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Volume 459: debated on Monday 30 April 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many cluster bombs or their equivalents (a) are in the ownership of the Government and (b) have been ordered and have yet to be delivered; what will happen to these stocks; and if he will make a statement. (131397)

I am withholding details about current and future in-service cluster munitions stock levels because its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.

As my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Defence announced in his written ministerial statement on 20 March 2007, Official Report, columns 36-37WS, we have withdrawn two types of cluster munitions, the RBL 755 and the MLRS M26, from service with immediate effect. Stocks of these munitions will undergo disposal. The disposal of other cluster munitions that have also been withdrawn from service (155mm HE M483, BL 755 and IBL 755) will continue. No further stocks of these munitions have been ordered.

Holdings of cluster munitions that have been withdrawn from service and are awaiting disposal, rounded to the nearest 100, are:


BL 755 (including the RBL 755 and the IBL 755) bombs


MLRS M26 rocket pods


HE M483 shells


HE M483 shells (unfused/incomplete)