HC Deb 15 January 1996 vol 269 c426W
Dr. David Clark

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the de-mining equipment possessed by his Department. [8988]

Mr. Arbuthnot

The primary requirement of the armed forces is to clear a path through minefield obstacles rather than to clear whole minefields. The following types of equipment are held by the United Kingdom armed forces to meet this requirement:

  • Mineploughs
  • Scatterable Mine Clearance Device
  • Giant Viper (explosive hose)
  • MIMIC (countermeasure for magnetic influence mines)
  • Hand held mine detectors
  • Prodders and hand held tools
  • Mine and route markers
  • Wheelbarrow (remote control vehicle).

Where mines have been located and marked for subsequent clearance, disposal is usually carried out using a standard demolition charge. In certain circumstances, small arms fire is used.

Dr. Clark

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which de-mining projects his Department funds world wide. [9006]

Mr. Arbuthnot

Government support for de-mining programmes throughout the world is provided through the Overseas Development Administration. In this context, I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply given by the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond and Barnes (Mr. Hanley) to the hon. Member for Ealing, North (Mr. Greenway) on 29 November 1995,Official Report, column 742.