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Disabled Submarine Evacuation

Volume 455: debated on Friday 26 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 1 November 2006, what the timetable is for the completion of tests involving live goats of safe procedures for evacuating disabled submarines, with particular reference to the ‘safe-to-escape curve’; and if he will make a statement. (113932)

QinetiQ is contracted to carry out the research programme on behalf of MOD until March 2007. As part of the contract renewal process the MOD is currently reviewing the need for, and further scope of, further research involving live goats. This will include an assessment of the completeness of the data set required to construct a “safe-to-escape curve” that will meet our safety requirements. If the review concludes that the remaining uncertainty in our knowledge is unacceptable then the research programme will continue. We will examine alternative approaches to those currently undertaken but will use goats if no acceptable alternative is available.