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European Fighter Aircraft

Volume 460: debated on Wednesday 9 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how much was saved by the decision taken in 2001 not to equip Typhoon aircraft with Mauser 27 mm cannon; (135062)

(2) what the cost has been of retrofitting Typhoon aircraft with cannon.

[holding answers 30 April 2007]: All RAF Typhoon aircraft have been fitted with a cannon. As stated within the Major Project Report 2006, the decision to leave the Typhoon cannon non-operational was assessed to save £32 million in programme costs.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his latest assessment is of the merits of fitting a cannon to (a) Typhoon and (b) other future combat aircraft. (134727)

[holding answer 1 May 2007]: The activation of the cannon on Typhoon, and its fitting to future combat aircraft, would provide an additional means of delivering air-to-surface low collateral damage effect in support of ground forces. This would need to be weighed against the through life costs of such a capability, including the implications for airframe life.