§ Mr. Warren
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will give the details and relevant dates of any changes made by his Department to the type 42 destroyer design which have precluded the installation of anti-missile defences.
§ Mr. Pattie
The type 42 destroyer was designed to give an area air defence capability to the fleet, and it has never been planned to incorporate a close-range anti-missile system into the design of the ship. Its major armament, the Sea Dart missile system, is therefore designed primarily to engage hostile aircraft at long ranges rather than incoming missiles and it has not proved possible to fit both the Sea Dart and Sea Wolf missile systems on the same type 42 ship. However, the type 42 has a passive antimissile defence system, designed to distract enemy missiles from their target, and its guns have a limited capability against missiles at very short range.