HC Deb 10 April 2001 vol 366 c519W
Mr. Menzies Campbell

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list(a) the original in-service date, (b) the revised in-service date and (c) the latest expected in-service date for ASRAAM; and if he will make a statement. [157179]

Dr. Moonie

[holding answer 9 April 2001]: The in-service date set at the main approval point for ASRAAM was December 1998. Technical problems with the missile hardware and software, combined with a decision to alter the delivery programme to align better with the candidate aircraft, resulted in the approval of a revised in-service date of April 2001

Matra BAE Dynamics (MBD), the prime contractor for ASRAAM, has not yet achieved the missile performance level required by the Ministry of Defence (MOD). The company has encountered a number of technical problems, which have caused some delay to the programme and mean that the in-service date of April 2001 will not be achieved. The MOD is not prepared to take delivery of any missiles until MBD can show that an acceptable standard can be met. However, we have made clear to the company the need to resolve the problems and to agree a revised programme to its entry into service. Until that time, Tornado F3, Harrier GR9 and Sea Harrier FA2 aircraft will continue to have an effective short-range air-to-air capability using Sidewinder missiles.

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