§ Mr. Redmond
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has with the United States authorities concerning the leasing of F-16C aircraft for use as air defence fighters by the Royal Air Force. 
§ Mr. Arbuthnot
My Department is currently examining proposals to upgrade the weapon systems of the Tornado F3 air defence fighter. A routine part of our evaluation procedure is to examine the comparative costs of alternative options. We have, in this context, contacted the United States Department of Defence for information concerning F-16 aircraft.