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Weapons Collaboration (Germany)

Volume 23: debated on Tuesday 4 May 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will list the Army weapons and weapon systems, including ancillary equipment, for which collaborative arrangements are in force between the United Kingdom and the Federal Republic of Germany, with or without other countries, stating in each case the predominating partner in the collaboration.

Collaborative projects for army equipment involving both the United Kingdom and the Federal Republic of Germany are:

The 155mm field guns FH70 and SP70 (where Italy is the third partner);
Improvements to Milan and a longer term programme to develop a new generation of anti-tank guided weapons (in both of which France is the third partner); and the multiple launch rocket system (where France and the United States are also partners).
In all the projects partners have equal status, although in the case of MLRS phase I, the United States has a particularly important role as it developed the basic system.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether proposals are to be made for Anglo-German collaboration in respect of an anti-tank helicopter to meet the common operational requirement of the German Army and the British Army of the Rhine;(2) whether, in view of stated policies on equipment standardisation between NATO allies, he will propose to the German Ministry of Defence, a programme of joint international trials of the Westland Army Lynx, with a view to evolving a joint technical specification;(3) what is his policy towards an Anglo-German industrial collaboration on helicopters, equivalent to the Anglo-French collaboration of the 1960s and 70s, with a view to ultimate replacement of the British Army's Gazelles and the German Army's B105s; and what are the prospects for such a collaboration.

There is no formally agreed common operational requirement for an anti-tank helicopter for the German Army and the British Army of the Rhine at present.Looking further ahead, the policy of the Government is to pursue industrial collaboration on future helicopters jointly with France, Germany and Italy so far as this is economic and achievable, and discussions with these partners may in due course lead to collaboration on a single design to replace the Gazelle and other helicopter types. The precise arrangements arrived at would depend upon the circumstances at the time.