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Air Defences

Volume 175: debated on Tuesday 26 June 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the current assessment of the threat to United Kingdom air defences.

The principal potential threat to United Kingdom air defences is that posed by the medium bombers of the Soviet Air Force based in the western USSR.This force has been—and continues to be—steadily modernised by the deployment of the supersonic Backfire, which is replacing the older Badger and Blinder.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the current assessment of the need for (a) ground attack aircraft, and (b) air defence aircraft; and what was the assessment one year ago.

The assessed need for combat aircraft has been reflected in the plans described in successive statements on the defence estimates. We are currently reassessing our defence requirements as part of the "Options for Change" study.