HC Deb 21 October 1971 vol 823 cc878-9
11. Mr. Warren

asked the Minister of State for Defence if he will make a statement about the progress of negotiations for a new jet trainer aircraft for the Royal Air Force.

Mr. Ian Gilmour

Hawker Siddeley Aviation Ltd. has been chosen to undertake the work, subject to the conclusion of satisfactory contract terms, and negotiations are proceeding.

Mr. Warren

May I say how happy I am to hear this announcement formally, particularly as we have waited for a long time for it, especially during the era of "white hot technology", when nothing happened. Is my hon. Friend aware that this will be welcomed by the Royal Air Force?

Mr. Gilmour

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his remarks.

26. Mr. Wilkinson

asked the Minister of State for Defence whether he will make a statement on the future pattern of flying training in the Royal Air Force in the light of the letter of intent to order a new jet trainer for the Royal Air Force issued by his Department.

The Under-Secretary of State for Defence for the Royal Air Force (Mr. Antony Lambton)

As announced last year, we intend to introduce the new jet trainer to replace the Gnat and the Hunter for advanced and applied fast jet training. Basic training will continue to be carried out on Jet Provosts for some considerable time.

Mr. Wilkinson

Will my hon. Friend deal with two points? Can he say what will be the future of primary training when the new jet trainer enters service and, secondly, whether weapon training will be included in the applied flying training syllabus, and whether it will be done at No. 4 advanced training school or at the Tactical Weapons Unit at Brawdy?

Mr. Lambton

The primary training is different. The second part of my hon. Friend's supplementary question is still being considered.

Mr. Onslow

Is my hon. Friend aware of the very strong arguments in favour of scrapping the Chipmunk and replacing it with Bulldog, which would not only give the Royal Air Force a better aircraft but would create a great many jobs in Scotland and elsewhere?

Mr. Lambton

The future of the Chipmunk is still being considered.

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