HC Deb 13 December 1967 vol 756 cc411-2
18. Mr. Gregor Mackenzie

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what are the special features of the Seadart missile system.

55. Mr. Archer

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether a production order has been placed for the Seadart missile system for the Royal Navy.

Mr. Mason

The special features of the Seadart medium range surface-to-air guided weapon system are its anti-missile capability, its effectiveness against targets at low-level, and its quick reaction. Certain contracts have been placed both for ship-fitted equipment and missiles to be deployed in H.M.S. "Bristol". The system is also intended for the new destroyers and cruisers heralded in the July White Paper.

Mr. Mackenzie

What are the advantages of this system over other systems which have been developed, particularly Seaslug?

Mr. Mason

It has a better all-round performance than Seaslug, particularly against low-flying or very fast targets. We consider that it will be able to engage the smallest and fastest anti-ship missiles which we foresee.

Rear-Admiral Morgan Giles

As regards the low-level capability of Seadart, is it not a fact that its range is less than half that of the Komar, and is not this a reason for re-examining from the beginning the whole question of a simpler and cheaper aircraft carrier?

Mr. Mason

No, that is not true; but I cannot disclose publicly the details of the system itself.