HC Deb 19 July 1989 vol 157 cc226-7W
Mr. Key

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the future of the aircraft and armaments research establishment at Boscombe Down near Salisbury.

Mr. Sainsbury

The Aircraft and Armaments Experimental Establishment (A&AEE), Boscombe Down, plays an important role in the evaluation and acceptance into service of all military aircraft, their armament and associated equipment. It was not listed as one of the MOD establishments initially selected for inclusion in the Defence Research Agency. This was in no way an indication of any uncertainty over its continuing role but simply a reflection of fact that the work undertaken at Boscombe Down is not strictly of a research nature. The position of A&AEE is currently under consideration as part of a further study being undertaken on the most appropriate organisation for the MOD's test and evaluation facilities. This study is scheduled for completion later this year.