§ Mr. Youngerasked the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what is the average cost for a full year of maintaining a brigade at full operational strength;

(2) what is his latest estimate of the cost in a full year of maintaining a commando brigade group at full operational strength;

1053W(3) what is his latest estimate of the cost in a full year of a brigade group, including elements of armour and artillery and infantry with some parachute capability;

(4) what is his latest estimate of the annual cost of maintaining at full operational strength 12 submarines of the latest hunter-killer type;

(5) what is his latest estimate of the annual cost of maintaining at full operational strength five frigates on general duties;

(6) what is his latest estimate of the annual cost of maintaining at full operational strength two guided missile destroyers of the latest type;

(7) what is his latest estimate of the annual cost of maintaining at full operational strength a squadron of eight minesweepers;

(8) what is his latest estimate of the annual cost of maintaining 20 motor torpedo boats or the nearest equivalent type of vessel;

(9) what is his latest estimate of the annual cost of maintaining in a fully operational condition a force of 12 hovercraft;

(10) what is his latest estimate of the annual cost of maintaining a force of 20 Sea King helicopters, including all necessary support facilities;

(11) what is his latest estimate of the annual cost of maintaining a force of 12 Nimrod reconnaissance aircraft, including all necessary support facilities;

(12) what is his latest estimate of the annual cost of maintaining a force of 32 Harrier aircraft in a fully operational state and including all necessary support facilities;

(13) what is his latest estimate of the annual cost of maintaining in a fully operational role, a force of 12 helicopters in the Royal Air Force;

(14) what is his latest estimate of the cost of maintaining a force of 16 VC10 transport aircraft, including all necessary support facilities;

(15) what is his latest estimate of the annual cost of maintaining in a fully operational condition, a force of 16 Hercules C130 Transport Aircraft, including all necessary support facilities.

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§ Mr. Youngerasked the Secretary of State for Defence what is his estimate of the annual cost of providing a Ministry of Defence administrative headquarters to administer defence forces, mostly assigned to NATO, of 23,000 Army personnel, 6,000 Royal Air Force personnel and 5,600 Royal Navy personnel.

§ Mr. DuffyIt is not possible to estimate with any accuracy the cost of providing such an administrative headquarters. Whether the costs would be proportionately similar to those of the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence headquarters would depend on a variety of factors, not least the precise shape and tasks of the forces concerned and the quality of the administrative support required.