§ Captain Kerby
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what are the estimated maintenance costs of retaining existing Sea Vixen aircraft in service until 1972 194W for use in H.M.S. "Eagle"; if he is satisfied that their retention until that time will in no way jeopardise the lives of aircrew in view of the length of operational service already performed by these aircraft; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Foley
Sea Vixen aircraft are currently planned to remain in service for some years after 1972 for training purposes. The maintenance costs of operating extra Sea Vixens until 1972 in H.M.S. "Eagle" are estimated at about £1 million per annum from 1969 to 1972; but these costs will be more than offset by the savings which will result from not embarking Phantoms in "Eagle".
I am satisfied that no special flight safety risks are involved in operating Sea Vixens in "Eagle" until 1972.