§ Dr. Julian Lewis
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has for replacement oilers for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. 
§ Mr. Ingram
The Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability (MARS) programme is intended to provide the Royal Navy with a significant element of its future afloat support requirements as the current capability provided by the RFA fleet is progressively withdrawn from service. This will include the1460W replenishment at sea of bulk consumables such as fuel oil, lubricants, water, stores, ammunition, and food. MARS is currently reaching the end of its concept phase prior to the start of its Assessment Phase during which the project team will work with industry to establish how best to deliver this capability. As MARS comes into service, it will progressively replace those existing oilers due on current plans to be withdrawn from service over the next decade with the exception of the two new Wave Class Auxiliary Oilers which came into service in 2003.