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Armed Forces: Aircraft

Volume 715: debated on Wednesday 9 December 2009

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with civilian contractors on the provision of aircraft for use in the airbridge to Afghanistan. [HL320]

The Ministry of Defence periodically receives approaches from individuals and commercial bodies offering services, including the provision of aircraft for use on the airbridge to Afghanistan. Many of these discussions are informal and provide a method of seeking advice on the bidding process as well as determining levels of interest. The department does not routinely record informal discussions. However, since November 2007, six formal proposals have been received and were examined in line with departmental guidelines. Recently, defence equipment and support has set up the Defence Suppliers' Service and issued direction and guidance to all Ministry of Defence directorates on how to handle inquiries of interest and unsolicited bids from commercial suppliers.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what proposals they have received from civilian contractors for the provision of aircraft for transporting service personnel to Afghanistan. [HL321]

The airbridge to Afghanistan is absolutely critical for the success of current operations. We use two air transport solutions for the movement of service personnel: direct flights from the UK into Afghanistan, using military air transport aircraft; and commercial chartered flights to a Middle East hub followed by military flights into Afghanistan.

Since November 2007, six unsolicited bids for air transport direct to Afghanistan have been received from Kellogg Brown and Root Limited, Fortis Aviation Services and Solutions, Omega Air, BAe Systems, Crown Aviation Consulting and Government Affairs (Services) Limited. Each of these proposals was formally examined in line with departmental guidelines. The companies were informed that at the time we did not wish to progress further with their offers but that should the situation change and a requirement emerge, the Ministry of Defence would consider a competition and, therefore, advertise the need for such services in accordance with departmental guidelines.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to reduce the number of Tornado GR4 aircraft in Royal Air Force service by 2015. [HL322]

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to reduce the number of Harrier GR9 aircraft in Royal Air Force service by 2015. [HL323]

There are no current plans to reduce the numbers of either Tornado or Harrier aircraft numbers prior to 2015. However, the MoD routinely reviews its forward plans to deliver defence capability to ensure they are sound and that resources are allocated in line with defence priorities. Top priority is given to achieving success on operations in Afghanistan and tough decisions will have to be taken to ensure that this is the case. Planning round 10 (PR10) is currently underway.

As is usual, a wide range of options is being considered in PR10. No final decisions have yet been taken. As nothing definite has been agreed, it is premature to speculate about specific measures.