HC Deb 21 October 1971 vol 823 c882
19. Mr. Nicholas Edwards

asked the Minister of State for Defence what are the latest development in connection with the proposed formation of a Jaguar Operational Conversion Unit at Royal Air Force, Brawdy.

Mr. Lambton

Recent studies of possible future limitations on the use of the airspace over South Wales and South-West England have shown that the operations of the Jaguar Operational Conversion Unit from Royal Air Force, Brawdy might be severely restricted by 1977 or 1978. We have therefore decided that this unit will form at Lossiemouth, and not Brawdy. The Tactical Weapons Unit, which was to have moved from Royal Air Force, Chivenor, to Lossiemouth, will now be based at Brawdy as from Spring, 1973. This change of deployments will not affect the planned level of civilian employment at either Brawdy or Lossiemouth.

Mr. Edwards

I am grateful that the Minister throughout has recognised that this is not only a military matter but something of great economic significance in my constituency. Can he confirm that there will be about 700 Royal Air Force personnel at the base and, further, whether the opening date is dependent upon the development programme of the Jaguar?

Mr. Lambton

The numbers will be in the region of 700, and I hope that the station will be opened on the date I previously stated.