HC Deb 26 July 1999 vol 336 cc58-9W
Mr. Menzies Campbell

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment his Department has made of the impact of the cessation of production of Block III Tomahawk missiles in the United States later this year on the capabilities of the Royal Navy submarine fleet. [91328]

Mr. George Robertson

The Tomahawk Block III production line at Raytheon was closed for new orders some time ago, and we expect that the missiles ordered by the UK will all have been delivered by the end of 1999. The capabilities of the RN submarine fleet will not be affected by the closure.

The US Department of Defence has now embarked on a programme for refurbishment and upgrade of older missile stock up to Block III standard which will carry it through the period up to 2004–05, when the next version of Tomahawk, called Tactical Tomahawk (TACTOM), becomes available. The replacement of the Royal Navy's Tomahawk missiles used in the Balkans, currently being negotiated, will come from this refurbishment and upgrade programme.