HL Deb 23 March 1999 vol 598 cc145-6WA
Lord Vivian

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Why the operational requirement for the Airborne Stand-Off Radar (ASTOR) was not amended to take account of new technology revealed by the Radar Technology Insertion programme providing a greater and more advanced capability. [HL1557]

The Minster of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Gilbert)

Operational requirements are a statement of military need against an assessed threat. As such, they do not specify how the capability should be provided and, indeed, are deliberately expressed in generic terms to maximise the scope for competition and allow for innovative proposals from industry. On ASTOR, proposals were received from three companies. Evaluation of the bids is nearing completion and it is not, therefore, appropriate to provide specific comments on the merits of them. I can, however, give an assurance that our assessment takes full account of operational effectiveness, technical capability, industrial participation proposals and through life best value for money.