HL Deb 24 January 2001 vol 621 c18WA
Earl Attlee

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What progress has been made in procuring a new tank transporter for the British Army. [HL359]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean)

The Ministry of Defence has selected FASTTRAX, a consortium led by Brown & Root Ltd of Leatherhead, Surrey, to be the preferred bidder for a private-sector financed heavy equipment transporter service for the Army that will provide UK production, support and service employment opportunities for the 20 years of the contract. The Service will be based upon vehicles provided by the Oshkosh Truck Corporation of Wisconsin, USA, and King Trailers of Market Harborough, Leicestershire.

The Defence Procurement Agency will now conclude its negotiations with FASTTRAX with the aim of achieving financial close and contract award by the middle of the year. This is the first programme to seek a solution under the Government's private finance initiative for an operational combat support vehicle requirement and is also one where a significant proportion of the service will be delivered using sponsored reserves.

The contract value is around £300 million and will create or sustain up to 200 jobs in UK companies and sponsored reserves service units.