HC Deb 09 April 1974 vol 872 c138
8. Mr. Raymond Fletcher

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he is considering, in his review of defence expenditure, the potential military significance of electronically or laser-directed bombs; if the development of such bombs is contemplated ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. William Rodgers

At present no such weapons are being developed in the United Kingdom, although the techniques are being studied.

Mr. Fletcher

Is my hon. Friend aware that I tabled the Question merely to get the information and that no sting is contained in my supplementary question? Does he agree that, if the claims made for it by American commentators are substantiated, this type of small bomb could profoundly affect the nature and scale of aerial operations and might make it possible to some extent to reduce defence expenditure without in any way impairing military efficiency?

Mr. Rodgers

I am very interested in what my hon. Friend says. It was with those considerations in mind that we thought it right to have these weapons evaluated.

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