Where MoD bonuses could have been spent...

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Indy Politics

Bereaved families said almost £300 million which has been spent on bonuses for civil servants at the Ministry of Defence since the start of the war in Iraq should have been spent on equipment for troops instead.

* At least five airworthy Chinook Mk3 helicopters at a cost of £52.5 million each, according to the Public Accounts Committee in March 2009.

* Upgrades for 48 Lynx Mk 9 helicopters to boost helicopter capability in Afghanistan, based on a £70 million upgrade programme for 12 helicopters.

* About 300 brand new armoured support trucks to accompany patrols and carry essential supplies such as water and ammunition. These could include the Wolfhound, Husky and Coyotee. A similar MoD programme brought 400 support trucks for £350 million in October last year.

* An £18 million Fire Support Weapon programme would procure a full suite of the latest weapons optics - including a telescopic day sight, image intensifying and thermal night sights and a laser rangefinder - to support the Grenade Machine Gun, a weapon which the MoD says has proven "hugely effective in operations, particularly in Afghanistan".

* More than 17,000 extra Army privates on the lowest salary of £16,681 a year.

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