Feb 08. Defence Committee: New Inquiry. The Defence Committee has started an Inquiry into recruitment and retention in the Armed Forces. The Committee is also keen to inquire into issues concerning recruitment and retention in the Reserve Forces.
Comment: The Committee has said that it would welcome written evidence on all aspects of recruiting and retention. Oral evidence sessions are expected to be held towards the end of March 2008. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0808, 18 Feb 08)
20 Feb 2008
Armoured Fighting Vehicles
Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether the Mastiff
vehicle may be carried in the future A400M aircraft;
(2) what weapon systems have been added to the Mastiff vehicle; 
(3) how the (a) first and (b) subsequent Mastiff vehicles were delivered to
(4) what the (a) cost of the Cougar vehicle ex-USA is before being adapted in
the UK to become the Mastiff and (b) final cost of the Mastiff is in its ready
for theatre state. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Each Mastiff has been fitted with a general purpose machine gun, and either a heavy machine gun or a grenade machine gun. All Mastiff vehicles were delivered to theatre by air. Based on the planned technical specifications we have for A400M, it will be able to carry the Mastiff vehicle.
I am withholding the cost of a Cougar vehicle as its disclosure would prejudice
commercial interests. I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Woodspring (Dr. Fox) on 14 November 2007, Official Report, column 258W, about the cost of conversion to a Mastiff.