§ Dr. David Clark
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what are the reasons for the time taken to order two landing platform docks; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Arbuthnot
The "no acceptable price no contract" negotiations for an order for up to two LPD(R) are continuing with VSEL. The size and timing of any order is dependent upon a satisfactory outcome to these negotiations.
§ Mr. Soames
The Royal Navy retains a substantial capability to conduct amphibious operations in support of our defence policy objectives. Our amphibious forces are supported by specialist ships which are regularly maintained to sustain their operational capability. Both HMS Fearless and Intrepid have recently completed maintenance periods. Our amphibious capability will be significantly enhanced by the new helicopter carrier, HMS Ocean, which is currently fitting out, and by the refit of the landing ship logistic Sir Bedivere.