§ 20. Mr. David Atkinson
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement of progress on the feasibility study on anti—missile defence. 
§ Mr. Arbuthnot
A contract was awarded in October 1994 to a consortium led by British Aerospace to carry out a pre-feasibility study to identify ballistic missile defence systems to counter potential threats to the United Kingdom, the dependent territories and our forces deployed overseas. The study, which is scheduled to run for some 18 months and is proceeding according to schedule, will identify practical defensive architectures against a range of scenarios taking account of performance criteria, costs, timescales and technical risk. This advice will inform subsequent policy consideration, including whether the UK has a requirement for ballistic missile defence.