DEFENCE (FRONT BENCH) – AIRCRAFT CARRIERS – 25 July 2007

[The Secretary of State for Defence (Des Browne): ... I am pleased to be able to confirm today that we will place orders for two 65,000 tonne aircraft carriers to provide our front-line forces with the modern, world-class capabilities that they will need over the coming decades. These will be named HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. They are expected to enter service in 2014 and 2016, respectively.'...]

Dr Liam Fox: ... It is disappointing that the carriers will enter service at least two years later than expected. ...

Mr Browne: ... There has never been an announcement as to when the carriers would come into service –]

Dr Julian Lewis: 2012 and 2015.

[Mr Browne: There was an expectation on the part of some people.]

[NOTE: Until June 2005, Defence Ministers repeatedly stated that the target in-service dates for the carriers were 2012 and 2015. See: http://www.julianlewis.net/house_detail.php?id=742. See also, for example: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/cmhansrd/vo050628/text/50628w02.htm#50628w02.html_wqn8, http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200405/cmhansrd/vo050301/text/50301w34.htm#50301w34.html_wqn0, and http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200405/cmhansrd/vo050110/debtext/50110-01.htm#50110-01_spnew1]