asked the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what is the current estimated production total for the 7511 torpedo; and when it is currently anticipated that production work will start;(2) whether sea trials have yet been held of the 7511 torpedo; and, if so, with what general result;(3) what discussions have been held with NATO about the 7511 torpedo in pursuit of the organisation's objective of better standardisation of weapons;(4) when it is anticipated that a decision will be made on whether to commence production of the 7511 torpedo;
(5) what has been the estimated total expenditure to the nearest convenient date on development work in connection with the 7511 torpedo project;
(6) what is the estimated number of full-time jobs at ( a) main plants and ( b) sub-contractors which would be provided in production of the 7511 torpedo.
The 7511 torpedo is currently undergoing a review of technical progress, time scales and costs. Initial in-water trials have been carried out, but it is too early to indicate the results. We are keeping our NATO partners informed of progress with a view to promoting standardisation on lightweight torpedoes. The initial release of production funds has been scheduled for next year but it is not our usual practice to disclose final production totals. Up to the end of June 1977 financial commitments on the project will have totalled approximately £45 million, of which some £30 million will have been dispersed. Some 300–400 staff could be expected to be directly employed on production of 7511 at the prime contractor's works, and a similar number among sub-contractors.