HC Deb 01 February 1983 vol 36 c133
8. Mr. Palmer

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the United Kingdom's independent military space programme.

Mr. Pattie

The United Kingdom's military space requirements are primarily for communications and navigation technology. They are formulated wherever possible in co-ordination with our NATO allies, with whom we assess the military implications of developments in space technology.

Mr. Palmer

Is it intended to replace the independent military satellite Skynet 2B, which turned out to be unreliable during the Falklands operation, with another independent British satellite, or is it intended to rely on the United States or NATO?

Mr. Pattie

The hon. Gentleman will probably be aware that the British Aerospace Dynamics Group in his constituency, and Marconi Space and Defence Systems Ltd., are co-operating on Skynet 4, which is expected to provide the satellite communications that we need between 1985 and 1990.

Mr. Wilkinson

Will my hon. Friend consider consulting much more with the French on space matters, especially on the possibility of adopting an Anglo-French reconnaissance capability and, secondly, to support a booster beyond Ariane 4?

Mr. Pattie

We are always prepared to consult the French on such matters.

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