HC Deb 15 March 1999 vol 327 c506W
Mr. Maclean

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the cost of replacing the Saudi Arabian JP233 system with Paveway 111 bombs; from which budget the money was drawn; at whose request and for what reason the replacement was required; and if he will make a statement. [76278]

Mr. George Robertson

Under the provisions of the Ottawa Convention and the Landmines Act 1998, which came into force on 1 March 1999, the UK cannot continue to support the Saudi Arabian JP233 anti-airfield weapons, which were supplied by the UK under the Al Yamamah project. As explained in a Minute laid before Parliament on 4 February 1999, our offer to destroy Saudi JP233s, to provide 100 Paveway 3s as replacements, and to provide modifications and training to allow the Saudis to operate the new system underlines our commitment to the Ottawa Convention, while maintaining strong relations with a strategically important, friendly country. The estimated cost of these measures is £15–17 million, to be funded by the Ministry of Defence.