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Volume 405: debated on Friday 16 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of total UK expenditure on (a) research and development for and (b) the production of the Eurofighter has been spent in Wales. [Transferred] [113118]

[holding answer 13 May 2003]: Payment arrangements for Eurofighter Typhoon are managed by the prime contractors. The Ministry of Defence does not have visibility of the geographical allocation of work (and hence expenditure) within the United Kingdom.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had regarding a change in the UK's purchase of Eurofighter Typhoons from 232 machines. [111587]

We keep the size and shape of the forward equipment programme under constant review. Our commitment to the Typhoon programme remains undiminished.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what measures the Government is taking to ensure that the (a) cost of weapons integration and (b) benefits of inter-operability in the Eurofighter Typhoon project are shared equitably between the participating countries. [112441]

The cost of weapons integration is shared between the countries electing to fit those weapons under arrangements set out in Memoranda of Understanding between the participating countries.Typhoon is designed to be interoperable with all the participating countries' air forces and each country will have both common and non-common weaponry requirements to meet their individual needs. Commonality of software and hardware will benefit the air forces when the aircraft are deployed and makes it cheaper and quicker to adopt, at a later stage, weapons that are in use with other participating countries.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft the Government intends to purchase; when the order for tranche 2 will be placed; and what progress is being made on the development of a ground attack version of the aircraft. [111912]

[holding answer 8 May 2003]: Under the four nation memoranda of understanding, the United Kingdom has undertaken to acquire 232 aircraft out of a total production of 620. We expect that the four partner nations will place the order for Tranche 2 aircraft, of which the UK share is 89, later this year. Typhoon aircraft are planned progressively to incorporate ground attack capabilities and early aircraft are planned to be upgraded through a retro-fit programme.