to adopt hydrogen propulsion for the Royal Navy’s small vessel fleet to reduce carbon emissions.

All future shipbuilding programmes will consider alternative fuel options and sustainability efficiencies within their designs as well as technologies for measuring and optimising power consumption. At this stage, there are no plans to adopt hydrogen propulsion for the Royal Navy's existing small vessel fleet.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the UK currently has an agreement with the Royal Norwegian Air Force to share facilities to maintain their respective P-8 fleets.

The Royal Air Force and Royal Norwegian Air Force maintain strong links, especially in respect of P-8A Poseidon. However, there are no arrangements currently in place between the Royal Air Force and the Royal Norwegian Air Force to share facilities to maintain their respective P-8A Poseidon Fleets, and none are currently planned.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
20th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the level of pollution caused by a F-35 fighter jet (a) taking off and (b) landing; and what powers he has to regulate those pollution levels in the context of the Government's commitments made at COP26.

The F-35 Lightning uses Aviation Fuel at a similar consumption rate to comparable Combat Aircraft. However, it offers large advantages over legacy aircraft fleets like Tornado GR4, and a far greater proportion of routine training can now be achieved in highly realistic simulators, that for previous legacy fleets would have required additional reliance on live flying. The RAF continues to work to enhance this Synthetic Operational Training environment through Next Generation Operational Training (NGOT) and Programme Gladiator, further reducing its reliance on live flying to meet routine training goals.

Working closely with the Defence Strategic Fuels Authority, industry and academia, the RAF is also leading research and trials of the next generation of Sustainable Aviation Fuels and future Synthetic Fuels.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether Navy ships will be used to transport migrants from the English channel to (a) the UK, (b) France or (c) an offshore process centre.

Under Operation ISOTROPE, Defence's role is to enhance the UK's ability to respond to all irregular immigration and safety of life at sea incidents in the English Channel. Our planning assumptions are for persons intercepted in the Channel to be escorted to the UK in a safe and controlled manner, for onward processing.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
18th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the options beyond the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons to address concerns about lethal autonomous weapons systems.

The Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) remains the appropriate forum to address the challenges associated with the use of autonomy in weapon systems. The CCW Review Conference renewed the mandate of the Group of Government Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS) and the UK will continue to play an active role in it, working with the international community to agree norms and positive obligations to ensure the safe and responsible use of autonomy.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when the Multi-Role Ocean Surveillance Ship that will replace HMS Scott will (a) be ordered and (b) enter service.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 25 November 2021 to Question 76874 to the right hon. Member for North Durham (Mr Kevan Jones).

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
20th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how his Department calculates the total DEL cost for a defence programme.

I refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 24 January 2022 to Question 105379.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
20th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether Navy ships will be deployed in the Channel to tackle illegal migrant crossings.

There may be a requirement for the deployment of Royal Navy vessels to help to counter illegal migrant crossings, and Defence has a range of capabilities that may be called upon to contribute to this objective. Detailed planning for Operation ISOTROPE is underway and further detail will be announced in due course.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
20th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he discussed his proposals for the Navy to take primacy for tackling illegal Channel crossings with his French counterpart.

The Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary remain responsible for engagement and negotiations with the French on our future relationship with regards to stemming irregular migration between Europe and the United Kingdom. The defence relationship with France remains strong, and Ministers engage with their French counterparts regularly on areas of joint interest.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
20th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on defence and security cooperation between the UK and France of his decision to give the Navy primacy in tackling illegal Channel crossings.

The UK and France enjoy a strong defence and security relationship with many areas of shared interest, from operations in the Sahel to tackling the criminal networks behind people trafficking. The decision to give our Navy primacy over countering illegal Channel crossings will contribute to the common goals of both the UK and France to tackle this abhorrent activity.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)