§ Dr. David Clark
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his Department's latest estimate for the cost of the EH101 Merlin; what was the original estimated cost; when the EH101 is expected to be in service; and what was the original in-service date of the project.
§ Mr. Freeman
The Department's latest estimate for the cost of the EH101 Merlin is £3,925 million. The estimated cost in 1991, at the time the Merlin prime contract was placed on Loral-ASIC—then IBM-ASIC—was £3,799 million, at 1994–95 prices. The Merlin is expected to be in service in 1998; the original in-service date, upon the approval of development in 1982, was 1993.