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Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if local overseas allowance is payable to air crews on exercise Saif Sareea and Operation Veritas; what the weekly value is of the (a) welfare package offered to air crews during Saif Sareea and (b) local overseas allowance; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: No Local Overseas Allowance (LOA) was payable to personnel, including aircrew, for Exercise Saif Sareea II, nor is it payable for those deployed on Operation Veritas. In both cases deployed personnel have been eligible for the Operational Welfare Package (OWP).
LOA is not part of the military salary or a reward for overseas service. It is a cost of living addition paid only in circumstances where personnel are likely to incur greater day-to-day expenditure overseas than they would in the UK. This is not generally the case for those deployed on operations or major exercises in remote locations.
A comprehensive OWP was made available to deployed personnel engaged in Exercise Saif Sareea II. I refer the hon. Member to the answer which my right hon. Friend the then Minister of State for the Armed
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Forces gave on 19 March 2001, Official Report, column 12, to my hon. Friend the Member for Bolton, South-East (Dr. Iddon) which covered the welfare arrangements for exercises lasting for two months or more. The package provided a personal allowance of 20 minutes of publicly funded telephone calls per week; free forces aerogrammes and concessionary parcel rates; access to the internet and e-mail; newspapers and book packs; BFBS TV and Radio; televisions, video recorders and video tapes; Expeditionary Forces Institute shops; publicly funded laundry, fitness equipment and a Combined Services Entertainment show. Similar facilities are being made available to those deployed on Operation Veritas.
The cost of providing the OWP to Exercise Saif Sareea II is estimated to be £8.5 million, but it is not possible to quantify the value to an individual where there is no comparable local market for the services provided. If LOA had been judged appropriate for those exercising in Oman, examples rates are £67.97 per week for an RAF Corporal and £80.71 per week for a Squadron Leader.
Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has spent to date, including research and development and manufacturing costs, on the (a) Type 45 and the PAAMS system, (b) CVF, (c) Astute class SSN and (d) Merlin ASW helicopter. 
|Type 45 and PAAMS||(1)491|
|ASTUTE Class SSN||490|
|Merlin ASW helicopter||3,507|
(1) This figure includes Type 45 warship development plus the UK element of research and development costs on the Principal Anti Air Missile System (PAAMS), the Horizon Programme and WR21 gas turbine development.
Costs are not recorded by the Ministry of Defence under headings of "Research and Development" and "Manufacturing". They are divided into five project phases: Concept, Assessment, Design and Manufacture, In-Service and Disposal, with Assessment being the closest to R&D.
Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if letters and parcels from services personnel on active service overseas are carried free of postage; if letters and parcels for families to service personnel at BFPO addresses are carried free of postage; if he will call for a report about postal services offered free of charge to US services personnel; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 18 December 2001]: The Review of Operational Welfare, the results of which my right hon. Friend the then Minister of State for the Armed Forces announced on 29 March 2001, Official Report, columns 73132W, concluded that the best method of maintaining communication between personnel deployed on operations and their families is to provide a
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comprehensive package across a range of media which is common to all operational theatres. Consequently, the new arrangements we introduced in April provide a full packagefree 'blueys' (forces aerogrammes), free 'e-blueys', other mail and parcels at forces concessionary rates (which are considerably lower than normal rates), publicly funded telephone calls (20 minutes per week) and internet access. We have provided some £60 million of additional resources over a four year period to support these enhancements. As part of the review we did examine the US model of welfare support to deployed forcesas well as canvassing the views of several hundred British service personnel on operations.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will set out for each of the conclusions in section 6.4 of the Performance and Innovation Unit report, 'Winning the Generation Game', (a) what progress his Department has made and (b) what future plans his Department has for acting on them; and if he will set out against each of the conclusions the targets and deadlines that have been set. 
Mr. Hoon [holding answer 11 December 2001]: The Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) system which entered service in 1998 is the first, and currently only, cruise missile in service with UK armed forces. Delivery of the missiles commenced in 1997 and the cost of maintaining and servicing the arsenal in each of the financial years since then is as follows:
Mr. Hoon [holding answer 11 December 2001]: The Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) system is currently the only cruise missile in-service with UK armed forces. The estimated total cost of a TLAM missile over its in-service life is £1.4 million.
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missile; what other anti-ship capability it will have; and what anti-ship capability (a) Type 23 frigates and (b) Type 45 destroyers will have. 
Dr. Moonie: I assume the hon. Member refers to the Sea Skua missile, currently fitted to the Royal Navy's Lynx helicopter. There are no plans to fit the Sea Skua to the Merlin helicopter. The helicopter has a state of the art, integrated mission system, and an extensive array of on-board sensors. These not only give Merlin an independent capability to search for, locate and attack submarine targets, but can also be used to detect ships and provide targeting information for attack by other units.
The Type 23 frigate's anti-ship capability is provided by the Harpoon anti-ship missile, the Sea Skua missile fitted to its Lynx helicopter, the 4.5" Mk8 gun, and twin 30mm guns. It is planned that the Type 45 destroyer's anti-ship capability will be provided by the Sea Skua missile, fitted to its Lynx helicopter, together with the ship's medium range gunnery system, the 4.5" Mk8 Mod 1 gun and twin 30mm guns. The Type 45 is being designed to facilitate the incremental incorporation of additional capabilities, and as such allows for the fitting of a surface to surface guided missile, should the requirement for one be demonstrated.
Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the research and development costs are of the Astute class; and what the estimated cost of construction is for each Astute class submarine. 
Dr. Moonie: The cost of research and development of the Assessment Phase of Astute Class was £29 million. Subsequently the prime contract was placed in March 1997 for the design, build and initial support of three submarines. Unfortunately it is not possible to separate out the development costs in this phase, or the construction cost per boat, from the other costs in the overall price. This is because the contract is placed for a total price, with no itemisation against the categories of the hon. Member's request.
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