House of Commons Select Committee for Defence: meeting. Sample containing about 10846 words speech recorded in public context

11 speakers recorded by respondent number C562

PS4F5 X m (Gordon, age unknown, director general) unspecified
PS4F6 X m (White, age unknown, group captain) unspecified
PS4F7 X m (Bruce, age unknown) unspecified
PS4F8 X m (Peter, age unknown) unspecified
PS4F9 X m (Michael, age unknown) unspecified
PS4FA X u (Neville, age unknown) unspecified
PS4FB X m (Campbell, age unknown) unspecified
PS4FC X m (Evans, age unknown) unspecified
PS4FD X m (Winston, age unknown, member of parliament) unspecified
JNNPSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
JNNPSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 119902 recorded on 1994-02-09. LocationGreater London: Westminster ( Houses of Parliament ) Activity: committee meeting commitee meeting

Undivided text

Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [1] Right Mr Gordon I think the room is now as full as it can get so we'll kick off today's proceedings er could you start by introducing your team for the record.
Gordon (PS4F5) [2] Yes of course it will be a pleasure.
[3] I'm Jack Gordon, I'm Director General of aircraft one with the Ministry of Defence.
[4] I'm the Project Manager for the United Kingdom er for the Eurofighter two thousand project at the international level I also chair the N E F M O board of directors.
[5] On my left is Mr William Perry ... who's the Director of Finance and Secretariat, air one in the procurement executive.
[6] On my right is Mr er Nick Evans who's the Head of Resources and Programmes Air and on my extreme right Group Captain Granville White who's Deputy Director, Operational Requirements air four.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [7] Right thank you very much Mr Gordon.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [8] Er can I just say at the outset that some of the material we'll be covering this morning may well be classified.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [9] Yes.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [10] Er when you feel that you can't answer our questions in open session, if you could indicate that then we will go into closed session at the end of the morning and cover that ground in that way.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [11] Understood.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [12] Looking first of all then at the operational performance of the aircraft, you have told us already in written answers that in the light of the changed security situation you have relaxed the Eurofighter requirement.
[13] Can you tell us an indication of how much the changes reduce operational capability in percentage terms?
Gordon (PS4F5) [14] Erm well perhaps before I answer that question Mr Chairman, I could just briefly skim across the programme and bring you up to date as to where we are and then we'll go directly on to that point.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [15] Very briefly [...] would .
Gordon (PS4F5) [16] Yes, very brief .
[17] Er well the committee will recall that shortly after ... it published its report in Spring ninety two, the new German Minister of Defence ... questioned whether the project was still required at that degree of sophistication.
[18] For our part we had no doubt about the continuing need for an aircraft of Eurofighter two thousand's broad capabilities.
[19] This view was subsequently confirmed ... by a thorough review of the operation requirement which was carried out under the direction of the four chiefs of defence staff.
[20] The review of the requirement and the options for meeting it er culminated in an agreement between the four ministers of defence in December ninety two to re-orientate er the project.
[21] We provided a note to the committee in January ninety three about this.
[22] Well, re-orientation of the project has involved a line by line review of the European staff requirement, the E S R D ... to see whether it might be relaxed in the light of the changed international security situation.
[23] It also involves rescheduling the whole programme so that decisions on commitments to production can be deferred until nineteen ninety five, with first deliveries to United Kingdom and Italy occurring in the year two thousand and to er Spain and Germany in two thousand and two.
[24] ... Work by the staffs in the four ministries of defence and by the NATO agency N A F M A to re-orientate the project in line with the minister's directions is now at an advance stage.
[25] The revised European staff requirement document has been signed now by the four chiefs of air staff, this was done last month.
[26] A revised schedule for the development programme ... has now been agreed with industry and this will be taken into the contract.
[27] The four governments are also resolved to cap their financial liabilities for this programme.
[28] ... So negotiations are in progress on revised prices for the development phase.
[29] These have taken somewhat longer than we anticipated but we are at last making good progress towards agreeing prices for the Eurojet contract and we are expecting to receive more acceptable price quotations from Eurofighter very shortly for their part of the work.
[30] The changes to the programme also require a new memorandum understanding with our partners.
[31] The draft for this is almost complete ... but it can't be finalised until the costs of the revised programme have been agreed for each of the participating nations.
[32] All being well this new M O U will be ready for submission to ministers by the middle of this year.
[33] ... Turning now to the development work itself ... in general, the development work is going well.
[34] There have been no fundamental technical problems.
[35] There has been a very considerable delay to the first flight but this is now scheduled for April this year.
[36] ... The delay has been due mainly to the need to be absolutely certain about the integrity of the flight control system software before the aircraft takes to the air.
[37] ... While ... the delay to the start of the flying programme has been much longer than anyone would wish, much more progress has been made in the ground and rig testing than at the comparable stage of any previous project I have been associated with ... and we are very satisfied indeed with the results that have been obtained so far.
[38] There is [...] assessment in the wind tunnels, for example, is complete and the results are good.
[39] The structural test programme ... is also making extremely good progress and the results from the engine test programme are ex very encouraging indeed.
[40] The performance of the engine, on the bench, already meets its full specification for thrust and fuel efficiency and even it exceeds it slightly in some respects.
[41] So overall we remain very confident that the Eurofighter two thousand will meet the full operational requirement.
[42] So now turning to the point which er I think you asked us to address.
[43] Can we quantify, or explain, the areas in which we have made some relaxation and I'll ask Group Captain Granville White to answer that.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [44] Well the specific question I asked is whether you've quantified in percentage terms ... erm perhaps Group Captain [...] you could give us an indication of how it has affected it?
White (PS4F6) [45] Yes certainly, yes.
[46] The point about er relaxations and what impact it would have on its combat capability.
[47] I think the important point I'd like to make at the outset is that when the review of the requirement was carried out it was carried out both nationally and on a four nation basis, the ministers, once that was complete, the ministers decided that and stated publicly in December ninety two, that ... we will continue with the existing airframe and engine combination and that each nation er based on a family of aircraft concept could decide from a menu which equipments it would fit according to their individual requirements and their budget and ... we looked individually at each of the items to see what impact it would have on the operational capability if we were to remove them and what erm was decided in the end and the requirement reflects this, was signed last month by the Chief Surveyor's staff, is that some nations have decided to remove certain items of equipment but for the U K we felt that it was necessary to keep all the major items and therefore as far as the U K is ... erm impact on the operational requirement is concerned, there is no significant alteration in its operational capability and therefore in overall percentage terms there is no ... decrease in the capability at all.
