§ 47. Mr. Nicholas Winterton
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has received from the Manchester division of British Aerospace about future defence aircraft procurements; and if he will make a statement.129W
§ Mr. Pattie
Defence Ministers have received a number of representations through hon. Members about work for the Manchester division of British Aerospace on the Coastguarder, strategic tankers and Nimrod. There is no Service requirement for the Coastguarder, as the maritime reconnaissance role in the Falklands, for which it had been proposed, is being successfully carried out by Hercules aircraft. On strategic tankers I have nothing to add to the replies I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Hastings (Mr. Warren) on 24 November—[Vol. 32, c. 521], and 6 December.—[Vol. 33, c. 419.] On the Nimrod, I refer to the replies given to the hon. Member for Manchester, Blackley (Mr. Eastham) on 30 November.—[Vol. 33, c. 160.] Work on the conversions to MR Mk. 2 and AEW Mk. 3 is in progress at Manchester and certain other modifications are either in progress or under consideration. To minimise the effect on the front line some of these will need to be incorporated during major servicing at Kinloss.