§ 33. Sir A. V. Harvey
asked the Minister of Aviation what orders have now been placed for the P.1127 and P.1154 aircraft respectively.
§ Mr. Amery
Orders have been placed for 15 P.1127 aircraft. These are for our own research and development purposes and for the programme we are jointly undertaking with the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States of America. This joint programme is designed to obtain logistic and operational experience in the V.T.O.L. field. A contract for a project study has been placed for the P.1154 aircraft. This aircraft is intended as a Hunter and possibly a Sea Vixen replacement.
§ Sir A. V. Harvey
Is my right hon. Friend aware that a number of countries which could afford to buy the P.1127 are unable to spend the vast sums required to buy the P.1154? Does he not think it would be a good thing to have more of the simpler types in the Royal Air Force to be used as shop windows for the export business? Would he take into account that in the P.1154 Britain has a great lead on every other country in the world and that the longer this matter is delayed, the sooner the Americans and the Germans will catch up with us, and they are cashing in on our knowledge of the P.1127? Will my right hon. Friend ensure that a decision is taken, and taken quickly?
§ Mr. Amery
I can assure my hon. Friend that there is no hold-up of any sort with regard to the P.1154. We are pressing on with this as fast as we can, but until the project study is completed, we cannot take a decision about the next phase. The question of more P.1127s for the Royal Air Force is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Air.