§ Mr. Hancock
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the ultra-wide band synthetic aperture radar programme; what has been the cost of the system to date; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Dr. Moonie
I assume that the question refers to the Remote Minefield Detection System (REMIDS) Technology Demonstrator Programme, which is investigating the development of a sensor to detect minefields and mined areas for military purposes. It is using Ultra-Wide Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (UWB SAR) as a preferred technology.
Tests carried out in 1998 at short range from a ground vehicle proved the potential effectiveness of a UWB SAR in the detection role, and successfully detected plastic and metal targets representative of mine-like anti-tank ordnance. The equipment is currently in an early prototype stage and the tests did not represent a realistic environment. However, sufficient information has been generated to proceed with confidence with work on a more powerful airborne system.
Approximately £390,000 has been spent to date.