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Military Aircraft: EU Action

Volume 501: debated on Wednesday 25 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the effects of the creation of a European air transport fleet on (a) jobs, (b) income and (c) military operational effectiveness in the UK. (300504)

The European Air Transport Fleet (EATF) aims to address shortfalls in military strategic air transport capability, for example through the pooling of aircraft or shared procurement. The UK will indirectly benefit from the improved aircraft availability across Europe for support to operations through increased burden sharing. The UK procures military aircraft according to our national requirements and does not have spare capacity to contribute to the EATF. Therefore, we do not currently plan to participate in the programme. As such we have not carried out any detailed assessments of the potential wider benefits to the UK. We will continue to monitor the EATF programme and keep our position under review.