HC Deb 21 January 2003 vol 398 c208W
Dr. Julian Lewis

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence to (1) what extent HMS Glasgow will be able to fulfil the specialist functions of HMS Nottingham as developed in her 1999–2000 refit; [91280]

(2) when HMS Glasgow was placed in extended readiness; and when she is expected to be fully operational; [91221]

(3) what assessment he has made of the (a) air defence and (b) anti-terrorist maritime capabilities of HMS Glasgow in comparison with those of HMS Nottingham. [91281]

Mr. Ingram

While the Type 42 Destroyer, HMS Glasgow, will help ease the short term programming gap in the Fleet created by the unavailability of HMS Nottingham, she is not a direct replacement for that ship. Although both ships are designed to provide area air defence, either independently or as an integral component of larger joint or coalition maritime Task Groups, Glasgow does not have the enhanced air defence capability to take over HMS Nottingham's programme. However, there is no difference between the "anti-terrorism" capabilities provided by the two ships.

HMS Glasgow was placed at extended readiness from May 2002 (Official Report 2 May 2002, column 965W). Further to the answer given to the hon. Member on 27 November 2002 (Official Report, column 334W), Glasgow's return to service is delayed by the requirement to provide personnel to Operation Fresco.

Mr. Jenkin

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether HMS Sovereign is fully operational; and if he will make a statement. [91033]

Mr. Ingram

HMS Sovereign has recently completed a long period of maintenance and is currently undertaking the training required, which will return her to a full operational state of readiness.