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Airborne Early Warning System

Volume 928: debated on Thursday 17 March 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is the estimate he has made of United Kingdom jobs that would be created, and of the number in the high technology field, if the United Kingdom becomes a major base for the NATO AWACS aircraft.

A signficant number of job opportunities would be created if the main operating base of a NATO AEW force were to be established in this country. I cannot, however, answer the hon. Member's question in detail at this stage because of the manning of the base, like other aspects of the NATO AEW force, is still under discussion in NATO.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence how he regards the statement in paragraph 151 of Command Paper No. 6735, that Her Majesty's Government will ensure the maintenance of a healthy European industrial and technological base as being compatible with the contemplated purchase of the Boeing E3A AWACS.

Major equipment decisions involve judgement on a range of operational, financial, industrial and other factors. The weight to be given to each factor will vary from case to case. But this is not inconsistent with the general policy objective to which the hon. Member refers.