§ Mr. Kershaw
asked the Secretary of State for Defence when the prototype multi-rôle combat aircraft will make its first flight; and whether he will make a statement on its progress.
§ Mr. William Rodgers
The first prototype is now at the flight test centre at Manching in Germany. It would not be customary to disclose our target date for the first flight but the final stages of ground testing leading up to the flight programme are proceeding well. The second phase of development is due to180W begin after the first flight. Before launching this phase we shall review progress with our German and Italian partners.