asked the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he is taking to investigate high-energy laser weapons; and what contracts have been let for this purpose.
The studies to assess the potential threat from such weapons, to which I referred in my reply to the hon. Member for Hastings (Mr. Warren) on 27 May 1977—[Vol. 932, c. 622]—are still proceeding. Several small research contracts have been let within the defence industry, but I would not wish to go into further details.