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Maritime Surveillance (Nato)

Volume 35: debated on Thursday 27 January 1983

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence what consideration is being given to improving the means of maritime surveillance available to the member countries of the North Atlantic Alliance.

We and our NATO allies assign a high priority to maintaining and improving the Alliance's ability to keep track of Warsaw pact maritime forces, and work closely together in doing so. The means available to the Alliance include surveillance by satellite, aircraft and ships. A number of improvements to the United Kingdom's contribution to NATO's maritime surveillance capability have been and are being made, most notably by the progressive modification of the Nimrod from Mark 1 to Mark 2 standard, with its much enhanced Searchwater radar and the intention additionally to convert the three uncommitted Mark 1 airframes; the fitting of Searchwater radar to some Sea King helicopters to give them a limited airborne early warning and surveillance capability; and the introduction into service, at the end of this year, of the Nimrod Mark 3 AEW aircraft. In addition, Her Majesty's ships are routinely engaged, in co-operation with our allies, in monitoring Warsaw Pact maritime activity.