§ Mr. Woodcock
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the inquiry into the Sirius hull design has been completed; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Younger
In November 1986 I commissionedLloyd's Register of Shipping to undertake a special inquiry into claims that the Sirius concept developed by Thornycroft, Giles and Associates could be the basis for destroyer and frigate designs offering cost and other advantages over conventional designs. Investigation of these claims had been urged by an unofficial committee chaired by Admiral of the Fleet Lord Hill-Norton.
I have today placed in the Library of the House copies of the report of the inquiry, which was led by Mr. R. H. MacLeod. The work has been professional, thorough and impartial, and especial care has been taken to give Thornycroft, Giles and Associates full opportunity both to give evidence and to comment on the report before publication. The report's main conclusion is that, for the Royal Navy's stated requirements in the destroyer and frigate roles, vessels based on the Sirius concept would cost more than conventional designs like the Type 23, without offering commensurate advantage in other ways. I accept this outcome.
The report was not required, and does not seek, to comment on the possible use of the Sirius concept in other applications.