To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to paragraph 4.49 of the National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015, what progress the Government has made on the proposal to adapt a Voyager aircraft for the secure transport of senior ministers and the Royal Family; what adaptations will be made to the aircraft for that purpose; what estimate the Government has made of costs of those adaptations; who is responsible for making those adaptations; and when those adaptations are planned to be completed.
24 March 2016
We are making good progress on the proposal to adapt one of our existing Voyager aircraft so that, as well as its primary air tanking role, it can transport senior Ministers securely. The aircraft will also be available for the Royal Family. There will be a number of modifications to ensure that the Voyager aircraft can transport senior Ministers whilst still maintaining the ability to conduct its operational role, therefore delivering better value for money than the current use of charter aircraft. The aircraft will be reconfigured to have 158 seats.
I am witholding further information at this time as its release would prejudice on going commercial negotiations.