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Military Equipment

Volume 476: debated on Monday 2 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the scope is of his Department's examination of the equipment programme; when it will report; and if he will make a statement. (207058)

We are undertaking an examination of our planning assumptions for equipment over the next 10 years, with a view to bearing down on cost increases to equipment programmes and shifting the overall balance of defence procurement to the support of operations.

We hope to complete the examination in the summer, and it will provide an important input to our next planning round.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the planning assumption of the average unit cost of (a) procurement and (b) through life support for a Joint Strike Fighter is; what changes there have been to these assumptions since April 2002; how many Piranha 5 Future Rapid Effect System utility vehicles are planned to be procured; and if he will make a statement. (207120)

Unit production costs for joint strike fighter are dependent on the number and timing of aircraft purchases for all partner nations and the delivery profile. The UK’s total procurement cost is likely to be up to £10 billion, depending on the number of aircraft required. Through life support for joint combat aircraft will also be shaped by the number and timing of aircraft deliveries and will be announced when the programme is sufficiently mature. We are continuously defining our requirement before seeking approval to procure aircraft.

The number of Piranha 5 Future Rapid Effect System utility vehicles to be procured will be set at the time the main investment decision is taken.