§ Mr. David Evans
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many minesweepers are(a) being commissioned and (b) in the process of being built.
§ Mr. Sainsbury
There are currently two MCMVs and five SRMHs on order from the shipbuilder. Of these, one MCMV (HMS Berkeley) is due to be accepted later this month and will join the fleet as an operational unit on completion of trials. HMS Atherstone was accepted from the shipbuilder in 1986 and will join the fleet soon.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Royal Navy minesweepers are equipped with chaff launchers and missile detection radar.
§ Mr. Ian Stewart
Royal Navy mine counter-measures vessels are provided with self-defence equipment relevant to the range of threats they face in carrying out their operational tasks. It would not be in the interests of the safety of our ships to define the specific capabilities of individual ships.