HC Deb 25 November 2002 vol 395 c9W
Mr. Paice

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list those companies who were consulted during the evaluation of options for refurbishment of the six ex-Republic of South Africa Puma helicopters, when he expects the(a) first aircraft to be available for service and (b) the final aircraft to be available for service; and if the evaluation included assessment of the costs of awarding the contract to Eurocopter compared with UK-based companies. [81663]

Mr. Ingram

[holding answer 19 November 2002]During the evaluation of options, we consulted Eurocopter, the prime Design Authority (DA) for the main structural conversion, and Westland Helicopters Ltd., Yeovil, the designated DA for the United Kingdom-specific equipment fits and installation of United Kingdom-specific modifications.

The timescale for the delivery of the aircraft into service is the subject of contractual negotiations with Eurocopter and Westland Helicopters Ltd. and is commercially sensitive. I am therefore withholding this information under Exemption 13 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

I can confirm that during the evaluation process, full consideration was given to a wide range of issues including cost.