§ Mr. Cohen
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will break down the five bids for the abandoned strategic airlift competition indicating the capability and cost in each case; and what alternative approaches to the strategic airlift capability the Defence Procurement Agency is seeking and from which companies. 
§ Mr. Hoon
This is a matter for the Chief Executive of the Defence Procurement Agency. I have asked the Chief Executive to write to my hon. Friend.
Letter from John Howe to Mr. Harry Cohen, dated 8 November 1999:I am replying to your question to the Secretary of State for Defence in which you asked if he will provide a breakdown of the five bids received in response to the Short Term Strategic Airlift competition and what alternative approaches the Defence Procurement Agency is seeking to fulfil this requirement. This matter falls within my area of responsibility as Chief of Defence Procurement and Chief Executive of the Defence Procurement Agency.In answer to the first part of your question, I provide below details of the bidders and the aircraft they proposed for the terminated competition:
- Airbus Transport International (ATI) offering a beluga and conventional freighters.
- An Air Foyle Ltd-led consortium offering a yet-to-be developed version of the Antonov An-124.
- Boeing/BAe offering the C-17.
- IBP Ltd offering the current standard Antonov An-124.
- Rolls Royce offering a managed service provision.I am withholding details of costs and capabilities offered under Exemption 13 (third party's commercial confidences) of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.In answer to the second part of your question, the Defence Procurement Agency is exploring other possible options for meeting our Airlift requirement, with the intention of reaching a decision in early 2000. This includes discussions with Boeing and the USAF on acquiring a C-17 capability through commercial lease or alternative arrangements and discussions with Air Foyle Ltd and Heavy Lift Cargo Airlines Ltd on more assured short-term chartering. A third company has now withdrawn its interest. The companies were requested to submit proposals by 29 October.