§ Sir Patrick Wall
asked the Secretary of State for Defence, in view of the growing number of Soviet surface-skimming guided missiles, what steps are being taken to protect Her Majesty's ships and the Merchant Navy against such missiles.
§ Mr. Pattie
Her Majesty's ships are equipped with a range of passive and active defences against missile attack which are being progressively improved to deal with expected developments in the Soviet threat. Full account will be taken in this process of experience gained from missile engagements in the Falklands conflict. The scope for providing merchant vessels with defensive equipment in wartime is under examination in co-operation with the General Council of British Shipping.