§ Mr. Keetch
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contracts he has had with Vickers for the desertification of Challenger tanks; what components are covered under these contracts; what the date of the contracts was; what modifications were suggested by Vickers to the MoD regarding desertification; and what the MoD's response was. 
§ Mr. Hoon
I refer the hon. Member to the answers I gave him on 5 December 2002,Official Report, column 927W. There has been a wide range of discussions with Alvis Vickers Ltd. (previously Vickers Defence Systems) related to the modifications to improve Challenger 2's performance in desert conditions. I am withholding the specific details of the modification work under Exemption 1 (Defence, security and international relations) of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.