asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether it is intended to order Buccaneer Mark II aircraft for the Royal Air Force.
The choice of further new aircraft for the Royal Air Force is one of the major questions on which decisions will be taken in the course of the Defence Review.
Can the hon. Gentleman say how long he expects the development of the Mark II** to take, and will he comment on the Chancellor's suggestion made during the North Hull by-election campaign that these aircraft might be sold to the Americans as part of a package deal?
The Buccaneer Mark II is being considered along with a number of other alternative aircraft in the context of the Defence Review, with particular relation to the Canberra replacement.
Will my hon. Friend confirm that this is an excellent plane, the best of its kind in the world for its purpose, and can he tell us of any possible export markets for it, other than North America?
I confirm, of course, that this is an excellent aircraft. The question is whether it is the particular aircraft we require for the rôle which we need for the Canberra replacement. This is what is being fully considered at the moment.