Heard a few stories of shortages of batteries and problems with battery life and charging on ops. Received the following answers the other day. Appreciate and comments esp from those on ops, with usual security caveat. BOWMAN Combat Radio System: Batteries Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it his policy to release the general design specification for Bowman batteries and invite a range of companies to tender for their supply.  Mr. Bob Ainsworth: No. The Bowman prime contract was let in 2001 and the prime contractor, who has a commitment to supply the Bowman suite of batteries until 2009, issued a set of performance criteria and tested the market to ensure that the supplier offering the most appropriate, cost effective solutions was selected. A Bowman power study is being conducted which, when complete, should assist with ensuring that improved capabilities are delivered to the armed forces and aid the future procurement strategy for batteries. Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the ability of ABSL/AEA to provide batteries for Bowman to the standard required in theatre; and if he will make a statement.  Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Department has not undertaken an assessment of ABSL/AEA's ability to provide batteries for Bowman to the required standard. Overall responsibility to MOD for the standard of the product rests with the Bowman Prime Contractor, General Dynamics United Kingdom Ltd. However, ABSL Power Solutions, as the battery provider, is responsible for the quality and assurance of their products. Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons Bowman HF batteries have been recalled for replacement; and who was responsible for ensuring that the quality of this product was of the standard necessary for theatre before it was sent overseas.  Mr. Bob Ainsworth: In 2006, Bowman High Frequency (HF) Mark 1 radio batteries were recalled when it became evident that an immersion requirement had not been met and water ingress could occur. The battery provider, ABSL Power Solutions agreed to replace all 22 Jan 2008 : Column 1836W Mark 1 HF batteries at no cost to the Department and the replacement programme is continuing. Overall responsibility to MOD for the standard of the product rests with the Bowman prime contractor, General Dynamics United Kingdom Ltd. However, ABSL Power Solutions, as the battery provider, is responsible for the quality and assurance of their products.