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Hawk

Volume 405: debated on Monday 19 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence(1) what representations he has received concerning the Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer; and if he will make a statement; [113097](2) what assessment he has made of the benefits of the Hawk aircraft programme in terms of

(a) jet pilot training capability and (b) jobs. [113098]

Representations have been made concerning the Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer from a variety of sources.We have continued to work closely with BAE Systems to determine whether Hawk 128 will best meet our need for an Advanced Jet Trainer and on 31 March 2003 received a final proposal from the company. We are currently considering the proposal to determine whether it does meet our requirement and offer value for money for the taxpayer. A decision on the way ahead is expected by the end of June 2003 and it would not be appropriate to make a statement until this time. It will be for BAE Systems to decide what effect, if any, the outcome will have on employment levels.