HC Deb 08 July 1959 vol 608 cc1338-9
23. Mr. Wigg

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he has now stated an operational requirement for vertical take-off and ground-cushion aircraft.

Mr. Soames

The use of vertical takeoff aircraft for the tactical transport of men and matériel features largely in our doctrine and plans. Various operational requirements have been stated. We are watching with interest the development of ground-cushion aircraft, but that is as yet in a very early stage.

Mr. Wigg

Will the right hon. Gentleman be good enough to give the House an assurance that developments in this field are not being held up by a lack of material resources, including money?

Mr. Soames

I can assure the hon. Gentleman that we attach the very greatest importance to the mobility—and mobility by air—of the Army, and that it should not be limited to strategic mobility in getting the Army, or such part of it as is needed, to any particular theatre, but should include tactical mobility within the theatre, which involves the vertical take-off aircraft.

Sir A. V. Harvey

If the War Office has not yet done so, will my right hon. Friend interest himself in the Hawker-Siddeley project for a vertical take-off aircraft and urge his right hon. Friend the Minister of Supply to get a move on and have the project proceeded with?

Mr. Soames

I can assure my hon. Friend that we are interested in many vertical take-off projects.

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