To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions he has held with (a) ship repair yards and (b) others on (i) completing and (ii) enhancing the capabilities of the Landing Ships Dock Auxiliary vessels; and what estimate he has made of the cost of (A) completion and (B) enhancement.
When the Landing Ship Dock (Auxiliary) ships are accepted off contract from the shipbuilders they will enter their Part II sea trials programme in preparation for formal entry into operational service. In line with normal practice, the Ministry of Defence has invited companies to declare expressions of interest to undertake work during the Part II trials phase to bring the ships to completion for operational service. The value of this work is yet to be determined as much of the activity results from experience in operation in the Part II trials. A number of companies have expressed an interest in undertaking such work. There are currently no plans to enhance the key capabilities of the ships.