§ 15. Mr. Arnold
asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether the Royal Air Force has any plans to purchase additional Nimrod aircraft.
§ Mr. Arnold
Bearing in mind the vital role that these aircraft perform, does my hon. Friend agree that it is essential to maintain the industrial capability that will be 733 needed in the future to enhance their performance? Can he now say definitely that there will be a comprehensive return to the work programme?
§ Mr. Pattie
I cannot give my hon. Friend the assurance that he seeks. The Royal Air Force must have adequate contractor support, but he must discuss with the company involved the matters that he has in mind.
§ Mr. Dalyell
Have there been any complaints about the Nimrod AD470 Marconi transceiver equipment when operating at 1,000 to 1,500 miles?
§ Sir Patrick Wall
Have not SACLANT and CINCMAN said that they are desperately short of maritime patrol aircraft? How do the Government intend to rectify that deficiency together with their allies?
§ Mr. Pattie
My hon. Friend is correct in saying that SACLANT has such anxieties, but the fact remains that to open the line and build more of that type of aircraft would cost the Government a considerable sum of money.