§ 23. Mr. Barry Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the in-service date is for the first of the RAF's new C-17 transport aircraft. 
§ Mr. Hoon
On 2 September, we signed a contract for the lease of four C-17 aircraft for a period of seven years. On current plans, the aircraft should be available and working-up from next summer onwards to be ready to support the Joint Rapid Reaction Force by the end of the year. The In Service Date is December 2001.