[48] Now individual nations who've decided ... to do without a particular item of equipment, clearly that will be developed into the aircraft and therefore they have the option to ... if they wish to d decide ... later on to fit it in.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [49] Thank you.
[50] I'll [...] I think at least four particular areas where the United Kingdom has decided not to, as it were, take the full specification.
[51] Er, can we have a look at those or or at least, has accepted specific changes to those specifications.
[52] Can we have a look at ... those four and if you could, I'd be grateful if you can tell me what change in the security situation, as envisaged by the government, has led to our acceptance of those changes.
[53] Now the first one, which was mentioned by the minister in the R A F debate, er is the reduced requirement to operate on damaged runways.
[54] What change of perception in the security situation has led to our accepting that diminution of capability.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [55] Yes the there are two aspects really to that, one is the length of runway operating ... er and the other is the surface, erm, if I could take the first one.
[56] When the requirement was originally written erm and agreed in nineteen eighty seven ... all of the nations decided that erm we required a short take off and landing capability and that was based on the ... sort of the then cold war situation where the prospects of ... runways and airfields being very severely damaged in a sort of central European type of scenario, and therefore the possibility that there might be only very small operating strips available from those runways and that was the basis for the particular length that was decided at the time.
[57] Because of the changed security situation and that type of er conflict not being envisaged in the same way now, what we felt was important was to be able to operate er apart from main operating bases, but also from sort of general purpose erm strips, flying clubs and those type of smaller airfields and therefore rather than looking at the damaged runway situation, we looked at the smaller strips and took a length that we could sensibly operate from ... erm and took that as the yardstick but clearly ... notwithstanding that, there is the prospect of damaged runways and therefore the slight relaxation would also apply to damaged runways but perhaps damaged to a lesser extent.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [58] I think perhaps if I just add a point to that er although we have as four nations ... agreed on the revised requirement there, I believe it's true to say that development has progressed to such an extent that probably we will have the original requirement in practice, even though we've no longer specified it.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [59] That's very encouraging.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [60] For no extra charge.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [61] Can we then look at the reduced engine thrust ... erm this presumably would have a significant impact on combat performance, er why is there any change in the ... security situation that would warrant such a a relaxation?
White (PS4F6) [62] Yes the particular item that was deleted was known as the combat override facility which erm was really a trade off erm ... to provide extra thrust against the reduced life of the engine and clearly if one operates at the top end of the engine ... spectrum in er ... hotter conditions and higher er R P M then clearly the life of the engine will be reduced.
[63] Now we had originally had this extra facility available er so that we could trade off life against the extra thrust in an emergency but there was clearly the possibility erm that that might be used er when it really wasn't necessary and we would end up with extra ... costs, extra life cycle costs, shorter engine life and it was felt on balance that with a reduced threat overall that it was sensible to take out that facility and to accept ... a longer engine life, but not, there's no reduction in the total normal thrust but its merely its override combat facility.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [64] I it doesn't speak very highly if I may say so Group Captain, for R A F discipline if what you're telling me and telling the committee that you think that pilots should be using this facility, would be using this facility when they're ordered not to.
White (PS4F6) [65] No I wasn't suggesting that Mr Chairman.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [66] Well why would it be used in circumstances when it was not needed otherwise?
White (PS4F6) [67] I was only thinking really of erm ... particularly extreme situations erm ... and I would expect it to be used for example in normal training or anything like that and er certainly all the studies show that the normal thrust, full thrust that was available was sufficient to meet the threat and this extra capability really was a a sort of ... an extra that was added in early on and really wasn't felt on any of the combat modelling to be necessary.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [68] I think I would actually like to pursue that point Group Captain but I I think I'd rather pursue it in in the closed session than an open session.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [69] Now can we move on to the reduced quantities of role equipment.
[70] Can you tell us what ... role equipment items have been deleted.
White (PS4F6) [71] Yes, it was not so much a deletion as er a reduction in the numbers because we were very mindful erm in ... going through the requirement erm and not making significant changes as far as the U K was concerned and we needed to make some savings in cost if at all possible and therefore we carried out a very comprehensive review of all the items of role equipment such as drop tanks er pylons, explosive release units and those type of things which ... had been ... provisionally earmarked for a very high intensive and fairly long running conflict and it was felt that if we were to make some savings then it was a sensible balance to reduce those numbers on the basis that we could save some money in the programme but at the same time many of these items could be bought later on at relatively short notice, clearly not within a conflict but in the years to come.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [72] [...] on that point.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [73] Erm ... as far as the drop tanks are concerned, does that have any impact on the range or are you just talking about the numbers that you will have [...] spare?
White (PS4F6) [74] They're purely on on the numbers, the same er stand, the different sizes would still be available, there would merely be fewer of them in total stocks.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [75] But would you envisage that the numbers er of aircraft actually kitted out with these things have been reduced ... or are you talking about having spares in case they get lost or damaged?
White (PS4F6) [76] No the the very name, as the name implies, in many cases we would er jettison the drop tanks before entering combat and er therefore there is an agreed rate at which we would expect to use them so that they are a a usable stock in operations ... [...] .
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [77] and in training presumably ... do you drop them in training or do you not?
White (PS4F6) [78] No, not normally, no.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [79] So it's only operational.
White (PS4F6) [80] Yes.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [81] And can you give an indication of how quickly these things could be ordered ... in an emergency?
Gordon (PS4F5) [82] Perhaps I can take that one er Group Captain.
[83] Once the ... erm drop tanks have been developed and have entered production ... in most of the lead time one associates with providing a capability has er has actually been avoided so we could re-order probably within a year.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [84] Very reassuring Mr Gordon, I, we're not necessarily gonna have a year's warning that that we're going to need these aircraft in the event of war.
Gordon (PS4F5) [85] Well, that of course er may be true but er ... as the Group Captain has has said here in the reduced ... er ... spec position which we now face and judgement was taken as to how much we should invest in stocks of reserve drop tanks at this point and the option exists to order more.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [86] Can I ask [...] it's absolutely meaningless to me, do you mean a month, three months, nine months, eleven months, eleven and a half months, what do you mean?
Gordon (PS4F5) [87] No what I mean is that er ... once the item is in production ... if you wish to order another hundred drop tanks or another thousand drop tanks ... if you make that order then approximately one year later you would receive deliveries of those tanks against that order.
[88] Now that would be the normal peacetime lead time if we could ... accelerate that in industry and find some way of doing it then it may well be possible to do in quicker time than that.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [89] So in approximately one year you might be fourteen months or fifteen months?
