§ Lord Bach
My right honourable friend the Minister of State for Defence, Mr Adam Ingram, has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
Following extensive work to identify the best way forward, the Ministry of Defence will appoint MAN ERF UK Limited as the preferred bidder for the support vehicle contract.
The support vehicle project is a tri-service procurement to replace the current cargo and recovery vehicle fleets. The new vehicles will bring the UK's Armed Forces a much-improved capability for 19WS transporting vital supplies to the front line while on deployed and expeditionary operations, together with a much enhanced recovery capability to deal with a greater range of damaged or immobilised vehicles.
Bids from MAN ERF UK Limited, Mercedes-Benz UK Defence, the Oshkosh Truck Corporation and Stewart and Stevenson TVS UK Limited were considered. Following detailed consideration of the proposals, MAN ERF UK Limited has been selected as the preferred bidder for the demonstration and manufacturing phase. The MAN ERF UK Limited bid offered the most compliant proposal, demonstrated the best value for money and is consistent with the UK's defence industrial policy. The project team will undertake detailed contractual negotiations prior to letting a contract. The intention is to bring the new vehicles into service as soon as possible with deliveries commencing in 2007. This will give our forces one of the most advanced support vehicle fleets in the world, while ensuring the British taxpayer gets the best possible value for money.