HC Deb 25 November 1999 vol 339 cc173-4W
Mr. Hancock

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his estimate of the cost of the Medium-Range Trigat missiles to be delivered in 2003. [99417]

Mr. Kilfoyle

Our current estimate of the cost of Medium-Range Trigat missiles to be delivered in 2003 is £19 million.

Mr. Chidgey

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what is the current programme for the industrialisation and production phases of the Trigat-MR ATGW; what changes have been made to the programme since 1 January; and if the project is on schedule; [99440]

(2) which countries have signed an agreement to participate in the industrialisation phase of the Trigat-MR ATGW programme; which countries he expects to sign; and on what date; [99438]

(3) what assessment he has made of the impact on (a) the cost and (b) the delivery programme of the Trigat should (i) the Netherlands, (ii) Belgium and (iii) both these countries withdraw from the programme. [99439]

Mr. Kilfoyle

Germany, France and UK, as the major participants in the programme, have signed the MR Trigat Industrialisation and Production Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The Netherlands and Belgium have still to sign and we expect decisions to be made by both nations by early 2000, once their Governmental and Parliamentary procedures are complete. We are not able to give precise dates for these signatures.

All the participating nations have planned on the basis of a five nation collaborative programme. As such any assessment of the impacts on cost and time of one or more nations withdrawing would be speculative and much would depend on the views of the remaining nations and of industry.

The industrialisation phase of the MR Trigat is programmed to finish in late 2002. The production phase will begin shortly thereafter and is expected to complete in 2013. The UK expects to complete its acceptance trials by the summer of 2003 and the equipment's forecast in-service date is June 2005. Despite the delay in signing of the MOU by the Netherlands and Belgium, we are assured by industry that work is continuing at their own risk. This keeps the project on schedule to meet the UK's in-service date.

As regards changes in the programme since 1 January 1999, the key events have been UK signature of the MOU on 10 June 1999 and completion of contract negotiations on 30 August 1999.