Gordon (PS4F5) [90] I ... I'm er quoting a hypothetical situation here that we have entered production with er production line for drop tanks maybe producing two, three thousand tanks against a projected usage for the next ten years and sometime during that period we decide you want to order an additional thousand tanks ... two thousand tanks then you could adjust the rate at which the deliveries occur, you could adjust the the the total quantity and with about a years notice industry can get in the materials and produce the goods for you.
[91] Does that answer your question?
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [92] If er there was a crisis and there was a need for a rush order ... er one would be talking of ... weeks for something that is predesigned to start coming off the production line.
Gordon (PS4F5) [93] [...] experience during the Falklands war and during Gulf war indicated that once an item was in production ... tremendous acceleration is possible in the real war situation.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [94] Yes.
Gordon (PS4F5) [95] I was discussing a year for a normal peacetime lead time.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [96] Presumably drop tanks aren't ... lost very often in peace time, it's [...] operations that you've actually jettisoned, is that right?
Gordon (PS4F5) [97] That is absolutely right, correct.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [98] Bruce George.
Bruce (PS4F7) [99] [clears throat] Thank you,i do you feel a little uneasy at changing operational requirements based on er ... an assessment of a threat in nineteen ninety two, ninety three, which I presume would have to remain valid until two thousand and twenty.
[100] So how confident are you that potential adversaries will not have the capability in two thousand and twenty to make a mess of our runways as the Soviets would have done during the er the cold war?
[101] Erm I'm asking this question to e satisfy myself that these changes and reduction in costs are not the result of political expediency as opposed to er a genuine ... assessment of what the risk in the change environment is likely to be.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [102] [...] fine.
[103] ... That is precisely the background to the study which was conducted by the four chiefs of defence staff, they were asking that kind of question and I'll now ask the Group Captain to respond.
White (PS4F6) [104] Yes er I think perhaps the point I'd like to emphasis is that the increase er in runway length is really quite a modest one ... er and therefore it hasn't had an enormous impact.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [...]
White (PS4F6) [105] Well ... the answer is yes but of course landing and taking off on a road is one thing, being able to operate is another one because clearly one needs er fuel, weapons, ground crew and the like but landing on a road in itself is is not difficult.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [106] Peter [...]
Peter (PS4F8) [107] My I move to er questions about the er comparison between the erm Eurofighter and other ... fighters it might find itself in combat with.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [108] Well Peter I'm sorry but the notice only said once, [...] Winston is meant to lead us into that I'm sorry.
Peter (PS4F8) [109] Right I'm sorry .
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [110] Winston Churchill.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [111] When you updated er the combat analysis using the latest data on Eurofighter ... did you again compare er Eurofighter with alternatives such as an updated F sixteen or F fifteen er previous combat modelling showed that an alternative aircraft er ... apart from the F twenty two, did not approach the capability of Eurofighter.
[112] Did the latest modelling confirm this and what is the next best alternative in terms of capability.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [113] Right, Group Captain Granville White.
White (PS4F6) [114] Yes wh when they reported to the committee two years ago erm I explained that there was combat modelling going on at at the time and indeed that was completed by the end of nineteen ninety two and it showed ... that er of all the alternatives available then Eurofighter two thousand was the most cost effective solution to the R A F's requirements and yet it would it would not be able to meet up er to the F twenty two but other than that it was superior to all other aircraft.
[115] At the moment erm ... because of the extra time we've got available because production investment has been delayed because of ministerial decisions, we've set in train three further studies and they will look collectively at alternatives, comparison in combat modelling and also in the [...] numbers ... and if I could describe those three very briefly because I think they're the they're relevant to what we're talking about.
[116] The ... the two, initially there are two studies which will look into numbers, one of those is a top downs study which is based on scenarios and will look at erm a variety of different situations around the world from an analytical point of view.
[117] The second one is erm a bottom up study which is based on today's commitments but projecting them forward into the timescale in which we will have the aircraft and looking in that way to see how many and and in what way we would need them.
[118] The third one focusing in specifically on the combat modelling is what is known as a C O E I A which is a combined operational effectiveness and investment appraisal and this work is being carried out at Farnborough and we're comparing in single roles and multi-role Eurofighter two thousand against different aircraft.
[119] So for example, in the specialist air defence er side we're looking ... at alternatives would be the F twenty two ... erm the current tornado F three and also an upgraded variant of the F three.
[120] In the ground attack side we're comparing it to the jaguar that it'll replace, the harrier G R seven and also the tornado G R four and then in the multi-role arena for air defence, air superiority and attack we're comparing our aircraft against the French Raphall the American F eighteen E which is the the future variant of the F eighteen, the F fifteen E, the multi-role ... but primarily air to surface machine and also the F sixteen C. Those are the ones we're currently looking at.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [121] As the cost of ... Eurofighter increases does there come a point where like the F twenty two i it becomes unaffordable and by how much would the performance of Eurofighter have to be degraded before it becomes equivalent to the nearest alternative?
White (PS4F6) [122] I wonder if I could answer that in a in a different way because clearly rather there's the option, rather than reduction the operational capability which was really the er ... initiative that [...] had begun in nineteen ninety two, there is the option of course of er adjusting the total numbers and that would er have an overall bearing on the total programme cost but cert because certainly the judgement of the er ... the chiefs of staff was that er as far as the U K was concerned then we we should retain the operational capability as I explained earlier an n and not decrease it in any significant extent because if we did that then we could end up er with an inferior capability against a potential threat.
[123] During the last year erm when we were working on the requirement, we carried out a number of erm comparisons descoping or aircraft in various respects.
[124] For example taking out the forward looking infra-red, infra-red search and track, taking out the the M I D S, the multiple information distribution system and certain aspects of the er defensive aids, to see what impact that would have and we found that if we removed any one of those ... erm then we would either come down to parity against potential threat or possibly er inferiority and that was really the supporting evidence to retain the full capability.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [125] But Group Captain are you saying that as er a platform it has not been degraded at all, there's basically no change in thrust, in turn rate or ... in airframe G loading?
White (PS4F6) [126] Yes, that's correct.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [127] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [128] Peter was your question answered or not?
Peter (PS4F8) [129] No in the air superiority role I didn't hear a comparison with the S U thirty five or the Fulcrum M E twenty nine S er are there any other aircraft of er perhaps comparable capacity with which you did not compare Eurofighter?
White (PS4F6) [130] What we've done,won one of the points I think ... that is worth er making perhaps is that on er over the last few years we've seen a complete change in world export philosophy where not only are the Russians exporting all over the place but clearly ... er there are a number of western aircraft in different parts of the world and therefore what we have also done is to, in comparing ... er our aircraft against other western ones, we've also looked at them ... as potential threats because it's possible that er ... erm western aircraft in certain hands could end up being used against us so we have also compared those.
