To ask the Secretary of State for Defence
(1) what recent progress his Department has made on the Indirect Fire Precision Attack programme; and if he will make a statement;
(2) what estimate he has made of the total cost of the Indirect Fire Precision Attack programme;
(3) how many munitions will be supplied to the armed forces under the Indirect Fire Precision Attack programme.
The fire shadow loitering munition project is the current focus of the Indirect Fire Precision Attack (IFPA) programme. The project is progressing well through the demonstration and manufacture phase and is on track to deliver a deployable capability in 2012. We already know that there is interest in this capability from other nations and we are pursuing export opportunities as part of the wider complex weapons initiative in support of driving down future costs.
The wider IFPA programme is in the assessment phase; this will establish the type and numbers of munitions required and the associated costs. The broad cost of the first phase of the fire shadow loitering munition programme, including concept, assessment, demonstration and initial manufacture, is forecast to be some £200 million.
Information relating to future fire shadow loitering munition stock levels is being withheld for the purpose of safeguarding national security and because its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.