§ Mr. Wilkinson
asked the Secretary of State for Defence why two photographic reconnaissance squadrons of the Royal Air Force equipped with Canberras are to be disbanded in advance of the entry of the Tornado aircraft into operational service; and when the disbandment of these units is planned to take place.
§ Mr. Pattie
The operational capability of the Canberra is progressively694W diminishing in the face of improvements to Warsaw Pact air defences. It is, therefore, sensible to concentrate the RAF's resources of manpower and money on more operationally valuable areas of the front line. Current plans are for one squadron to disband on 5 January 1982 and the other on 5 January 1983.