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Military Vehicles

Volume 449: debated on Wednesday 19 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) RG-31 vehicles, (b) mine-protected vehicles and (c) Cougar vehicles, and variants thereof, are in service; and where they are based. (81599)

There are no RG-31 vehicles currently in service with UK forces. There are eight of the current Mine Protected Vehicle in service, which is based on an early version of the Force Protection Inc. Cougar, including a number in Afghanistan.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of whether the improvised explosive device attack at Haditha, Iraq in 2006, on the amphibious assault vehicle operated by the US Marine Corps has implications for (a) the design of British armoured personnel carriers and (b) other British Army force protection measures. (82513)

We have established links with coalition partners in Iraq to exchange details of terrorist incidents, successful or otherwise, in order to identify lessons for tactics, platform design and capability development. We do not comment publicly on specific incidents or conclusions for reasons of operational security.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps have been taken since September 2004 to enhance the provision of electronic counter measures for military vehicles operating out-of-base in Iraq or Afghanistan. (84534)

The threat from Improvised Explosives Devices is constantly evolving and responding to it is one of our highest priorities. Over the past two years we have spent £120 million on protection for ground forces in Iraq, including on electronic counter measures. In addition, the British Army constantly reviews its training, tactics and procedures to minimise the risks to which our troops are exposed. It would not be appropriate to comment on the details as disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the effectiveness and security of the armed forces.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps have been taken since September 2004 to enhance ballistic protection to side doors, footwells and forward bulkheads of Snatch vehicles deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. (84542)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 7 June 2006, Official Report, column 624W.