§ Mr. Cousins
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the(a) designed maximum timed life and (b) self-destruct reliability of scatterable mine systems due to enter service with the armed forces in 1999. 
§ Mr. Arbuthnot
The designed maximum timed life of the land mines for the vehicle launched scatterable anti-tank mine system which is due to enter service with the Army in 1999 is classified. The design aim for the self destruct reliability of these anti-tank mines is 99.9 per cent. Testing to date has demonstrated that this is being met. Additionally, mine detonation relies on a short-life battery and any mine that fails to self-destruct will deactivate within a further short time.