Peter (PS4F8) [131] But the question that young pilots would want ... to know the answer to is this, erm are there aircraft anywhere in the world with which you have not made a comparison in terms of air superiority?
White (PS4F6) [132] No, there are none.
Peter (PS4F8) [133] So you have compared with the [...]
White (PS4F6) [...]
Peter (PS4F8) [134] And the S U?
White (PS4F6) [135] Yes we've compared with everything and specifically the ones you've mentioned, the S U ... thirty five and the ... which is an upgraded S U twenty seven and the M I G twenty nine S, yes we've specifically compared against those two.
Peter (PS4F8) [136] And you've been reassured by the responses?
White (PS4F6) [137] Yes.
Peter (PS4F8) [138] Thank you Chairman.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [139] Thank you, Michael Colgan
Michael (PS4F9) [140] Yes Mr Chairman I'm not clear ... erm about something that Mr Gordon said in his opening remarks that I'd like clarified and that is that he ... gave the committee the impression that there were ... er certain of the ... of the partners ... that were accepting ... erm a lower specification in other words, omitting ... from the ... what is the British best if you like, erm certain items of of equipment in order to reduce cost of the aircraft, both in development stage and at the production stage, final cost of the aircraft, unit cost.
[141] Erm ... we asked the question about [clears throat] ... the aircraft's reduced operational capabilities as far as Britain is concerned, we were told that there was no reduction, erm ... there was no percentage figure that could be produced but w now what about the other countries, I mean, which countries are asking for what to be omitted ... and ... by how much is the percentage, in percentage terms er is the performance of the aircraft reduced in those cases and further on from that, picking up something that that Wing Com er Group Captain Granville White has just mentioned which i is the question of sales.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [142] Yes.
Michael (PS4F9) [143] Erm ... it does obviously have a bearing on sales to the third countries ... when the er aircraft is in production.
[144] ... Do I get the impression that we're basically building a ... a basic aircraft ... with optional extras, or are we building an aircraft which can be, to some degree, sanitised because obviously there are ... some parts of the specification of the aircraft we may not wish third cra countries to have.
[145] It's a well known fact that [...] aircraft are sold all around the world, this can have ... a bearing on the ... capability and also ... a bearing on their cost and therefore ... saleability.
[146] Perhaps, from those remarks, it's hardly a question but perhaps you could just clarify
White (PS4F6) [147] Yes.
Michael (PS4F9) [148] my er thinking on on the ... on what you said in opening remarks which don't make it clear to me ... whether we've got a basic aircraft with optional extras or a fully specified aircraft from which we can dat deleted certain items of equipment.
Gordon (PS4F5) [149] Erm, well ... I think I can reassure that it is the latter.
[150] The development programme for the aircraft will provide ... the broad range of capabilities which was asked for by all four nations originally and er the fact that one or more nations may have deleted its requirement for a particular facility doesn't remove the need for us to complete the development work ... er because we still have at least one or two customers for that facility.
[151] So it's definitely the latter, we are developing a fully capable Eurofighter two thousand aircraft ... and ... if erm ... any of our four participating nations do not want a particular facility then we will make provision for them to leave that out in production ... and if an export customer does not require the full range of capabilities we can also remove them for that export customer.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [152] But by how much could we degrade the aircraft and still be capable of ... erm competing with erm other aircraft in in the market?
Gordon (PS4F5) [153] Well I I I would prefer to perhaps follow this one up in the closed session later but erm.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [154] [...] we we'll pursue that er in private.
[155] Neville Trotter.
Neville (PS4FA) [156] [...] going to go into service in the next century, it's going to be around till well into the next century.
[157] Very briefly what would it do that the present generation of aircraft won't, how is it a quantum leap ahead?
Gordon (PS4F5) [158] Fine, I will again invite the the Group Captain to answer that.
White (PS4F6) [159] Perhaps I could er answer that in er ... I think there are ... probably four points that er come out to my mind ... erm ... the first one in the airframe engine combination, a very high degree of agility.
[160] The ability to be able to pull nine G which is er generally accepted to be the physiological limit for pilots, which is more than any of our aircraft can [...] .
Neville (PS4FA) [161] What can we do now by contrast?
White (PS4F6) [162] Er, none of our aircraft can pull more than seven G, normal aircraft.
Gordon (PS4F5) [163] There's also a close correlation by not just the ... erm the size of the number for G, but how long can it go on pulling that G given the thrust and the aerodynamic capabilities of the machine ... and we are essentially building this aircraft so that it can sustain nine G ... and we are providing the pilot with the sort of equipment he requires to be able to survive in that kind of environment.
Neville (PS4FA) [164] Is this for a dog fight?
White (PS4F6) [165] Yes, yes.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [166] [...] .
Gordon (PS4F5) [167] Th it has er a considerable negative G capability as well.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [168] Would it be able, er pulling that erm G ... to compete with the with the harrier using the [...] technique?
Gordon (PS4F5) [169] Erm Group Captain Granville White.
White (PS4F6) [170] The simple answer is yes.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [...]
White (PS4F6) [171] Er so I think the first of my four points is the is the airframe agility, clearly the the ability to m manoeuvre.
[172] The second erm ... is is and perhaps is related in a way ... er in the air to air weapons where ... erm ... in older missiles have had ... what is known as sort of bore sight capability where they go in the direction of the aircraft.
[173] Clearly to have the combination of an off bore sight capability for a ... a missile such as A S R A A M, the er advance short range air to air missile, the combination of the agility of the weapon and the flat platform together has been shown to be really needed, you can't have one without the other and that somebody who has only agility in the aircraft or agility in the in the weapon, will lose against somebody who has it in both.
[174] So I think that's the ... probably the sort of related point.
[175] Moving on into the sort of sensors and the electronics side, erm ... for survivability ... erm ... the defensive aid sub- system will be ... er very complex, very sophisticated but also integrated so that it has a complete system of protection for the aircraft, erm ... an and ... finally moving on on the sort of electronics side then clearly with different sensors such as the radar, the forward looking infra-red, infra-red search and track ... the er multiple information distribution system and also certain aspects of the er ... electronic warfare suite then by having sensor fusion which enables the best information at any one time to be ... correlated into the system as a whole then that will provide a very ... good capability and far in excess of anything that we have at the moment.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [176] Thank you very much.
[177] I'll ask [...] Campbell to take us on into the question of the role of this aircraft.
Campbell (PS4FB) [178] We understand that some new weapons, not previously in the specification, are to be included.
[179] Are you able to tell us in open session what sort of weapons are envisaged?
