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Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will ensure that any cooperation with France in order to reduce costs will not result in a delay for the introduction of the new aircraft carriers. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Several types of vessels will provide escort and security for the aircraft carriers, and the numbers employed will vary according to the threat faced. There are many variables involved in determining the number of ships required to defend a carrier or amphibious task group. These include the level of the threat, the level of multinational involvement and the type and scale of the operation. We currently have a contract for six type 45 destroyers.
Des Browne: The project to provide two future aircraft carriers is currently expected to cost £3.9 billion. There is agreement and a scheme of incentives, however, to work with industry to reduce this before a final price is settled by 2010.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons the former target in-service dates of 2012 and 2015 have been replaced by 2014 and 2016 respectively for each of the future aircraft carriers. 
Des Browne: In-service dates are not set until Main Gate, when the project is mature enough for us to take a view on the appropriate date. That point was reached in July and the dates (2014 and 2016) have been set.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Cultural awareness training is an integral part of pre-deployment training for all personnel undertaking overseas operations. In mature theatres cultural awareness training is continued through education centres. Additionally, literature is available via a number of internal websites, and units are provided with material in CD and DVD formats to widen accessibility.
|Number of personnel deployed by operation and location( 1)|
|(1) Countries with 10 or more personnel are shown separately.|
Countries with fewer than 10 personnel are not shown.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: I refer the hon. Member to the answer my predecessor gave on 25 June 2007, Official Report, column 95W, to the hon. Member for South-West Norfolk (Mr. Fraser). Further detail and breakdown could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Derek Twigg: Since December 2006, 1,032 complaints had been received from armed forces personnel via the centralised JPA complaints process about mispayments and other apparent problems with pay, or the handling of queries. The following table shows the breakdown of these by month:
|Number of complaints|
Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the incidence of suicide by (a) serving members of the armed forces, (b) serving members of the armed forces who have served in a theatre of conflict and (c) former members of the armed forces was in each year for which figures are available. 
Derek Twigg: The Ministry of Defence has centrally compiled and verified records of coroner-confirmed suicides and open verdict deaths that have occurred among UK regular Service personnel while in service during the period 1984 to 2006. The information is summarised in the following table .
Information is also available on regular service personnel who were deployed to the conflicts in the Gulf (September 1990 to June 1991), Iraq (January 2003 to December 2006) and Afghanistan (October 2005 to December 2006), and have since died in service of coroner-confirmed suicide or open verdict deaths.
|Suicides and open verdict deaths( 1) , UK regular armed forces, 1984 to 2 006|
|All regular personnel||Regular personnel who had served on operations overseas ( 2, 3)|
|(1) The figures provided do not include any violent or unnatural deaths that have not yet been fully investigated by a coroner (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) or the Procurator Fiscal (Scotland). (2) Regular personnel who had served on operations overseas may have died while overseas or at any time after their return. (3) Regular personnel who had served on operations overseas in the Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan|
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