HC Deb 11 June 1997 vol 295 cc481-2W
Mr. Barry Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the ASTOR project, with special reference to the employment implications and the timetable of the contract. [1922]

Mr. Spellar

Two contractors, Lockheed-Martin and Raytheon E-Systems, have completed competitive Project Definition studies. Invitations for Best and Final Offers for the Full Development and Production phase are being prepared, and we expect to issue them shortly. Both Lockheed-Martin and Raytheon have set up UK-based subsidiaries to carry out ASTOR work, and both are supported by UK sub-contractors. They have both offered UK industrial participation packages amounting to 100 per cent. of the contract value, over half of which work will be directly related to the ASTOR programme. Any export sales of the ASTOR system would further enhance employment prospects in the UK.

Consideration of the companies' detailed industrial participation proposals will form part of the assessment of the companies' Best and Final Offers.

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