Gordon (PS4F5) [180] Erm perhaps I can ... invite my colleague from the ... office of management and budgets to ... speak to that one.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [181] Erm chairman yes we hope to [clears throat] to erm, excuse me, to erm that E four will be capable of ... er sorry E F two thousand will be capable of handling all our ... erm planned weapons er which are already in our programme ... the er ... conventional er, the C A S O M, the conventionally armed, stand-off missile, the er anti- armour missile er twelve thirty eight and the future medium range air-to-air missile ... er whatever that happens to be er as a result of er competition.
Campbell (PS4FB) [182] What about the low level laser guided bomb, is that also included in this?
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [183] Yes it is.
Campbell (PS4FB) [184] Erm ... does the fact of erm ... using the aircraft to er provide a platform for these systems, er tell us something about ... a change in view about the role or operating concept of the aircraft?
Gordon (PS4F5) [185] Erm Group Captain Granville White .
White (PS4F6) [186] [...] thank you Erm ... not not change erm ... with envisagement .
Campbell (PS4FB) [187] Widen
White (PS4F6) [188] Wi certainly broaden, we've we've envisaged from the outset that the aircraft would be ... both will be multi- role capable and that erm all ... that the primary design driver will be the air-to-air air superiority role but the air-to-surface role would be almost an equal, clearly one has to have a a prioritisation and those particular weapons in the air-to-surface side, the conventional armed stand off missile along the low level er low level laser guided bomb and the future anti armour weapon, they clearly erm ... really take the weaponeering side into the next century.
[189] We will still have the ability ... to carry today's weapons such as the ... the L seven five five cluster bomb unit, the thousand pound bomb ... erm and the C R V seven rocket and things like that but clearly as we move forward into the century it's important that as the ... platform progresses then so does the aircraft.
Campbell (PS4FB) [190] Are the any weapons er which the aircraft er would not be able to [...] , for example the J P two three three closely associated with the tornado, er is that a system which you would anticipate ... Eurofighter two thousand to be able to carry?
White (PS4F6) [191] No, it it's too large and too heavy and really that is a different role that's more the role for the ... tornado G L one, G L four.
Campbell (PS4FB) [192] And I think you mentioned thousand pounds bombs.
White (PS4F6) [193] Yes.
Campbell (PS4FB) [194] Is that the, is that the limit ... could anything heavier than that [...]
White (PS4F6) [195] It's , no it's not the limit er the limit of weight, it can carry er heavier ones.
Campbell (PS4FB) [196] You may not wish to say in open session [...] .
White (PS4F6) [197] I think probably as you [...] .
Campbell (PS4FB) [198] [...] in closed session.
White (PS4F6) [199] Yes, it's probably more appropriate.
Campbell (PS4FB) [200] Erm I was rather interested by the comparisons which you explained a little earlier in the evidence ... erm ... if you've got an aircraft which is er going to replace, as I understand it the Jaguar and the Phantom which has already been retired, ... er against which you've been comparing the F three er and the G R four ... of the tornados and the harriers, then er that gives rise in my mind to the possibility that this is an aircraft which might replace all of these, in which case will that have consequences for the still ... er publicly declared intention to order two hundred and fifty, might we order more for example?
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [201] Mr Evans.
Evans (PS4FC) [202] Erm ... as you say Mr Campbell er the plan at the moment is that the F two thousand will replace jaguar and the tornado A D V F three aircraft and the scope er of replacing other aircraft er remains under consideration, er provisional off take of two fifty er was declared at the d the start of the development phase and of course our work share in development is based on that number.
[203] Before we seek authorisation for the production phase, it will be necessary for each nation to restate or modify it's planned off take and that will be done very firmly on the basis of the studies which er Group Captain Granville White has already d described which will ... factor in er ... against our military tasks, which is,y you know we define now fairly clearly, er exactly what aircraft are needed to undertake those tasks in what scenarios ... and in the future ... er as you say, there may well be scope for er adding additional aircraft types to that.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [204] Well I think I ... understand that answer to be an affirmative, that if ... this aircraft is capable of replacing, if you like, the suite of aircraft we've been discussing, then er that may well result in orders for more than two hundred fifty.
Evans (PS4FC) [205] It could do because obviously there are a number of other considerations, not least affordability er within the defence programme which erm from my point of view is a very important consideration.
Campbell (PS4FB) [206] But of course if one wants to continue to have the capability into the next century, which the present er range of aircraft provides, er ... then Eurofighter two thousand may be the only available platform for those purposes.
Evans (PS4FC) [207] Indeed and I think the er the point about Eurofighter is that it's a very flexible er aircraft, it's a multi-role aircraft, it's a cost effective aircraft and therefore it er, as you say, may well be able to cover quite a large spectrum.
Campbell (PS4FB) [208] Can I ask you about er the medium range surface to air missile because er, you won't be surprised to learn, that er the committee's received a number of ... submissions [laughing] on this matter [] er which suggest that er ... er t to proceed with Eurofighter two thousand without the medium range surface to air missile er ... I mean to be put rather bluntly to us, that it makes little sense to proceed with the aircraft without a replacement for blood hound.
[209] What's your response to that?
Gordon (PS4F5) [210] Well I think perhaps I can start that and the Group Captain may want to come in.
[211] ... Er I think our position is that we provide as you know, air defence through a layered system er of air defence aircraft and missiles ... and the simple truth is that in the light of the changes in the strategic ... er setting, particularly er as it affects U K air defence, we have decided that the provision of a medium defensive layer, that is the M sound system to which you refer, is not a high priority at the moment and the programme is therefore being postponed and I have to emphasise it's not been abandoned.
Campbell (PS4FB) [212] Well erm if I were then to ask you when ... what was your best estimate to when the programme ... was likely to be commenced.
[213] I fancy you would not be able to give me any more precise an answer than one you've just given, isn't that right?
Gordon (PS4F5) [214] Well programmers tend not to be precise in this, in this kind of er context er Mr Campbell.
[215] But certainly we ... er as I said, the essential point is that we are looking, looking at the capability ... across the board and taking into account the strategic requirement as we see it in terms of the direct threat to the U K in particular, which is obviously ... dramatically declined as a result of the collapse of the Warsaw pact.
[216] We believe that certainly for the time being, the combination of the fighter aircraft and rapier ... will provide an acceptable level er of air defence with a much reduced air threat to the U K er which now exists.
[217] We will continue to look at ... er the future programme er we will also as you know, look at ballistic missile ... defence which is another ... element to this and that must need to be fact facted in as well but I think clearly we are not talking about in the medium term ... er and longer term, we are talking about er a fairly late stage of the programme.
