§ Mr. Hancock
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what problems are scheduled to be resolved during the docking period of HMS Ocean; when it is estimated that the ship will be operational; what will be the cost of the repairs; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Spellar
The next docking period of HMS Ocean is planned for early 2002 and is likely to span about four months. This is the first routine docking since acceptance, as required to meet Lloyd's survey standards, and is expected to cost in the region of £5 million. During this docking period, the opportunity will be taken to make modifications to the hull to improve the safety of the deployment of some of the landing craft.
In addition, when HMS Ocean returns from her current deployment, routine maintenance will be undertaken at her base port. During this maintenance, defect repair will also be undertaken; the most significant of these will be modifications to the landing craft davit arrangements, enhancements to the replenishment—at—sea facilities and changes to the main engine governors. These repairs are expected to cost in the region of £2 million.
HMS Ocean has been deployed on operations and exercises throughout the last two years and is currently on deployment with an amphibious ready group. As in all first of class ships, operating the vessel has indicated the need for improvements in some areas. These are being addressed in the programmed support periods.