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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence
(1) what consideration he has given to becoming a full member of the NATO Allied Ground Surveillance System;
(2) if he will estimate the value of UK industrial participation in the NATO Allied Ground Surveillance System;
(3) how much has been spent on the NATO Allied Ground Surveillance System project to date.
Our requirements for airborne surveillance are met mainly by the SENTINEL system which has been in service since 2009 and provides a capability comparable to the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) system. SENTINEL has been accepted by NATO as a contribution in kind to its wider surveillance requirements.
We have not, therefore, elected to join the 14-nation consortium that is acquiring AGS, and have no visibility of the expenditure incurred.
In accordance with NATO convention, only nations that contribute directly to the financing of a capability are entitled to share in the industrial benefits.