Campbell (PS4FB) [218] I mean how do you protect ... Eurofighter two thousand in the absence of ... the medium range surface to air missile ... on the, I think you you told us about er ... the aircraft themselves as it were providing their own protection but what else?
Gordon (PS4F5) [219] Well as I've said we we have as you say y y yourself, you have the aircraft itself, you have the er ... the existing er air defence aircraft, you have rapier ... and in in our view, er in certainly in terms of the U K's threat er that is er an acceptable er er suite of preventative measures in the light of the threat which we now have.
[220] I think I have to ... make the point to you that we ... are planning to roughly double ... the size of the er airforce equipment programme er between now and the end of the century, a very substantial chunk of that is E F two thousand and its er associated weapon systems and, you know, one has to frankly, take er a view on priorities er in the light of the strategic requirement and given the ... er extent of the threat as we see it, the possibility of using ... er of taking part in out of area operations in coalitions, that kind of thing, that was the judgement we took er the medium term priorities were such that we couldn't afford the first er stage of A M S A M.
Campbell (PS4FB) [221] W was that decision to any extent er influenced by, if I can put it rather er ineptly, the state of blood hound when it was taken out of service.
Gordon (PS4F5) [222] Well as you know I think the committee looked at this erm in nineteen ninety one and er ... I think it is fairly true to say that by the time it was taken out of service blood hound did not represent a very high level of capability ... erm and the gap, there is a gap obviously between blood hound it'll it'll now be a rather longer gap between that and any A M S A M replacement, er but blood hound itself was judged to be frankly not worth having.
Campbell (PS4FB) [223] I remember Mr Alan Clarke who was then minister of responsibility saying rather elliptically in the house of commons that the removal of blood hound did nothing to degrade Britain's air defence.
Gordon (PS4F5) [224] I would not wish to disagree with Mr Clarke.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [laugh]
Campbell (PS4FB) [225] Well I wouldn't offer that as a general er proposition.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [laugh]
Gordon (PS4F5) [226] Neither would I actually, in this particular case .
Campbell (PS4FB) [227] [laughing] [...] perhaps we should [] confine it to the specifics we're talking.
[228] One last matter please erm, so far as I understand that ... you've not yet drafted the separate staff requirement for reconnaissance, I beg you pardon, reconnaissance equipment for Eurofighter two thousand.
[229] Are you able to tell us what the timescale of that is?
Gordon (PS4F5) [230] Perhaps I can ask Group Captain?
White (PS4F6) [231] Yes.
[232] ... of the four nations in the programme, the U K is the only one that has a requirement for reconnaissance.
[233] Erm, and at the moment we are carrying out some studies which er are nearing completion, to decided exactly what the ... R A F's future requirements are for tactical reconnaissance.
[234] As that work comes to ... er fruition, the staff target will be drafted and in fact work is already begun on that, erm but because the reconnaissance capability won't be required until ... fairly late in the replacement programme then ... there is no particular hurry to get on with the work.
[235] What we hope to be able to do is to ... complete the requirement ... the staff target this year and set in train some industrial studies to see what the various options are and then once we enter the production investment phase then that would be the time that we would er look to doing the development work.
Campbell (PS4FB) [236] Are these costs included in the overall estimates which have been given to us ... f for the reconnaissance.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [237] [...] reconnaissance.
Evans (PS4FC) [238] Er, yes indeed they are.
Campbell (PS4FB) [239] They are ... many thanks, thank you.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [240] Neville Trotter.
Neville (PS4FA) [241] [...] from what you've told us, it would be possible for this aircraft to be so multi mission it could replace the whole of the front line er R A F fast jet strain, could that be true?
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [242] Group Captain.
White (PS4F6) [243] I I think the ... the the point I would I wish to make is that in ... whilst er its multi role capability would have enabled it to replace a number of roles and possibly a number of er aircraft and er as Mr Evans said earlier, that's still being looked at.
[244] The one role that it won't be able to carry out is, as we were talking earlier, about the er J P two three three, runway denial weapon and also er nuclear.
[245] So that that, ... those two roles er clearly cannot be covered by it.
Neville (PS4FA) [246] I I was also thinking o of Veestol and and er the weapons going on and the mistakes anyway on on the developing a harrier replacement, is the R A F still interested in that as a feature ... a short take-off ... vertical take-off?
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [247] I think the R A F would would clearly be interested in in keeping in touch with what's going on there, of course the states themselves er the picture is not entirely clear er about er what kind of types are going to emerge in the longer term but we would certainly wish to keep a a close view on what was going on and of course there is a Navy dimension to to the harrier replacement as well.
Neville (PS4FA) [248] Coming back to what you said about the load carrier, we are supposed to no longer be in the nuclear game in the airforce, isn't that right ... coming out of the nuclear role?
[249] ... So that would no longer be a consideration.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [250] I think I think erm it's a question, Mr Trotter, it's the long range penetrator I think which erm is is the distinction, it's the ability to get through low level, longer range and carrying greater level of ordnance than either [...] .
Neville (PS4FA) [251] Wh what about er runway lengths, obviously depends on what it's carrying but er how how does it compare with existing aircraft for that?
White (PS4F6) [252] Erm, it's very much shorter because as we were saying earlier on the the short take off and landing capability, erm ... with er I'd prefer to talk about distances perhaps in the closed session but the er the simple answer is very much [...] .
Neville (PS4FA) [253] Only one crew member with all the technology in the world, some of us still think that it's a comfort to have somebody in the back watching the systems.
Gordon (PS4F5) [254] Well that particular subject of course is er ... er still a matter which is discussed ... with great heat er in the crew rooms all over the Royal Air Force.
Neville (PS4FA) [255] Especially the navigators.
Gordon (PS4F5) [256] Exactly and er ... we are buying er a two seat version of this aeroplane ... er our two seat version is aimed primarily at operational training ... but er we have examined er time and again whether we believe the er ... the [...] integration of the avionics which is possible in this aeroplane and which is planned for this aeroplane ... er is ... going to be able to reduce the pilot work load to such an extent that one man can comfortably do the job ... and we have arrived at the conclusion that he most certainly can.
[257] The er ... work which has preceded ... at er British Aerospace [...] in the ... the cockpit, to bring together all the information, displays and controls ... erm has been ... tested on er a team of eighteen pilots from, drawn from the four nations, to see whether they believe they can cope with that sort of pilot work load in in simulated operations and they're content that this kind of ... cockpit is ideally suited for the task and they can cope.
[258] So we are convinced that it is er a cheap one.
Neville (PS4FA) [259] What about spare aircraft.
