HC Deb 27 June 1996 vol 280 c248W
Dr. David Clark

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the purchase by his Department of two roll on/roll off ferries; and if he will state the nationality of the crews to be deployed on these ferries. [34457]

Mr. Arbuthnot

A number of possible enhancements to the civil and military strategic lift available to the Joint Rapid Development Force have been examined. In the short term, the intention is to issue an invitation to tender and take subsequent contract action to charter one roll on/ roll off ship, for transporting lead elements of the JRDF.

The longer-term option, for the second of the two vessels required, include new build, the purchase or lease of an existing vessel and the involvement of the private finance initiative.

Subject to the outcome of tender evaluation, the options for crew would be either Royal Fleet Auxiliary or nationals from countries in NATO or western Europe.