§ 30. Mr. Savidge
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made in the Government's plans to procure replacements for the current Invincible class of aircraft carriers. 
§ Mr. Hoon
Competitive contracts, each potentially worth about £30 million, for the future aircraft carrier assessment phase were awarded on 23 November to BAe Land and Sea Systems, now BAE SYSTEMS, and Thomson-CSF Naval Combat Systems. The assessment phase will investigate options for carrier design and, by 2003, will deliver proposals for the demonstration and manufacture of the vessels. The carriers, which will be built in the United Kingdom at an estimated cost of £2 billion, are scheduled to enter service in 2012 and 2015.