Combat Aircraft (Procurement)

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

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Photo of Mr Kenneth Warren Mr Kenneth Warren , Hastings 12:00 am, 30th November 1972

asked the Minister of State for Defence if he will seek to arrange for discussions on the need to co-ordinate the combat aircraft procurement policies of the German, Italian and British air forces.

Photo of Mr Ian Gilmour Mr Ian Gilmour , Norfolk Central

There are already extensive arrangements both within NATO and with individual countries, including the Federal Republic of Germany and Italy, for discussions on co-ordination of combat aircraft requirements and procurement policies.

Photo of Mr Kenneth Warren Mr Kenneth Warren , Hastings

Were any consultations offered to my right hon. Friend recently when the West German Government decided to order a further substantial number of American Phantom aircraft with the consequential decision, well known to my hon. Friend's Department, of that Government's intention to reduce their order for the multi-rôle combat aircraft in which we have a substantial interest?

Photo of Mr Ian Gilmour Mr Ian Gilmour , Norfolk Central

My hon. Friend will be aware that the Federal German Republic is at liberty to buy aircraft from America or anywhere else. Any reduction in the number of orders for the MRCA will be a matter for discussion during the current review on the aircraft. If there is any reduction or increase in orders there will be corresponding adjustments in the costs and work sharing.