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Air-To-Surface Missiles

Volume 181: debated on Monday 19 November 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether the agreements in START differentiating strategic from tactical air-to-surface missiles have any relevance to United Kingdom policy on TASM; and if he will make a statement;(2) if the United Kingdom will limit the range of its proposed tactical air-to-surface missile so that it will not be defined as strategic according to current START rules.

The START negotiations are bilateral between the United States and the Soviet Union; British nuclear forces would, therefore, not be included in any agreement. Our choice of a TASM will be guided by the need to retain a credible and effective deterrent capability.