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Cluster Bombs

Volume 401: debated on Friday 14 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many cluster bombs are stockpiled by the Ministry of Defence, broken down by type. [102358]

Stockholdings of cluster bombs are held at an authorised war reserve stock figure. Details of the precise numbers of weapons could provide a potential adversary with information that could undermine our defence capabilities. I am therefore withholding this information in accordance with Exemption 1 (Defence, Security and International Relations) of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which types of cluster munitions the UK armed forces possess. [102359]

The United Kingdom armed forces possess the following types of cluster munitions; the multiple lunch rocket system (MLRS), Shell 155 mm HE L20A1 extended range bomblet shell (ERBS), Shell 155 mm HE M483A1 and the BL755.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the use by the RAF of cluster munitions. [102360]

Cluster bombs are one of a range of weapons systems available to the RAF, and are a legal weapon that fulfils a legitimate military role that cannot be performed by other means. Where the RAF has used cluster bombs, it has done so in a manner that is fully consistent with our obligations under international law.