§ 32. Mr. David Heath
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the anticipated date in service of the new HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark. 
§ Mr. Kilfoyle
HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark, the two Landing Platform Dock (Replacements), were planned to enter service in 2002 and 2003 respectively. These dates have, however, slipped due to industrial loading problems at the BAe Systems shipyard at Barrow. The current estimate of the slippage indicates delays to the in service dates of around one year for the first ship and some nine months for the second ship. Discussions with the company continue, with the aim of reducing these delays.