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Defence Equipment

Volume 478: debated on Thursday 26 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of (a) weapons mounted installation kits, (b) Warrior vehicles, (c) Saxon vehicles, (d) Scimitar vehicles, (e) combat vehicle reconnaissance tracked vehicles and (f) 0.5 inch heavy machine guns have been fit for service in each year since 2003. (191444)

Officials are currently compiling information from a range of sources which will take some time to complete. I will therefore write to the hon. Member and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.

Substantive answer from Bob Ainsworth to Nick Harvey:

I undertook to write to you in answer to your Parliamentary Question on 6 March 2008 (Official Report, column 2709W) about equipments fit for service and available for Army training.

The percentage of specific equipments fit for service in each year since 2005 are shown in the table below. Information is not available prior to 2005.

Percentage

2005

2006

2007

2008

WMIK

72

70

71

76

WARRIOR

62

53

44

46

SAXON

62

65

33

33

CVR(T)1

67

56

50

50

1 CVRT figures include SCIMITAR (which is a CVR(T) variant)

The main SAXON variant—the General War Role (GWR) was drawn down and disposed of in 2007 leaving two much smaller fleets of specialist SAXON variants. Relatively minor fluctuations in availability in these small fleets have a marked effect on the overall percentage compared to their effect on the previously existing significantly larger fleet. Availability data is not collated centrally for 0.5 inch Heavy Machine Gun.

You also asked about specified equipment types available for Army training in each year since 1997.

In theory the whole fleet is available for training including the deployed assets since some training is undertaken in operational theatres, although, of course, at any one time a number of equipments will be under repair, maintenance, conversion etc.

This number will vary from day to day and we do not maintain statistics on average availability. We can however provide snapshots as I did in my reply of 20 February 2008 (Official Report, column 699W). I attach a copy of the relevant Hansard extract.