HC Deb 16 January 1964 vol 687 c381
2. Mr. Mulley

asked the Secretary of State for Air when it is proposed to hold low-flying tests for the V-bombers of Bomber Command; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. H. Fraser

Tests have already shown that the V-force is fully capable of operatingin the low-level rôle. Arrangements have been agreed, in principle, for which I must express our gratitude to the Canadian Government, for the V-force to use a low-level training route in Canada as an extension of existing training facilities there. Details are being worked out.

Mr. Mulley

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell the House the purpose of the change of rôle of the V-bombers? Does he think that with the speed at which they will fly at low level and the great reduction in their expected life when they are put into a low-level rôle they will fulfil any sensible defence purpose?

Mr. Fraser

I think that the great variety of heights at which this important bomber can fly is of great value and there is no question in my mind that the ability to penetrate at low level is something which will be borne very much in mind by any potential opponent of this country.

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