HC Deb 02 November 2000 vol 355 cc541-2W
Mr. Blunt

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement about the future of the TRACER programme as a bilateral programme with the United States of America. [135834]

Dr. Moonie

[holding answer 31 October 2000)Bilateral collaboration is continuing on the UK's Tactical Reconnaissance Armoured Combat Equipment Requirement (TRACER) and the US Future Scout and Cavalry System (FSCS).

The current phase of the programme is of 42 months duration and finishes in July 2002. The programme is proceeding to schedule and both Governments are pleased with progress to date.

In parallel, the UK is conducting studies to examine the use of unmanned air vehicles to complement ground-based reconnaissance. The outcome of these studies will be used to inform the UK decision on the optimum mix of platforms, technology and sensors and the role that TRACER will play in the Army's future battlefield information gathering.

Neither nation is committed beyond the current phase. At the end of this phase there will be a comprehensive review, and the decision on how to proceed will take account of all relevant factors.