[260] Do you set out the sum, er you must set out some calculation of how many you are likely to to lose over the life of the aircraft, is there a percentage figure you could give us for that?
Gordon (PS4F5) [261] Erm, Mr Evans er ... will reply to that, obviously we we do plan for certain [...] levels.
Evans (PS4FC) [262] Yes [clears throat] I think it's fair to say at the moment that, that, that is being looked at Mr Trotter, together with er the broader range of issues on the er ... the operating concept er for E F two thousand but it is of course standard practice to buy not just the number you need for the front line but to buy sufficient aircraft to keep that front line in field for about twenty five, thirty years, whatever the life of the aircraft happens to be, taking account of er attrition, taking account of training requirements and engineering needs ... and support needs and all that kind of thing and all that work ... er is, has been done, is being done at the moment and er final figures will be put to that in in due course.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [263] Thank you, Mr Colgan.
Michael (PS4F9) [264] Mr [...] erm bearing in mind it its multi role capability and the fact that the U K is likely to be engaged in more and more out of air operations in support of U N er has any consideration been given to a maritime variant.
[265] Would that be er a practical thing to do or would you have to start redesigning a new aircraft?
Gordon (PS4F5) [266] Er by maritime variant do you .
Michael (PS4F9) [267] I mean from air, to fly from aircraft carriers.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [268] The short answer is no.
[269] Not at this stage.
Michael (PS4F9) [270] Is that because of technical difficulties, or for some other reason.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [271] Erm er it's basically that there is no stated requirement at present from any of the four nations, for this aircraft to operate on ships ... er back in the early days of the programme when the the French were involved ... er we looked at the possibility of designing an aircraft er to provide the whole spectrum of capabilities from air defence ... er ground attack and also maritime operations off ships ... and er we we certainly experienced some difficulties in reconciling all those things in one design, which was adequately capable in each of the areas.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [272] Thank you [...] Campbell.
Campbell (PS4FB) [273] There's an ambiguity I suspect it it's a in my mind rather than yours about the nuclear role, did I understand you to say that Eurofighter two thousand would not have ... the capability of carrying for instance the W E one seven seven, we know that the [...] is not going to be er taken any further according to recent announcement but ... will Eurofighter two thousand have the capacity to carry W E one seven seven?
Gordon (PS4F5) [274] No that demonstrated the point I was making, it will not.
Campbell (PS4FB) [275] So it, in the absence of the Tasm and in the absence of the capability then it's not gonna have a nuclear role.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [276] No.
Campbell (PS4FB) [277] Thank you very much.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [278] Winston Churchill.
Winston (PS4FD) [279] Would there not be ... merits er at least putting in the requisite wiring ... in case at a future date, that a C A S O M for instance, became dual capable?
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [280] Er, perhaps I could make er ... one comment, maybe Mr Gordon will ma wish to make a a technical comment on it, but certainly when we began the programme and we discussed with the other nations in the early stages of of the collaboration.
[281] ... erm ... It was really one of the guidelines, it was the, if we considered doing that then I don't think we would have had a four nation programme or certainly a five nation programme at the start, I don't think we would've er stayed together, it was really one of the basic requirements not to have that capability.
Winston (PS4FD) [282] But is it not an add on capability er to a large degree if the basic wiring is there?
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [283] I think we'd find Mr Churchill that it it's rather more complex than that and and the ... requirements for delivering a nuclear weapon and you refer to the possibility of ... C A S O M being nuclear capable, one has to be ... fairly careful quite a, there's a degree of difference between a missile needed to do ... the two jobs ... and I think it would be rather more than wiring which would be er at issue here, there's the payload and all the rest of it which I suspect would cause very severe problems [...] with that.
White (PS4F6) [284] Er well we always start ... from what does the operator of this aircraft want to use it for.
[285] This E S R D really is the bible and we have specified the aircraft to meet that E S R D and not anything extra, er ... obviously if ... one of the four nations wants to build a nuclear role into the aircraft that becomes a very big political question ... first and foremost and we have just not considered it at the technical level at all because it's er it's not in the requirement.
Winston (PS4FD) [286] Is it a big technical problem or is it ... very straight forward.
White (PS4F6) [287] Er I don't think I'd wish to speculate in in open forum.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [288] It doesn't require a great bite of imagination to see that the Germans for example would have been extremely reluctant to have been involved in a four nation project with a nuclear capability available as part of it.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [289] Well I I I wouldn't er ... pin point the German attitude on this one, I mean after all we did collaborate with Germany very successfully on the tornado which has a nuclear role ... but the the four governments must first of all decide if that is what we want to build into this aeroplane and they decided that they did not at that stage.
Winston (PS4FD) [290] I stand corrected.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [291] Fine.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [292] If I just er end this ... this particular item in two brief questions.
[293] From what you said about reconnaissance equipment it rather sounds to me as if the tornado D R one A is likely to be replaced by [...] in this reconnaissance role.
[294] Is that right?
Gordon (PS4F5) [295] I think as a Group Captain er explained y'know the ... the operational staff have really got to complete their study into what kind of tactical reconnaissance capability they want in the next century.
[296] The D R one A is currently an excellent er tactical reconnaissance aircraft, all weather, at night etcetera ... and er it will go on well into the next century so there's no great hurry to to make a decision er one of the first points has gotta be decided is whether we carry the reconnaissance equipment in a pod under the aircraft replacing some of the other weapons or whether we try to build it in and er ... but taking first things first we have to get the requirement sorted out.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [297] Thank you and as far as the jaguar's concerned I noted that the jaguar is not being phased out now until two thousand and four, that being a three year further delay.
[298] Is that related to the delay in [...] production ... dates?
Gordon (PS4F5) [299] Erm, Mr Evans.
Evans (PS4FC) [300] Er no I don't think it is ... Mr Chairman.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [301] And do we know what the reasoning behind it is [...] .
Evans (PS4FC) [302] Well we do or we'd, it had already been envisaged that er the jaguars would run out at er roughly that time.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [303] I think it was three years earlier though wasn't it?
Evans (PS4FC) [304] Well er ... the ... I mean there has been a slight complexity with the replacement er programme of course because er ... er E F two thousand was originally envisaged that it would replace the phantoms er as as as as well as the jaguars and ... now that er has altered with the decision in options to er get rid of er the phantom squadrons, we've er been able to adjust the replacement programme ... such that er the aircraft ... E F two thousand will replace er the erm er the jaguar and some of the F threes er and the programme will be adjusted such that we get er the most cost effective er mixture of replacement of those two types and there is no problem with ... keeping the jaguar going until that stage ... and it may well be it is, is being judged to be cheaper that we should er do some F three replacement at the same time, again partly for cost reasons because it's gonna be more cost effective to do it that way.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [305] [...] like the jaguar really be able to go on that long given er that er there's an awful lot of errors in the Gulf apart from anything else.
