Ministry of Defence Departmental Minute
concerning the Gifting of Surplus Challenger 2 Ammunition to Oman
(29 November 2001)
It is normal practice when a Government department
proposes to make a gift of public stores or property, either of
an unusual nature or of a value exceeding £100,000, for the
department concerned to present to the House of Commons a Minute
giving particulars of the gift and explaining the circumstances;
and to refrain from making the gift until 14 days (exclusive of
Saturdays and Sundays) after the issue of the Minute, except in
cases of special urgency.
The proposal relates to the gift of 1650 rounds
of Challenger 2 L23 ammunition to the Royal Army of Oman. The
Omanis purchased a limited quantity of L23 shot as part of their
Challenger 2 contract with Vickers Defence Systems, and having
recently taken into service the final tranche of Challenger 2
tanks now require additional stocks. This ammunition is no longer
made by Royal Ordnance and is only available from British Army
The total value of the gift is £1,375,930.
The rounds of L23 shot have been identified as surplus to MOD's
requirements. The prospects for sale of these rounds are assessed
to be minimal, and their gifting would save MOD some £66,500
in demilitarisation disposal costs.
The Treasury has approved the proposal in principle.
If, during the period of 14 days (exclusive of Saturdays and Sundays)
beginning on the date on which this Minute was laid before the
House of Commons, a Member signifies an objection by giving notice
of a Parliamentary Question or of a Motion relating to the Minute,
or by otherwise raising the matter in the House, final approval
of the gift will be withheld, pending an examination of the objection.