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Volume 406: debated on Wednesday 4 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the Ministry of Defence's overseas propellant suppliers. [115483]

[holding answer 3 June 2003]: Propellant, as a component of munitions, is procured through a Framework Partnering Agreement with RO Defence Ltd. (ROD), a British based subsidiary of BAE Systems. The selection of suppliers is a commercial matter for RO Defence and they currently utilise: Nitro Chemie AG (Germany) and Muiden Chemie (The Netherlands). Other sources of propellant used by manufacturers for Ministry of Defence contracts are, Nitro Chemie Wimmis (Switzerland), Nammo (Sweden) and General Dynamics (USA).

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department plans to re-establish a UK-based propellant facility. [115958]

[holding answer 3 June 2003]: The Ministry of Defence has no current plans to re-establish a United Kingdom-based propellant facility. This is consistent with the MOD's belief, which has been endorsed by the House of Commons Defence Select Committee and the National Audit Office, that there are no strategic or defence reasons to retain an indigenous propellant manufacturing capability. Propellant as a component of ammunition is currently procured from RO Defence Ltd. under the terms of a Framework Partnering Agreement. The sourcing of such material is a commercial matter for RO Defence.