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Aircraft Carriers

Volume 410: debated on Monday 18 August 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how the revised costing for the carrier programme will be accommodated within his Department's budget; and if he will make a statement. [128341]

As announced by the Secretary of State for Defence in January this year, our estimate of the cost of the Demonstration and Manufacture (D and M) of the future carriers is around £3 billion. This estimate will be refined further during the remainder of the Assessment phase prior to establishing D and M contracting arrangements currently planned for Spring 2004.Funding for this project has been already been set aside within the defence budget and is allocated to the Equipment Plan as is the case with all defence equipment projects.