My hon Friend the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence Procurement (Mr Guto Bebb) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
I have today laid before the House a Departmental Minute describing a package of spares for Challenger 2 Tanks that the UK intends to provide to the Royal Army of Oman. The value of the package is estimated at £0.997 million.
The provision of equipment is being made as a Grant-in-Kind. Following correspondence from the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee in 2016, Departments which previously treated these payments as gifts have undertaken to notify the House of Commons of any such Grant- in -Kind of a value exceeding £300,000 and explaining the circumstances; following Treasury Approval the House is duly notified of this intention.
The Grant-in-Kind in this case is to the Royal Army of Oman. The equipment being granted by the UK will comprise of surplus Assemblies and Line Replaceable Units for the repair and maintenance of Challenger 2 tanks. The provision of this equipment is a direct response to a request made by the Royal Army of Oman to the UK Defence Attaché in Oman and is in support of National Security Council objectives. Releasing this surplus equipment is consistent with wider Defence policy to reduce the number of Challenger 2 in service.
The total cost of the proposed UK package is £0.997 million, including some minor transportation costs within the UK. Delivery from the UK to Oman will be conducted by the Royal Air Force of Oman and will be at no cost to the UK.
The UK is committed to assisting the Royal Army of Oman and the Government of Oman as it remains a key ally in the Gulf region. Contributing to the development of capable and well-led Armed Forces in Oman supports the Government’s aim of enhancing regional stability, developing permanency in Oman and the wider Gulf and cementing our relationship with Oman for the future; this relationship is critical to UK National Security.
All export and licensing requirements have been met and the equipment is expected to be delivered in May 2018.