The Ministry of Defence has revealed that between 2009 and 2011 it spent a whopping £3.6 billion on IT and telecommunications for use across the department and armed services.

Depending on which estimates you follow, this approximately accounts for between 9 and 12 percent of overall government spend on IT.

Philip Dunne, minister for defence equipment, support and technology has said: "Ministry of Defence expenditure on IT and communicationstotalled £1.8 billion in 2009-10 and the same in 2010-11.

"This includes the cost of IT services, equipment purchases, telephone line, telephone rental charges and the service concession arrangements formerly known as the private finance initiative services charges."

He said that expenditure for 2011-12 has not yet been finalised.

The MoD is well-known for spending a significant amount on IT, when compared with other central government departments. For example, between 2010 and 2011 the MoD accounted for 74 percent of total government procurement card spend (£322m).

Dunne has also released some spend information relating to the department's ten year Defence Information Infrastructure project, which is aimed at consolidating numerous systems into a single infrastructure.

In March 2005 the department let the contract to ATLAS, a consortium with EDS as the prime contractor, for the installation and management of the new infrastructure, which will incorporate 150,000 terminals for 300,000 users at over 2,000 defence sites.

The MoD has said that the project will cost a total £7 billion by 2015.

Dunne revealed that in 2007-08 spend on the project was £487; in 2008-09 it was £562 million; 2009-10 it was £651 million; 2010-11 it was £643 million; and in 2011-12 it was £633 million.

This totals £2.97 billion for the five years up until 2012 (spend information for the period 2005-07 was not provided).

In other news, the MoD recently awarded a contract requiring the delivery of payroll and personnel services to serving and veteran communities to CSC, an outsourcer currently shrouded in controversy over £957 million failed NHS plans.

The decision shocked the analyst community, which estimated that the contract is worth £100 million a year to the current supplier, HP.