To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many aircraft, and of which types, will participate in Exercise Panoramic II; and from which bases they will operate;(2) if he will make a statement on the nature and purpose of the forthcoming exercise entitled Panoramic II;(3) if he will make a statement on the measures taken to ensure the safety of civilian sea and air traffic during Exercise Panoramic II.
Panoramic II is a trial designed to investigate the performance of air-to-air missiles. The trial, which began on 2 July and will continue until 13 July, involves four Tornado F3, one Phantom, one Victor, one VC10, one Nimrod and one Canberra aircraft. All the aircraft are operating from RAF Leuchars, with the exception of the Nimrod, which is operating from RAF Kinloss.Missile firings are taking place within a special airspace reservation area north-west of Saxa Vord. The Nimrod carries out a search for shipping and ensures that the area is clear before any firing takes place. A coastal navigation warning has been issued by the Royal Navy hydrographer. All civilian air traffic routes through the area have been closed for the duration of the trial.