§ Mrs. Ray Michie
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what technology his Department is developing to assist in the clearance of anti-personnel land mines; 345W
(2) what research and development work has been funded by his Department since May 1997 into antipersonnel land mines clearance devices. 
§ Dr. Moonie
Since May 1997 my Department has conducted research into the following mine detection technologies for military purposes:
- Ground penetrating radar
- Polarised thermal imaging
- Metal detection
- Quadruple resonance
- Ultra-wide band radar
- Ultra-wide bank synthetic aperture radar
- Research is also being conducted on the following technologies for the neutralisation of mines for military purposes:
- Projectile attack
- Shaped charge attack
- Pyrotechnic torch
- Mechanical extraction.
RN exercises—cancelled or nil participation Serial Name Reason Dates National/ International 1 Open Spirit Ship re-deployed to NATO Standing Force (Mine Countermeasure Force North) to ensure that the ship originally allocated to MCM Force did not breach harmony guidelines following additional tasking August 1999 International 2 Sandy Coast 991 Ship allocated was involved in ordnance clearance operations in Adriatic under NATO auspices. The opertation was extended which precluded her participation in Sandy Coast September 1999 International 3 Falcon Nut1 Ship re-deployed with Amphibious Task Group to Mediterranean in order to achieve a more cohesive force package October 1999 International 4 Flotex In year Budget Management Measure November 1999 International 5 Cadence Brake In year Budget Management Measure November 1999 National 6 Squadex 45/99 The opportunity arose to operate with French carrier which was considered to provide greater training benefits November 1999 International 7 Aswex 2000 In year Budget Management Measure January 2000 National 8 RM Winter Deployment In year Budget Management Measure January 2000 National 1 UK units allocated to NATO participated but there was no direct UK involvement
HQ land command exercises—cancelled or nil participation Serial Name Reason Dates National/ International 1 Med Man 2/99 No suitable unit available1 June-July 1999 National 2 Lion Sun 4/99 Kosovo Ops April-May 1999 National 3 Lion Sun 7/99 Kosovo Ops May-June 1999 National 4 Lion Sun 8/99 Kosovo Ops June-July 1999 National 5 Lion Sun 10/99 Kosovo Ops July-August 1999 National 6 Lion Sun 14/99 Kosovo Ops October-November 1999 National 7 Lion Sun 15/99 Kosovo Ops November-December 1999 National 8 Stoney Run/Mill Race Kosovo Ops May-October 1999 International 9 Glow-Worm/Rattlesnake Kosovo Ops June 1999 International 10 Larksong/Foxtrot Kosovo Ops May-October 1999 International 11 Courageous Bat Kosovo Ops June 1999 International 12 Devils Hat Kosovo Ops May 1999 National 13 Cygnet Vine Lack of Air Transport Fleet support (involved in Kosovo Ops) May 1999 National 14 Cygnet Spear Lack of Air Transport Fleet support (involved in Kosovo Ops) April 1999 National 15 Ardent Ground Kosovo Ops May 1999 International 16 Arrcade Guard Kosovo Ops March 1999 International 17 Arrcade Fusion Kosovo Ops October-November 1999 International 18 Comd Ops Recce Kosovo Ops June 1999 National 19 Log Study Period Kosovo Ops June 1999 National 20 Adventure Exchange Kosovo Ops September-October 1999 International 1 The exercise was cancelled in the planning stages because a suitable unit could not be identified that had undertaken pre BATUS (British Army Training Unit Suffield) training on Challenger II.
We are also conducting research toward a vehicle-based route clearance system; the removal of anti-personnel land mines might be an aspiration for a later enhancement of this system.
The Defence Evaluation and Research Agency have recently developed a pyrotechnic torch, commercially known as the Fireant, to destroy anti-personnel and anti-vehicle mines once they have been located. This is currently being trialled on operations.