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Typhoon Aircraft

Volume 564: debated on Monday 17 June 2013

12. What reports he has received on future developments in the capability of the Typhoon aircraft. (159646)

As my hon. Friend knows—he is a keen student of the Typhoon programme—there is great scope to enhance the capabilities of that already powerful aircraft, in particular when compared with mature platforms, which have less scope to enhance their capabilities. Tranche 3 aircraft are being delivered from the Warton plant near his constituency with improved multi-role, and ISTAR capabilities.

Does the Minister believe that the upgrades to Typhoon, which is built in my constituency, will not only provide the RAF with a world-class front-line aircraft, but ensure that Typhoons will be competitive in the highly competitive export market?

I believe the constituency boundary with Ribble Valley passes through the site, so I may have to stand corrected on which bit of the site they are made. The development upgrades and improved ISTAR to which my hon. Friend refers will provide the RAF, and the other six air forces that have already committed to the aircraft, with battle-winning performance, as was demonstrated in the Libya campaign. We are actively engaged with existing and potential partners and customers on the scope for collaborating on the development of further capability. We are also supporting industry in a number of export campaigns, and are hopeful that other allies and partner nations will join the family of users of this outstanding aircraft.