§ Mr. Colvin
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what military requirements two ferry vessels are required as set out in "Future Purchase No. NSSB3B/60758"; what consideration has been given to leasing or contract hiring of such vessels; what equivalent vessels were in use at Portland for the purpose of transfer of naval training staff to warships; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Arbuthnot
The requirement set out in "Future Purchase No. NSSBSB/60758" of the June 1995 issue of the MOD "Contracts Bulletin" is for two specialist passenger craft to transfer naval personnel from Plymouth to and from warships and auxiliaries in open water in support of Flag Officer Sea Training when this task moves from Portland. We are currently considering a number of procurement options, including leasing, before establishing procurement strategy aimed at achieving best value for money for the defence budget. The vessels currently in use at Portland are not capable of meeting the 1363W requirement to transfer personnel safely in the significantly rougher seas experienced off Plymouth.