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Volume 165: debated on Wednesday 17 January 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the service branch and units which are, and which will be, operating the Skyguard monitoring equipment.

When the Skyguard fire control radar system is used in the low-flying monitoring role, it is operated by 2729 Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force Regiment in conjunction with the RAF police. There are no plans to change these arrangements.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library the results of the Skyguard monitoring of low-flying military jet aircraft; what follow-up action will be taken; and how often these reports will be published.

No. It is not the intention to publish detailed reports on individual Skyguard deployments, on which may depend disciplinary action. Each deployment will, however, be followed up and appropriate disciplinary or other action taken where appropriate. Three deployments of the Skyguard radar system in the low-flying monitoring role took place in 1989, all in conjunction with the Royal Air Force police. These deployments were at:

  • Knaresborough—27 to 29 June 1989
  • Penrith—1 to 3 August 1989
  • Alnwick—3 to 5 October 1989
While further analysis of the results is continuing, no evidence was found during those deployments of any deliberate or flagrant breaches of the United Kingdom low-flying regulations and they confirmed that aircrew have a healthy respect for the regulations. Information on further deployments will be made available to the House from time to time.