§ Sir Nicholas Bonsor
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the number, manufacturer, capacity and year of production of fuel servicing trucks currently held by (i) the RAF, (ii) the Royal Marines, (iii) the Army Air Corps and (iv) the Fleet Air Arm; what consideration he
Service Quantity Capacity Year of Manufacture Manufacturer Royal Air Force 176 18000 ltr 1987–1993 AEC, 166 13000 ltr 1970–1982 Leyland/DAF, 54 4500 ltr (Tactical) 1980–1989 Bedford, 83 4500 ltr 1981–1991 Scammell Royal Marines 12 9000 ltr 1987 Bedford Army Air Corps 122 4500 ltr 1965–1985 Bedford 6 4500 ltr 1987–1988 Leyland Fleet Air Arm 33 9000 ltr 1988–1993 Leyland 20 18000 ltr 1990 Leyland
The majority of fuel servicing vehicles in service will be considered for refurbishment or replacement—either by purchase of lease—over the next 10 years. The leasing of equipment is routinely considered as part of the replacement decision. In general, however, there is no commercial equipment which meets the specific requirements for military aircraft refuellers, and the leasing of purpose-built refuellers has been shown to be uneconomic.
The operational requirements for 12 fuel servicing trucks for the Royal Marines commando operations and support cell dictates that vehicles must be of a specialised type, particularly in respect of their ability to operate in such extremes of climate as the Arctic and the Gulf. Furthermore, the operational requirement includes provision of a high degree of corrosion protection. The specialist nature of these vehicles ruled out leasing of commercially available types, and the high cost of refurbishment of existing vehicles precluded that option. Purchase was assessed to be the most economic means of meeting this operational requirement.