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Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the original (a) estimated cost and (b) in-service delivery date was of the first three Astute class submarines; what the latest estimate is; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: The National Audit Officer's Major Projects Report for 2004 has reported an expected total cost of £3,484 million against a re-costed approval of £2,578 million. The first of class, HMS Astute, had originally been expected to enter service in June 2005. HMS Astute is scheduled to be delivered to the Ministry of Defence by 2009. The second of class, HMS Ambush, will follow in mid 2010, and the third of class, HMS Artful, in 2012.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many cluster munitions were imported in each year since 1992; what the total value of imports was in each year; and what the countries of origin were of these imports. 
Shell 155mm HE L20A1 Extended Range Bomblet Shell (ERBS) of which the following quantities have been purchased since 1992 sourced from Israel, quantity 30,345 in 1996/97, quantity 26,010 in year 2003 and quantity 3,009 in year 2004. I am withholding information on costs on the grounds of commercial confidentiality (Exemption 13 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information).
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) estimated cost and (b) forecast in-service date was at the time the CVF was commissioned; and what the current forecasts are;. 
Mr. Ingram: Estimates for the cost and forecast in-service date of the Future Carrier programme continue to be refined during the Assessment Phase and will be confirmed when we take the main investment decision, scheduled for 2005. The target acquisition cost for the two carriers is around £3 billion with target in-service dates of 2012 and 2015.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether it is the policy of the Department to retain for the benefit of future (a) historians and (b) applicants under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 the same (i) complete categories of files, (ii) numbers of files and (iii) representative examples of files from categories of files destroyed as had been preserved prior to the passage of that Act. 
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what changes have been promulgated in each of the past five years to the guidelines or other criteria for the retention or destruction of departmental files. 
Mr. Caplin: The initial review of most files is delegated to the originating branch and there is no requirement for central reporting of statistics on destruction. Statistics are available for the volume of files centrally reviewed by the departmental records officer's staff and designated for destruction. Figures for each of the last five years are available and are given in linear metres of records:
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much he estimates his Department will save in (a) 200405, (b) 200506 and (c) 200708 by coordinating the purchase of energy with the NHS Purchasing and Supplies Agency. 
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions (a) the King's Own Scottish Borderers, (b) The Royal Scots, (c) The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, (d) The Black Watch, (e) the Parachute Regiment, (f) The Green Howards, (g) The Royal Irish Regiment, (h) The Royal Green Jackets, (i) The Queen's Own Hussars, (j) The Royal Signals and (k) The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers have received lists of names for manning control point reviews in the last 18 months. 
|The King's Own Scottish Borderers||0|
|The Royal Scots||0|
|The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders||0|
|The Black Watch||0|
|The Parachute Regiment||6|
|The Green Howards||3|
|The Royal Irish Regiment||6|
|The Royal Green Jackets||3|
|The Queen's Royal Hussars(14)||5|
|Royal Corps of Signals||0|
|Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers||0|
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when and how each soldier whose name is included on lists sent to units for the purpose of manning control point reviews is informed that they are under career review. 
Mr. Caplin: Soldiers are not informed that their name has been included on the list, which would include the names of all soldiers who match the parameters for review. They would be informed if their Commanding Officer recommended them for discharge as a result of the review.
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the estimated administration cost was of producing manning control point reviews for (a) The Black Watch, (b) The Parachute Regiment and (c) The Royal Signals in the last 18 months. 
Mr. Caplin: Campaign medals, such as the General Service Medal, are made from silver. War medals, such as the Iraq Medal, have, since the Second World War, been made from cupronickel. There are no plans to revert to the practice of striking war medals in silver. The additional cost of striking a war medal in silver would depend on the market rate for silver bullion and the number of medals issued. The current difference in unit cost is approximately £10. The current unit cost of making a campaign medal in silver is £23.31 plus VAT plus bullion (which varies in price but at present is £5.92 per unit). The current unit cost of making a war medal in cupronickel is £19.93 plus VAT. While the silver medal is clearly a superior product, the quality of the cupronickel medal is considered acceptable and no justification is seen for a 17 per cent. cost increase, especially given the large number of war medals made.
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