HL Deb 24 January 2005 vol 668 c136WA
Lord Astor of Hever

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What are their contingency arrangements to provide the new aircraft carriers with an airborne capability if they are brought into operation before the Joint Strike Fighters are fully available. [HL716]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Bach)

We are working to ensure that the Future Carrier (CVF) and the Joint Combat Aircraft (JCA) programmes remain coherent. The CVF's aircraft will be introduced progressively to reduce integration risk, starting with trials on the new carrier, followed by integration of helicopters, and finally integration of the fast jet JCA. We do not currently plan to operate Harrier GR9 from CVF. However, we have ensured that the CVF design is capable of operating a wide variety of aircraft, including potentially GR9.