asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the European fighter aircraft.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the conclusions reached during the talks which ended on 18 June about the future development of the European fighter aircraft.
I met my colleagues from the Federal Republic of Germany, France, Italy and Spain in London on 17 and 18 June to review progress on the proposed European fighter aircraft programme. We had an extremely thorough discussion of the issues involved, drawing on the industrial studies commissioned at the last ministerial meeting in Rome on 16 May. As a result we were able to narrow the options on characteristics of the aircraft to an extent that we were able to give further instructions to industry jointly to finalise the feasibility studies by mid-July. On the basis of this further advice, it is then the intention to take a decision on whether the nations participating in the studies are able to enter project definition for a new European fighter aircraft.