HL Deb 27 October 2003 vol 654 cc15-6WA
Lord Stoddart of Swindon

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they have had any discussions with Bae Systems and other manufacturers regarding the timetable for the launch of new aircraft technology over the next 10 years and the potential effects of that technology. [HL4615]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville)

The aerospace innovation and growth team is a current focus for industry discussions with Her Majesty's Government on the aerospace industry. Technology acquisition and its effects are at the heart of that discussion, informed by a debate about the opportunities to exploit the technology through launch of aircraft.

The Government's defence industrial policy highlighted the need for better co-ordination between government, industry and academia in targeting and exploiting defence and civil (including aerospace) technology. Government and industry have since developed a joint action plan to achieve this. The work is being taken forward primarily by the National Defence and Aerospace Systems Panel, which is also the prime focus for discussion between all UK stakeholders (industry, government and the science base) over a co-ordinated UK technology acquisition strategy in defence and aerospace.

The Ministry of Defence keeps in close touch with the industry over defence requirements using the National Defence Industries Council as a forum.

The Department of Trade and Industry keeps in close contact with Bae Systems and other UK companies over future technology acquisition plans.