DEF050721 - No. 02

Session 2005-06, 21 July 2005

Operational Note


Operational Note

ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN

At the Committee's meeting on 20 July the Rt Hon James Arbuthnot MP was elected Chairman.

FUTURE PROGRAMME

Future Carrier and Joint Combat Aircraft Programmes

The Committee intends to undertake an inquiry to examine the progress being made on the Future Carrier and Joint Combat Aircraft programmes. On the Future Carrier programme, the Committee will be particularly interested in the progress made in finalising the 'Alliance' arrangements and the progress in de-risking the programme before going to the main investment approval point. On the Joint Combat Aircraft programme, where the US Joint Strike Fighter has been selected to meet the requirement, the Committee will be interested in the progress made in addressing weight issues and issues regarding UK access to technology.

Dates for oral evidence will be announced in the autumn. Written submissions for this inquiry are welcome and should be sent to the Clerk of the Committee by 7 October 2005.

Delivering frontline capability to the RAF

The Committee intends to undertake an inquiry into the delivery of frontline capability to the RAF. This will include the examination of the progress being made in implementing MoD's decisions regarding the future support of military aircraft, such as the decision to concentrate on-aircraft support of the Tornado GR4 'forward' at RAF Marham. The Committee will be particularly interested in the implications of these decisions for the Defence Aviation and Repair Agency (DARA).

Dates for oral evidence will be announced in the autumn. Written submissions for this inquiry are welcome and should be sent to the Clerk of the Committee by 7 October 2005.

Afghanistan

The Committee intends to undertake an inquiry into British deployments to Afghanistan. As of May 2006, Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC), under British command, will lead NATO's ISAF mission. The Committee will examine experience of the existing deployments as well as looking forward to how the UK, through the ARRC, plans to tackle the security situation, security sector reform, the narcotics industry, the functioning of the Provisional Reconstruction Teams (PRTs), the geographical expansion of ISAF and the merger with the US-led Operational Enduring Freedom.

Dates for oral evidence will be announced in the autumn. Written submissions for this inquiry are welcome and should be sent to the Clerk of the Committee by 7 October 2005.

UK's strategic nuclear deterrent

The Committee has noted the extensive public interest in the future of the UK's strategic nuclear deterrent. It will set out in more detail in the Autumn how it intends to respond to this interest.

NOTES TO EDITORS:

1. Committee Membership is as follows: Rt Hon James Arbuthnot MP (Chairman), Mr David S Borrow MP, Mr Colin Breed MP, Derek Conway MP, Mr David Crausby MP, Linday Gilroy MP, Mr David Hamilton MP, Mr Mike Hancock MP, Mr Dai Havard MP, Mr Brian Jenkins MP, Mr Kevan Jones MP, Robert Key MP, John Smith MP, Mr Desmond Swayne MP

2. News Release: No. 02

FURTHER INFORMATION:

Media Enquiries: Adele Brown, Tel 020 7219 0724 / 07711 155 722, email - [email protected]

Specific Committee Information:  Tel 020 7219 5745, email - [email protected]

Committee Website: www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/defence_committee.cfm

Watch committees and parliamentary debates online:  www.parliamentlive.tv

Publications / Reports / Reference Material: Copies of all select committee reports are available from the Parliamentary Bookshop (12 Bridge St, Westminster, 020 7219 3890) or the Stationery Office (0845 7023474).  Committee reports, press releases, evidence transcripts, Bills; research papers, a directory of MPs, plus Hansard (from 8am daily) and much more, can be found on www.parliament.uk