My right honourable friend the Minister of State for the Armed Forces (Bob Ainsworth) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement:
On the 22 May 2007, (Official Report, Commons col. 67WS), the MoD announced its intention to create a new defence support group by merging together ABRO, retained DARA business units and certain other defence support facilities. I can now confirm that, following the successful conclusion of trade union consultation, the MoD will proceed with implementation of this merger. The new support group will begin formal trading by April 2008, subject to securing the necessary parliamentary approval.
I can also confirm that work continues to progress the sale option for DARA's rotary wing and components businesses. Vector Aerospace has been selected as the preferred bidder, and I hope to be able to make a definitive announcement on the way forward later this year, subject to trade union consultation, completion of due diligence, and the satisfactory conclusion of negotiations that demonstrate the sale provides best value for defence.