§ Viscount Davidson
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What progress is being made in the procurement of support helicopters for the Royal Air Force.
§ Lord Annaly
I am pleased to say that we have made considerable progress since my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Defence announced our intentions in December.
Invitations to tender are now being issued for my department's requirements for additional support helicopters. In consequence, my department will enter into parallel negotiations with Boeing (Chinook) and Westland (EH101 Utility) on the basis of its normal NAPNOC (No Acceptable Price, No Contract) procedures, to determine the specifications, performance details, terms and conditions and prices against which further support helicopters might be supplied.
Accordingly, separate single invitations to tender are being issued to Boeing Defense and Space Group and to Westland Helicopters Ltd for return on 30 June 1994, on the clear understanding that respective performance and value for money considerations will be taken into account as part of the department's normal process of evaluation and will influence the department's eventual decision on what support helicopters to buy.