HC Deb 02 March 2004 vol 418 cc809-10W
Mr. Swayne

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment has been made of the requirement for Personal Role Radios in Iraq. [154015]

Mr. Ingram

Personal Role Radio (PRR) is a short-range communications system designed to provide connectivity at the tactical level within small military teams, such as infantry sections. It is therefore ideal for use in Iraq and has been used extensively by UK forces since the commencement of operations. Approximately 3,500 Personal Role Radios are currently in use with British forces in Iraq.

Mr. Keetch

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many rounds were contained in the standard issue of ammunition to(a) infantry and (b) Royal Military Police in Iraq during (i) major hostilities and (ii) since the end of major war-fighting operations; whether this requirement has been met in every circumstance; and if he will make a statement. [154676]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 12 February 2004]

The standard issue of 5.56mm ammunition provided to Army combat soldiers and other Army arms/services in Iraq has not changed from 150 rounds and 120 rounds respectively. Royal Military Police Personnel are normally issued with 120 rounds of ammunition in line with other Army arms/services. Commanders in theatre make an assessment based on local conditions as to whether adjustments to the planning allocations should be made. Over 23 million rounds of 5.56mm ammunition were delivered to Operation Telic, which was well in excess of the projected requirement of all units deployed.

Mr. Steinberg

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the average daily cost has been of the occupation of Iraq. [154940]

Mr. Ingram

The Ministry of Defence identifies the costs of Operations in terms of the net additional costs it has incurred. The costs that the Department would have incurred regardless of the operation taking place, such as wages and salaries, are not included. Savings on activities that have not occurred because of the operation—training exercises for example—are taken into account in arriving at the net figures.

Costs are not incurred on a regular daily basis and force levels have fluctuated considerably during 2003–04. As a result, to attempt to provide daily average costs would be misleading.

However, you may wish to know that outturn information for 2002–03 on the cost of operations in Iraq has been published as part of the MOD's Annual Report and Accounts. Operating Costs for 2002–03 for operations in Iraq total £629.531 million. Expenditure on Capital equipment amounts to £217.680 million. The grand total is, therefore, £847.211 million.

For 2003–04, funding voted at Winter Supplementary Estimates amounted to £1.2 billion and covered the cost of peacekeeping and associated Urgent Operational Requirements (UORs). The MOD has sought a further £300 million at Spring Supplementary Estimates to cover primarily the cost of the recuperation of the Department's operational capability. Thus, the total sought in 2003–04 will be £1.5 billion.

It is too early to say what costs might be incurred after 2003–04.