§ Mr. Colvin
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what military purpose 16 aircraft hydraulic system maintenance trolleys are required, as set out in future purchase No. SMC31BRAF574; what consideration was given to leasing or contract hire of such vehicles; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Arbuthnot
The 16 hydraulic system maintenance trolleys are required to support the VC-10 and Tristar fleets. Their military purpose is to test the hydraulic systems of these aircraft as an aid to fault diagnosis and to prove system performance following maintenance or rectification whether carried out at RAF stations in the UK or when deployed abroad. The tender documents for this contract will include a clause encouraging innovative proposals and any lease or hire options which are put forward by industry will be considered on their merits.