To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 3 June 2003 to the hon. Member for North Essex (Mr. Jenkin), Official Report, column 32W, on armoured vehicles, and his answer of 3 June 2003 to the hon. Member for South-West Devon (Mr. Streeter), Official Report, column 40W, on Iraq, what the (a) operational, (b) logistic and (c) economic basis is for replacing the Challenger 2 tanks. 
The decision to reduce the number of Challenger tanks in Iraq to a single squadron, deployed with 19 Mechanised Brigade, was taken for purely operational reasons. The rest have been withdrawn since there is only a very limited security role for them following the end of the conflict with Saddam Hussein's regime.