HC Deb 20 October 2003 vol 411 cc445-6W
Tony Baldry

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what measures the Government will take to ensure that end-use undertakings made in relation to equipment or technology licensed for transfer to India as part of the intended sale of 66 Hawk jets to India will be honoured; [130773]

(2) what conditions will be placed on the end-use of any equipment and technology licensed for transfer to India in relation to the 66 Hawk jets intended for sale to India. [130774]

Mr. Mike O'Brien

I have been asked to reply. All licence applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. The stated end-use of the equipment is one factor taken into account when making the assessment.

The Hawk trainer aircraft are intended solely for training purposes, although they would have limited combat capability as they are fitted with the necessary systems and interfaces to allow them to carry a range of weapons for training for combat.

Beyond the standard end-user undertaking requirements for export licences (which our Posts overseas will monitor), no specific additional conditions would normally be placed on the end-use of any equipment and technology licensed for transfer to India.

The Indian Air Force already has a range of other aircraft that are much more suitable for combat purposes, including modern Mirage 2000 and SU-30 aircraft. Although it would be possible for the Indians to convert the aircraft in an operational role, we are confident they are purchasing the aircraft for training purposes to fill a gap between their existing trainer aircraft and their front-line fast jets. The Hawk is to be used to teach Indian pilots to fly fast jets safely.

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