HC Deb 05 May 1965 vol 711 cc1334-5
9. Mr. McMaster

asked the Minister of Aviation what work is to be carried out in the United Kingdom in connection with the putting into service of the C130E transport aircraft and Phantom fighters ordered from the United States of America; and where this work is to be placed.

Mr. Roy Jenkins

We intend to use the Rolls-Royce Spey engine in our Phantoms, and these aircraft will also incorporate the Martin Baker ejection seat used by the Americans in their Phantoms. The extent to which further components or equipment for these aircraft, and for the C130E aircraft, will be manufactured in the United Kingdom has yet to be decided, but is being urgently considered.

Mr. McMaster

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the C130E is also to be re-engined with a British engine, and how much work these alterations will entail and how much employment they will create? Is he aware of the urgency about giving an indication of how much employment will be created in the British aircraft industry in order to prevent personnel going abroad?

Mr. Jenkins

Yes, Sir. Indeed, that is the reason why we are considering the matter urgently. But I am also aware of the need to arrive at the right decision bearing in mind the cost and time scale. We are considering this particularly in the case of the C130E.

Sir J. Eden

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the Spey engine will be used in all the Phantoms on order, those for the Royal Air Force as well as those for the Navy? Can he give the House any information about the extent of the redevelopment of the engine which will be necessary and what time lag will, therefore, be involved? Will he also state when he can expect the first of the aircraft to be in service?

Mr. Jenkins

We intend and expect to use the Spey engine in both the naval and Air Force versions of the Phantom. I do not think that great developments will be involved or that the work will upset the time scale. I should need notice of a question about the exact date when the aircraft will be in service.