HC Deb 01 February 1956 vol 548 cc892-3
3. Mr. Strachey

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he is now satisfied with the performance of the Hunter aircraft; whether restrictions upon firing its guns can now be lifted; how far it is still intended to proceed with the production of this aircraft in the numbers originally contemplated; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Birch

The Hunter has proved its flying qualities in the Service. There are still certain restrictions on the firing of the Hunter's guns, and a programme of modifications is in progress. As a result of the current review of the defence programme, there will be a small reduction in orders for Hunters.

Mr. Strachey

Can the Secretary of State give us some greater reassurance that this, in itself, fine aircraft will be got through its teething troubles before in fact it is obsolete? Can he not tell us what the programme as to numbers is likely to be in the future?

Mr. Birch

Obviously it would be wrong for me to give exact numbers, but we hope that quite a number of modified aircraft will be operational before the summer.

Mr. Beswick

The Secretary of State said that this aircraft has proved its flying qualities. In that proof, can he say whether the aircraft comes up to the operational standard of which the F.100 is capable?

Mr. Birch

Yes. The F.100 is a later aircraft, but it is a comparable aircraft.

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