Gordon (PS4F5) [306] Well obviously that factor er ... was considered carefully ... by the Ministry of Defence before our Secretary of State agreed that we could ... safely defer the in service date for Eurofighter two thousand and adjust the ... the er replacement plan er back in December ninety two, so we have looked at what is the current rate of consumption of airframe life on the jaguar er what can be done ... economically and sensibly to keep it flying safely and effectively into the next century and er we have come to the conclusion that we have a viable plan here which can tie up with the planned rate of delivery to service of Eurofighter two thousand.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [307] So are you gonna have to restrict training in er operational flights [...] jaguar at a stretch ... just to stretch out the hours?
Gordon (PS4F5) [308] We understand that that is not necessary but erm ... my colleague may wish to.
White (PS4F6) [309] No [...] .
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [310] But it does sound [...] from what you're telling us now that it is actually directly related and to recall my original question, was it related to [...] programme to which I had the answer no, erm what you said [...] .
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [311] Well I I apologise we're not trying to mislead you er Mr Chairman in any way.
[312] Clearly there is a connection, if Eurofighter two thousand was available earlier ... then they the plan for replacing ... er some of the aircraft in the R A F's front line er could be adjusted accordingly erm ... but it's not a sort of direct one for one er if the [...] part of the programme slips a year the jaguar must go on an extra year because within the R A F's ... overall plans for its er fleet replacement there is a certain degree of flexibility an and precisely which point the jaguars get replaced is er a judgement between them and their three.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [313] I think I know what you mean anyway, thank you.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [314] Neville Trotter
Neville (PS4FA) [315] Two er ... requirements for the future that er seem to be er er desirable are stealth and what could be stealthier than the present generation of aircraft and secondly to prevent you having to go over your target you're likely to be shot down so that you need a stand up weapon capability, er ... if the payload is somewhat limited can it still carry stand off weapons that are effective?
Gordon (PS4F5) [316] Er, Group Captain.
White (PS4F6) [317] [...] those yes, yes.
[318] Erm perhaps I could ... would it, I wonder if you could just expand on stealth exactly what the er [...]
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [...]
Gordon (PS4F5) [319] Have actually already covered them another time and I don't want to get deeper in the stealth now [...] than that, there's a limit on the time now available this morning.
Neville (PS4FA) [320] Can we deal with the weapon question, the stand off weapons.
White (PS4F6) [321] I can answer that very briefly Mr Chairman er yes, there will be the capability to carry stand off weapons the conventionally armed stand off missile for example will have a good stand off range.
Neville (PS4FA) [322] That will be carried by [...] .
White (PS4F6) [323] That will be carried and er ... with a shorter range but the advanced anti armour weapon, that will also have a stand off capability and that will also be carried.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [324] [...] go on into the development timescale and costs.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [325] Yes it's now going to take two years longer I think than was originally er contended, to what extent is this due to technical difficulties and to what extent is it due to one of our partners and Germany one's thinking of in particular, wishing to slow the programme down for fiscal reasons?
Gordon (PS4F5) [326] Well erm it's a combination of both those factors er as I've mentioned at the outset ... the development programme has moved ahead a little more slowly than we would wish, the main reasons for this were associated firstly with the delay in selecting equipment er and that took longer than our [...] contractor ha had imagined.
[327] Secondly the deliveries of the equipment from the equipment suppliers who had been selected er generally fell behind the promises which they had made, so the main reason for the technical delays has been lack of equipment of the correct standard to proceed with the integration programme ... erm the ... erm ... the problems which beset the programme in nineteen ninety two after the German minister started questioning its future clearly had a direct bearing on that because many of the equipment suppliers, particularly those in Germany, suddenly began to think hey this programme is not going anywhere, why should we invest a lot of effort and and money into it and they slowed down so that has had a knock on effect in in terms of delaying the total programme and erm ... the result of all of that has been that the current development programme schedule which we have supplied to the committee ... is probably about as fast as the programme is capable of running.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [328] First flight still going to be in April?
Gordon (PS4F5) [329] We are confident it will be in April, yes.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [330] And will that aircraft be less capable in its first flight than you'd originally hoped?
Gordon (PS4F5) [331] Erm ... it has always been planned that the ... this er ... release of the flight control system, will be phased through five steps and ... the ... capabilities at first flight are more or less what we had been planning er right from the outset.
Neville (PS4FA) [332] The cost is going to be some three thousand four hundred million I think to er to the U K. That's er gone up by about thirteen percent, four hundred million roughly, er over the original estimates, half of that is due to programme re-orientation because of the extension of the programme by two years as I understand it.
[333] Can you spell out what those costs are and are we having to pay more because Germany wants to slow the programme down?
Gordon (PS4F5) [334] Perhaps I can ask Mr Perry to er fill in the details on costs?
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [335] Yes.
[336] ... Erm Mr Trotter er that er apportionment of the four hundred and fifty million between er the effect of ... programme re-orientation and other factors.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [337] Can I just say that I had figured four hundred million, it is in fact four fifty.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [338] Four fifty million sorry.
[339] Four fifty million, erm between programme re-orientation and other factors was an apportionment we made back in the er first half of nineteen ninety three and in the light of later information I think we would revise that now erm we ... are still negotiating with the contractors on the revised contract price and we do not have definitive costs yet but in fact the ... cost increase as a result of the rescheduling of the programme directly should be quite modest.
[340] There are some unavoidable costs er on that count, particularly on the engine programme where ... delays to the aircraft programme which results in extra costs on the engine side are the customer's liability.
[341] Erm, but the ... main increase in cost is actually in the equipment area ... and results I think from ... the fact that the equipment prices turned out to be higher than was originally estimated at the start of the programme and also the fact that U K industry won a higher work share on equipment than we had originally been entitled to and budgeted for and lastly the point you mentioned that Germany has withdrawn from some parts of the requirement and that made ... certain equipments non common and we have had to take a larger share of the cost of those equipments than originally planned.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [342] Okay, can you spell out how our share of the cost has increased because our share of the work has increase.
[343] I thought that presumably the bill was still divided proportionately between the countries.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [344] No the, the bills are met by er on the territorial funding basis so basically we pay for the work done in the U K.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [345] From which we will get the benefit presumably when production starts.
Unknown speaker (JNNPSUNK) [346] In in in in er general terms, whether the production work sharing is.