Bob Ainsworth (Coventry North East, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many staff of his Department were employed on a (a) part-time and (b) full-time basis on work to assess the costs, risks and technical feasibility of fitting cats and traps in the carrier programme; and what estimate he has made of the cost of this work under each category of expenditure.
Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative)
Within the Ministry of Defence, the conversion of the Queen Elizabeth (QE) Class aircraft carriers is not considered to be a stand-alone project, but rather an extension of the core QE build project. The Ship Acquisition team which has responsibility for delivering the QE Class, currently has 64 personnel assigned to the carriers: of these 61 were providing support to both the core build and conversion investigations, and the remaining three personnel were supporting the conversion investigations on a full-time basis.
To the end of April 2012, we had committed up to £39 million on conversion appraisal investigations and £1 million on an Air-to-Air Refuelling Study.