HL Deb 15 December 1986 vol 483 cc94-6WA
Lord Nugent of Guildford

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the Ministry of Defence has placed an order for a new high velocity air defence missile system.

The Minister of State for Defence Procurement (Lord Trefgarne)

On 27th November 1986 the Ministry of Defence placed an order with Short Brothers of Belfast for the development and manufacture of a high velocity missile system, Short's Starstreak, for our air defence requirements.

The Starstreak weapon system represents an evolutionary advance on the successful Blowpipe and Javelin shoulder-launched weapon system deployed by the British Armed Forces and will provide an important enhancement to our capability in the face of increasingly hostile air threats foreseen through the 1990s and beyond.

This contract, worth approximately £225 million represents the largest awarded to the company by the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence and will provide major employment opportunities to Shorts and its sub-contractors throughout the United Kingdom, mainly in regions outside the South-East of England, including a number of Development Areas. It will provide continuing employment at Shorts well into the 1990s, together with work for up to 5,000 throughout the United Kingdom, with a further 5,000 jobs being maintained or created indirectly.

This contract will enable the United Kingdom to remain at the very forefront of close air defence technology and confirms Shorts as one of the foremost missile manufacturers in the world.