Deal helps Britain get equipment back

Last updated 08:09 14/02/2013
Britain's Defence Secretary Philip Hammond
Britain's Defence Secretary Philip Hammond.

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Britain's Defence Secretary Philip Hammond says the UK has struck a deal with Uzbekistan to help bring back STG4 billion (NZ$7.4b) of equipment from Afghanistan as operations wind down.

Britain's government has said UK troop numbers in Afghanistan will fall from about 9000 currently to about 5200 by the end of 2013.

Hammond told lawmakers Wednesday that the UK has struck a deal with Uzbekistan because the only current transit route for equipment - through Pakistan - "would be hard pressed to meet the capacity demands" of the drawdown, which for Britain involves bringing home about 2500 vehicles and 6500 storage containers.

Under the arrangement, some STG450,000 of surplus equipment - Land Rover spare parts and Leyland DAF trucks - will be "gifted" to Uzbekistan.

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- AP

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