HC Deb 24 July 1963 vol 681 cc1435-6
9. Mr. Cronin

asked the Secretary of State for Air if he will make a statement on the operational rôle of the strike-reconnaissance aircraft in Cyprus.

Mr. H. Fraser

The Canberra force in the Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus has a nuclear strike and reconnaissance rôle in support of C.E.N.T.O. It is also a ground attack force equipped for the conventional rôle with rockets and high explosive bombs, to which will soon be added the French Nord-Aviation A.S.30 guided air-to-ground missile.

Mr. Cronin

Is not the radius of action of this reconnaissance-strike aircraft such that for all practical purposes it covers only friendly territory? Are there any arrangements for this aircraft to operate from bases in other parts of the Middle East?

Mr. Fraser

These aircraft have operational plans, in which I am perfectly confident. They will carry out a wide range of activities.