§ Mr. Frank Allaun
asked the Secretary of State for Defence (1) at what stage are plans for the future main battle tank (FMBT) in succession to the Chieftain; if it is anticipated that the FMBT will be produced collaboratively; and if any design work for the FMBT has been contracted;
(2) what the gross weight of the future main battle tank is to be; what is to be the calibre of its gun; and what are its estimated research and development and production costs.
§ Mr. Robert C. Brown
We are currently engaged in joint concept studies of a future main battle tank with the Federal Republic of Germany. It is our intention that this should lead to the collaborative production of a successor to the Chieftain. A modest programme of component development in support of the concept studies is also being undertaken. It is too early to define the detailed characteristics of the tank or to estimate the cost.