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Armed Forces: Army Base Repair Organisation

Volume 687: debated on Monday 18 December 2006

My right honourable friend the Minister of State for the Armed Forces (Adam Ingram) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

In March 2006 I announced to the House that following a number of developments, primarily the decision to extend the depth repair programme for the FV430 fleet of armoured vehicles, the previously contemplated rationalisation of four of ABRO's business units, including the closure of ABRO's armoured vehicle facility at Donnington, would need to be reconsidered.

Further work has reinforced the decision I made in March. A major rationalisation of ABRO's operational capacity and capability on the scale previously contemplated (including closure of the Donnington armoured vehicle facility) is not likely to be required in the short to medium-term because of the volumes of repair, upgrade, maintenance and overhaul work. The market in which ABRO operates will continue to evolve in the medium to longer-term, in line with the demands of the military customers and the potential introduction of new arrangements for supporting land-based military equipment.

The Government remain committed to modernising our Armed Forces. To this end, we must continually look for more efficient support solutions to enable us to invest more resource to support our men and women at the front line. To enhance the future prospects of the organisation, ABRO, like all providers of equipment support, will therefore need to build on the improvements it has already made to its efficiency and effectiveness, in particular to the infrastructure supporting its operational capacity and capability. I have asked ABRO to pursue these further improvements with renewed vigour.

ABRO expects to announce plans to deliver this objective during the early part of 2007. Where required, ABRO will of course consult staff and trades unions about any changes impacting staff.