HC Deb 10 July 2003 vol 408 cc933-4W
Mr. Gerald Howarth

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimated additional cost to the Euro fighter/Typhoon programme is attributable to the delays to that programme. [123062]

Mr. Ingram

The estimated additional cost to the Euro fighter Typhoon programme attributable to the two delays since the production contracts were placed in 1998 is approximately £610 million. Some 25 per cent. of this represents additional cash expenditure incurred by the Department because of inflation. The remaining 75 per cent. represents 'non-cash' cost of capital charges incurred by the Defence Procurement Agency as a result of the delayed transfer of asset balances to the RAF. This element does not represent a net increase in costs to the Department or the exchequer.

Mr. Wray

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Typhoon aircraft will be procured; when they will all have come into service; what their combat role will be; and how this has changed since they were first designed. [124050]

Mr. Ingram

The United Kingdom has given an undertaking, as a signatory to a 4-nation memorandum of understanding, to acquire 232 Typhoon aircraft out of a total production of 620. Our commitment to the programme remains unchanged, although—in common with all other elements of the defence programme—Typhoon is kept under constant review. The delivery of aircraft to the Royal Air Force has now begun and will continue through to the middle of the next decade. The aircraft was designed, to be multi-role; this has not changed. When it becomes available for operational deployment in the second half of this decade, it will be configured primarily to conduct air defence missions but will also have a limited ground attack capability. Typhoon's ground attack capability will be augmented through an incremental enhancement programme.

Mr. Hoyle

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the Typhoon fighter aircraft will be adaptable for use in the Future Aircraft Carriers. [124468]

Mr. Ingram

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 20 May 2003,Official Report, column 678W.

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