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Patrol Craft

Volume 468: debated on Thursday 29 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what agreement has been reached between his Department and Vosper Thorneycroft (UK) Ltd. to supply three river class offshore patrol vessels; and when the lease will end; (168228)

(2) what steps he plans to take at the end of the lease period for the river class offshore patrol vessels; and if he will make a statement.

The lease arrangement for the three river class offshore patrol vessels currently in place with the VT Group PLC (formerly Vosper Thorneycroft (UK) Ltd.), was let in 2003 for an initial period of five years, with an option to extend for a further five years. The decision was made in December 2006 to exercise this option and the lease arrangement will now expire in 2013. While arrangements for the provision of vessels beyond 2013 will be dependent on the continuing requirement to provide UK Fishery Protection on behalf of DEFRA, contract arrangements would be subject to defence competition policy.