To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with BAE Systems about the capabilities of a navalised version of the Eurofighter Typhoon which it is offering to India; and whether such capabilities could meet the requirements for a United Kingdom carrier-borne aircraft.
We have periodically reviewed with BAE Systems our present and future Typhoon capability requirements from a technological, industrial and commercial perspective and will continue to do so throughout the life of the aircraft.
A navalised Typhoon was considered as part of the assessment of Joint Combat Aircraft options in 2000-01, but was rejected on grounds of cost, capability and technical challenge. This decision has been reviewed regularly since, informed through discussions with BAE Systems.
Our future combat air requirement is therefore predicated on the complementary capability provided by a balanced Typhoon/Joint Strike Fighter force. The 2010 strategic defence and security review has confirmed that the capabilities offered by the Joint Strike Fighter is the most appropriate and cost-effective solution to meet the UK's carrier strike component of this capability.