§ Mr. Gray
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the dates are for(a) lay-down, (b) launch and (c) delivery of each of the strategic lift transport ships. 
§ Dr. Moonie
[holding answer 4 March 2002]: As announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence on 26 October 2001, Official Report, column 413–14W, the UK's future strategic sealift capability is due to be provided under a PFI contract between the Ministry of Defence and AWSR Shipping Ltd., to come into full effect from June 2003. The lay down, launch and delivery dates for the six vessels involved are as follows:
Private military companies based in the UK are not at present subject to a licensing regime in respect of the provision of military services. One of the options set out in the FCO's discussion paper "Private Military Companies: Options for Regulation", published on 12 February, is for the introduction of a licensing regime.