Nimrod Aircraft

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 30th November 1972.

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Photo of Nicholas Winterton Nicholas Winterton , Macclesfield 12:00 am, 30th November 1972

asked the Minister of State for Defence what proposals he has to purchase further Nimrod aircraft to fill the early warning rôle against low-flying bombers as part of defence strategy.

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

We have no proposals for the purchase of additional Nimrods at the present time. Shackleton aircraft specially converted for airborne early warning tasks over the sea entered service only this year. Their eventual replacement requires extensive study.

Photo of Nicholas Winterton Nicholas Winterton , Macclesfield

Is my hon. Friend aware that there is a dangerous gap in the defence system of this country, namely, our vulnerability to low flying aircraft, and that Nimrod can fulfil this rôle extremely well? The Royal Air Force has been pressing for some time for this gap to be filled. What action will be taken to fill this very serious defence gap?

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

I do not quite know to which gap my hon. Friend is referring.