To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which of his top level budget holders will be expected to meet the cost of his Department's commitment to participate in the Future Aircraft Carrier programme; when he expects the financial commitment to be quantified; in which future financial years he expects it to arise; and whether he estimates that the cost of this can be contained within present long term expenditure plans without adverse effects on other programmes. 
A number of TLBs within the Department will contribute to the cost of the Future Aircraft Carrier project depending on its stage in the acquisition cycle. The main Stakeholders will be the Defence Procurement Agency, Defence Logistics Organisation and Fleet.An estimated total cost exists for the programme but financial commitment will be only be formally quantified at the Main Gate assessment point, currently planned for early 2004. It is then planned to place the Demonstration and Manufacture (D&M) contract, which, on current plans, will cover financial commitment until 2016. Funding for this project has been already been set aside within the defence budget and is allocated to the Equipment Plan in keeping with all defence equipment projects.