§ Mr. Pattie
asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he has yet assessed the number of jobs that would be required to complete the British Nimrod Airborne Early Warning programme as compared with the number of jobs that would be created if the Government decided to purchase the American Airborne Warning and Control System programme; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Mulley
As I told the hon. Member on 22nd February, there is no question of this country buying the Boeing AWACS. Our contribution would be to a NATO AEW force based on the Boeing aircraft. Nor is there any prospect of NATO taking Nimrod as an alternative to the Boeing. As the number of jobs that would be created if the United Kingdom were to participate in a NATO purchase of the Boeing aircraft would depend on the final arrangements for industrial collaboration, I am unable to make the assessment requested by the hon. Member.