§ Mr. Keetch
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it his policy to balance the cost of modifying equipment against that of supporting unmodified equipment in theatre, when assessing cost effectiveness. 
§ Mr. Ingram
Under the Smart Acquisition process all costs associated with the expected life of any new equipment are considered when decisions are taken on procurement, taking into account the global role of United Kingdom armed forces.
In addition the particular circumstances of every operation are examined, and existing equipment modified for the specific operational environment, the 577W particular threat faced and the potential scenarios envisaged. This includes improving supportability where it will increase operational effectiveness.