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Hawk Aircraft: Overseas Promotion

Volume 632: debated on Monday 27 November 2017

5. What discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for International Trade on promoting Hawk aircraft overseas. (902551)

The Ministry of Defence and the Department for International Trade continue to work closely with BAE Systems to promote and secure sales of the world-leading Hawk advanced jet training aircraft.

I recently had the opportunity to talk to Unite and GMB members about the importance of a consistent flow of orders to maintain jobs throughout the supply chain for Hawk. In a recent debate on defence aerospace strategy, the Minister referred to 12 Hawk aircraft for Qatar. Has this figure changed from the six initially announced? Could she update us with progress on getting further orders on the books?

I can absolutely confirm that the Government are working wholeheartedly in every way they can to ensure that we put that order from the Government of Qatar on the order books by the end of the year. That includes—

My hon. Friend and constituency neighbour will know that the Red Arrows have just returned from a very successful tour of the Gulf. Part of what they do is support the wonderful export campaigns that the company is running.

There are 21 RAF officers sitting in the Gallery today who are due to be deployed on Op Shader in the new year. I am sure that the whole House wishes them well in their future deployment.

Ten days ago, we had a debate in this Chamber on a new defence industrial strategy. Given the jobs that are still vulnerable at Brough and the Qatar order that we still do not have the detail on, can we just have a defence industrial strategy, please?

I am happy to pay tribute to the people who are here in the Gallery today for everything that they do.

The hon. Lady is right to keep raising these issues. I can assure her that the Government are focusing very fully on both the matters that she raises.

On the day that the Government are launching their industrial strategy, this country is in danger of losing its sovereign defence industrial capability, not least in aerospace. Will the Minister therefore be specific in telling us what efforts she is making to promote additional orders across the world?

Nonsense! We could not be working harder across the globe. We have not only the Department for International Trade but a fantastic network of defence attachés.

I am working tirelessly on behalf of the Government, travelling around the world to support a range of different export campaigns, as is my colleague, the Secretary of State for International Trade.