(May 1, 2007) -- The Ministry of Defence (MoD) continues to place a high priority on improving combat identification for its forces through the right mix of organisation, equipment and training. The focus is on increasing military effectiveness so that operations are conducted successfully and rapidly with the minimum number of casualties overall, including those due to friendly fire.
Adam Ingram, Minister for the Armed Forces, said:
"Combat identification is complex. No single piece of technology will resolve all the issues of combat identification completely. Incidents of friendly fire are tragic, and are generally caused by a number of complex, inter-related factors - not by the lack of a particular piece of equipment.
"Combat I.D. has three main elements - situational awareness, target identification, and tactics and training. The MoD is committed to fielding the right mix of equipment with the right training to cover each of these three elements and improve overall combat effectiveness. The result will be that combat identification is also improved and the risk of friendly fire is minimised.
"The MoD will continue to strive to find the best solutions to deal with this important issue."
Regarding some of the specific issues raised by the PAC: the Battlefield Target Identification System programme is making progress and we are considering how soon we can proceed with it; the findings of Boards of Inquiry are now routinely released to Parliament; improvements have been made in data collection and analysis and co-ordination with our main allies - this will culminate in a multi-national exercise in the U.S. in Autumn 2007.