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Lightning Fighter Aircraft (Weapon)

Volume 640: debated on Wednesday 10 May 1961

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asked the Secretary of State for Air what weapon is, or will be, fitted to the Lightning fighter; and whether this weapon has been designed and tested.

The Lightning Mk. l's main armament is the air-to-air missile Firestreak, which is in service now. Later marks of Lightning will carry an improved missile at present under development.

Can the Minister say whether the present Lightning can fire a Firestreak without a reduction in speed? Can he also state when he hopes to have the new weapon in operation?

I am not able to give the date when the new weapon will be brought into service, but development is going on. There are certain restrictions, in relation to firing the present weapon, but they are not considered by the military authorities as being in any way seriously detrimental to the weapon. The new weapon will have, as one of its main features, a much wider field of attack.

Can the Minister confirm that the missile-firing arrangements of the Lightning are not inferior to those of the fighters of other countries, such as the American F.104?