HC Deb 17 March 1965 vol 708 cc1262-3
22. Mr. Hastings

asked the Minister of Aviation how many Spey engines are to be ordered from Rolls Royce for the Phantom; and what modifications to the existing engine will be necessary.

Mr. Roy Jenkins

It is not the practice to disclose the size of military orders. The engine is being developed for supersonic operation and will also incorporate re-heat.

Mr. Hastings

Is it not a fact that there are major design problems with this engine? Can the Minister tell the House when this aircraft will come into squadron service, and can he deny that the decision to cancel the P1154 was taken before he had any clear idea at all when the Phantom would be ready?

Mr. Jenkins

I hope that there are no major design difficulties. I am surprised that the hon. Member seems to be advocating that we should not include British equipment in these aircraft. That is not my view. The decision about the P1154 has nothing to do with the Question on the Order Paper.

Mr. Burden

Is the Minister sure that by switching the Spey engine to the Phantom there will not be any difficulty regarding the performance or safety of the aircraft? This often happens.

Mr. Jenkins

I do not think that this is so. I am extremely anxious—apparently more so than is the hon. Member—to see the British Spey engine incorporated in the Phantom aircraft.

Mr. Ridsdale

Can the Minister say when the Phantom aircraft will be available?

Mr. Jenkins

Not without notice. This Question relates purely to the number and modifications of the engine.