HC Deb 28 January 1987 vol 109 cc235-6W
Mr. Best

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement about the United Kingdom's participation in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation frigate replacement programme (NFR90).

Mr. Archie Hamilton

Together with seven other NATO nations, the United Kingdom participated in a 15-month joint feasibility study, which was completed towards the end of 1985.

In concert with our partners in this project, the results have been evaluated; detailed discussions aimed at the commencement of the next phase, project definition, are currently in progress with the other nations. Current plans envisage decisions on the way ahead being reached by about the middle of the year.

Mr. Best

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made as to how the planned United Kingdom number of surface ships is able to meet the maritime force requirements in the light of the study completed by the major North Atlantic Treaty Organisation commanders; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Stanley

The study to which I believe my hon. Friend is referring is confidential and work on it is continuing. The United Kingdom makes by far the largest contribution to the NATO surface naval presence in the eastern Atlantic and the Channel of any European NATO member.