§ Mr. Quentin Davies
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many personal weapons, and of which types, have been procured in each of the past five years; and how many are planned to be procured in the next five years. 
§ Dr. Moonie
This is a matter for the Chief Executive of the Defence Procurement Agency. I have asked the Chief Executive to write to the hon. Member.
Letter from Robert Walmsley to Mr. Quentin Davies, dated 11 July 2000I am replying to your question to the Secretary of State for Defence about the number and type of personal weapons that have been procured in the past 5 years and how many are planned to be procured in the next five years. This matter falls within my area of responsibility as Chief of Defence Procurement and Chief Executive of the Defence Procurement Agency.The following personal weapons have been procured for the Armed services in the last 5 years:—
Letter from Robert Walmsley to Mr. Paul Keetch, dated 11 July 2000:I am replying to your three questions (Nos 128709–128711) to the Secretary of State for Defence about the Nimrod MRA4 and Active Search Sonobuoy System. This matter falls within my area of responsibility as Chief of Defence Procurement and Chief Executive of the Defence Procurement Agency.You asked about the Department's plans for the incremental acquisition of new equipment onto the Nimrod MRA4. As this aircraft is still in development, it is too early for a comprehensive plan of future enhancements to be drawn up. Nevertheless the opportunities offered under the Smart Procurement Initiative, through incremental acquisition, will be actively pursued at the appropriate time. At present, there is one new system which is being progressed with the aim of enhancing the aircraft's capability, that is the SR(SA)903 Active Search Sonobuoy System (ASSS).You also asked how ASSS will be capable of discriminating real submarine targets from false acoustic alarms. ASSS will use sophisticated software which will analyse the acoustic signature of the contacts picked up by the sonobuoy. These solution algorithms will be able to discriminate real from false targets.Your final question asked how long the procurement of the ASSS will take. Subject to the project being approved next year, the plan will be to deliver an ASSS capability in line with the In-Service Date of the main Nimrod MRA4 programme (March 2005).