T.S.R.2 Aircraft

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Defence – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th November 1960.

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Photo of Sir John Hall Sir John Hall , Wycombe 12:00 am, 16th November 1960

asked the Minister of defence what defence rôle the T.S.R.2 aircraft is intended to fill.

Photo of Mr Harold Watkinson Mr Harold Watkinson , Woking

The T.S.R.2 is intended, first, for tactical strike, including attack with nuclear weapons, and, second, for reconnaissance, including battlefield surveillance. It will also be possible to use it in the strategic rôle.

Photo of Sir John Hall Sir John Hall , Wycombe

Can my right hon. Friend give us any idea when we are likely to see this aircraft in squadron use?

Photo of Mr Harold Watkinson Mr Harold Watkinson , Woking

The firms concerned and the Ministry of Aviation set out a fairly clear programme of the progress of this weapon system, and I think that I am right in saying that the first aircraft will come forward for test and flying purposes about the mid-'sixties.

Photo of Mr Roy Mason Mr Roy Mason , Barnsley

Can the right hon. Gentleman inform the House what is the estimated cost of the development of the T.S.R.2 and how much would have been saved if the Royal Air Force had accepted a modified version of the NA39?

Photo of Mr Harold Watkinson Mr Harold Watkinson , Woking

The question of cost must be put down to my right hon. Friend the Minister of Aviation. With regard to comparison with the NA39, these two aircraft were designed in different time scales and for quite different purposes.

Photo of Mr George Brown Mr George Brown , Belper

The Minister has not answered his hon. Friend's supplementary question. Will he try again? By what date does he think that this aeroplane will be in squadron service? Does he think that it will be before 1970—in other words, before it is out of date?