12 Jun 08. Publication of Government responses. Defence Equipment 2008 The Defence Committee will be publishing Defence Equipment 2008: Government response to the Committee’s Tenth Report of Session 2007–08, HC 555, as its Seventh Special Report of Session 2007–08, at 11 am on Tuesday 17 June 2008.
The future of NATO and European defence. The Defence Committee will be publishing The future of NATO and European defence: Government response to the Committee’s Ninth Report of Session 2007–08, HC 660, as its Eighth Special Report of Session 2007–08, at 11 am on Thursday 19 June 2008.
Commons Hansard Text Friday 19 June 2008
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the estimated (a) cost
and (b) in-service date is of the (i) Astute class submarine, (ii) Type-45
Destroyer and (iii) Nimrod MRA4. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The estimated costs for the current Astute contract are
£3,798 million; for the current Type-45 contract £6,464 million; and for Nimrod
MRA4 £3,500 million. The first of the Astute class, ASTUTE, has an in-service
date of 2009, with AMBUSH following in 2010, and ARTFUL in 2012. The estimated
in-service date for Type-45 is November 2010, and for Nimrod MRA4 is 2010.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the rate of defence
inflation was in each of the last five years; and what the forecast figures for
the rate of defence inflation are in each of the next five years. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The MOD does not produce estimates of Defence inflation. Work
is currently under way to explore whether it might be possible to develop a
robust and reliable index of inflationary pressures in Defence.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Merlin Mark 1
helicopters are (a) in and (b) not in service; and what the status is of those not in service. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: For the purposes of this answer ‘in service’ has been taken to mean those helicopters in the Forward Fleet, available to the Front Line Commands for training and operations. ‘Not in service’ has been taken to mean
those helicopters in the Depth Fleet, in depth maintenance/storage, trials and undergoing upgrades. The number of Merlin Mk1 helicopters ‘in service’ as at 16 June 2008 is 23. There are 19 Merlin Mk1 helicopters ‘not in service’, of which, 13 are in depth maintenance facility, four are trialling new equipment and two are undergoing upgrades.
Type 45 Destroyers
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the latest date
is by which a seventh Type 45 destroyer would have to be ordered to avoid an
interruption in production. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 22 May 2008]: Following the Department’s 2008 planning round, we no longer intend to take up the option to place orders for further Type 45 warships beyond the six already on contract. Instead, we plan to bring forward the timetable for the introduction of the Future Surface Combatant which is intended to provide replacements for the Type 22 and Type 23 frigates. This, together with the Carrier and Astute programmes, will balance the volume of construction workload across maritime programmes to ensure retention of key capabilities and viability of the business that delivers them.
Type 45 Destroyers: Deployment
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Type 45
destroyers will be able to be deployed simultaneously if the total built is (a)
six, (b) seven and (c) eight; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 20 May 2008]: For a fleet of six Type 45
destroyers we would expect that one ship would usually be in deep maintenance,
leaving up to five available for deployment at various states of readiness.
Following the Department’s 2008 planning round, we no longer intend to take up