§ Lord Mason of Barnsley
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What is the current position on the Counter Battery Radar project. [HL969]
§ The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Gilbert)
I am pleased to inform the House that a contract for the Industrialisation and Production phase of the Counter Battery Radar project, COBRA, covering the requirements of France, Germany and the UK, was signed on 6 March 1998. The contract, valued in total at approximately £350 million, was placed with Euro-Art, a consortium consisting of Thompson CSF, SI Sicherungstechnik, RACAL and Lockheed Martin.
COBRA will provide the Army with the capability to locate and classify hostile rockets, guns and mortars accurately and at long range, and will act as a force detector. It will also be able to monitor breaches of ceasefire when deployed in a peacekeeping role.
The project is a good example of the benefits of collaboration with our European partners, and has given us the opportunity to procure technologically advanced equipment at a considerably lower cost than would have been the case had we pursued a purely national programme. The contract will result in around eight years of work for British industry.