§ Mr. Davidson
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects an order being placed for an attack helicopter for the armed forces; how many he intends to purchase; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Aitken
The assessment of the bids received last November in response to the attack helicopter competition is currently under way and the fuller bid from Atlas Aviation is due at the end of September. A final decision is expected in spring of next year and the contract is expected to be in place with the successful contractor by the middle of next year. We intend to order about 90 aircraft, although precise numbers have yet to be determined.