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Aircraft Carriers

Volume 459: debated on Thursday 3 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reason the announcement of the order of the Future Aircraft Carriers has been delayed; and what his estimate is of the probable in-service date of (a) HMS Queen Elizabeth and (b) HMS Prince of Wales. (134728)

[holding answer 1 May 2007]: No date has been set for an announcement and there has, therefore, been no delay. However, as my noble Friend the Minister of State for Defence Equipment and Support, Lord Drayson, stated in another place on 18 January 2007, Official Report, column 776, we are looking to get a robust, affordable deal negotiated quickly to allow a main investment decision to be taken as soon as possible.

With regards to in-service dates, I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Shrewsbury and Atcham (Daniel Kawczynski) on 31 October 2006, Official Report, column 326W.