HC Deb 27 April 1966 vol 727 cc686-7
23. Mr. Wall

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what are the rôle and purpose of the new Type 82 destroyers.

Mr. J. P. W. Mallalieu

The Type 82 destroyer has been designed as a successor to the County Class. She will be a dual-purpose ship, armed with the new surface-to-air missile system, Seadart, and with the latest anti-submarine attack weapon, Ikara. The primary rôle of the ship, which will also have the new three-dimensional radar and other advanced equipment, will be to defend a surface force against air and submarine attack.

Mr. Wall

As this class of destroyer was designed to operate with aircraft carriers, and as we are no longer to have aircraft carriers, is there a continuing reason for these destroyers? Is it not a case that the Government are to spend £120 million on building these destroyers, for which sum we could have built one and possibly two aircraft carriers?

Mr. Mallalieu

We consider these destroyers to have enormous value to the Fleet.