Multi-rôle Combat Aircraft

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th October 1970.

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Photo of Mr Neil Marten Mr Neil Marten , Banbury 12:00 am, 29th October 1970

asked the Minister of State for Defence if he will make a statement about progress with the multi-rôle combat aircraft proposition.

Photo of Viscount  Lambton Viscount Lambton , Berwick-upon-Tweed

I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer which my hon. Friend gave yesterday to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Wembley, North (Sir E. Bullus).—[Vol. 805, c. 140–1.]

Photo of Mr Neil Marten Mr Neil Marten , Banbury

As Britain has massive experience in Mach 2 combat aircraft designed for these purposes, and as Germany and Britain are ordering 400 of these aircraft each, should not the design leadership now be given to Britain?

Photo of Viscount  Lambton Viscount Lambton , Berwick-upon-Tweed

Overall design responsibility rests, as my hon. Friend knows, with Panavia, not with Germany, and the Chairman of Panavia is at present British.

Photo of Sir John Morris Sir John Morris , Aberavon

Will the hon. Gentleman confirm that he is impressed with the progress made to date in welding together the different interests of the three main nations involved, and could he say what expectation we may have of when the aircraft will come into service?

Photo of Viscount  Lambton Viscount Lambton , Berwick-upon-Tweed

It is difficult to be precise about a date. I agree with the right hon. Gentleman that the co-operation between the three countries has been most welcome and desirable.