HC Deb 21 April 1958 vol 586 cc611-2
38. Mr. Mason

asked the Minister of Supply if he has now completed reviewing the number of items which have to be fitted to an aircraft, mainly for security reasons, following release by the airframe manufacturer; and to what extent he has effected a reduction.

Mr. Aubrey Jones

Only a very small proportion of airborne equipment is fitted by the Service following delivery, and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Air is examining proposals for certain further reductions.

My. Mason

Is not one of the difficulties facing the airframe manufacturer that the Service does not know specifically what rôle the aircraft will play? Is it not the case that if more definite information, especially about armament, could be given to the aircraft manufacturer many of these Service-fit items could be fitted by the airframe manufacturer and thus more speedy progress made in developing the aircraft?

Mr. Jones

I think the hon. Gentleman is attaching to this Question greater importance than it deserves. Although the general requirements and general purposes of an aircraft are known, the objects for which an individual aircraft may be used are normally uncertain until the last minute, and it is to cope with those uncertainties that the Service inserts what are called Service-fit items.

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