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British troops on the front line in Afghanistan are tucking into improved ration packs.
They include new lightweight packs for patrols lasting 12 hours or less, which contain a sandwich and a main meal like chicken curry or steak and vegetables that can be heated up with a chemical water heater.
The updated menus - among them Hindu, Sikh, halal and vegetarian options - are designed to meet troops' nutritional needs in different environments and supply the 4,000 or more calories a day they burn up while on active service.
They were developed under a £140 million contract with Purple Foodservice Solutions, based in Petersfield, Hampshire, which is expected to save the Ministry of Defence £1.6 million a year.
Private Ryan Salmon, from 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, welcomed the new menus.
He said: "The new 12-hour ration packs are a great change from the normal rations. It contains beef jerky and a sandwich which are great for a quick meal.
"The chemical water heater and main meal are good when you are on short ops. You can get a quick warm scoff and not worry about messing around with a cooker."
:: This is a typical menu for the new lightweight 12-hour ration packs:
-Barbecue beef sandwich
-Meatballs and pasta or pasta bolognese
-Fruity oatie biscuit
-Menthol chewing gum
-Golden oat bar
-Fruit and nut mix
-Mixed fruit sweets
-Lemon energy drink
-Cherry isotonic drink
-Two raspberry-flavoured water drinks
All the packs also contain a heating pouch, water sterilisation tablets, a reusable bag, tissues, a spoon and wet wipes.