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Airborne Early Warning Systems

Volume 928: debated on Friday 25 March 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is his estimate of the in-service dates of AEW Nimrod and AWACS, respectively, assuming an immediate decision by Her Majesty's Government.

I regret that I cannot disclose these dates, but either the Boeing AWACS or the Nimrod AEW could be introduced into service in time to meet the operational requirement.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will confirm that every month's delay in Government decision on a replacement for the AEW Shackleton will result in an equivalent delay in decommissioning of the Shackle-ton; and whether any structural modification will be required to keep these aircraft flying up to 1983.

Any delay in Her Majesty's Government's decision on the replacement for the AEW Shackle-ton is likely to delay its decommissioning, but I cannot be precise. The Shackleton aircraft will, however, be able to remain in service, subject to certain modifications, until replaced by either AWACS or Nimrod.