§ Mr. Wilkinson
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement about the uprated RB211 engine.
§ Mr. Michael Heseltine
Since I told the House on 7th August 1972 of the Government's support for this project the specification of the engine has been enhanced so as to increase the thrust to 48,000 lb instead of 45,000 lb. The new launch cost is estimated by Rolls Royce (1971) Ltd at £45 million. The Government are supporting the development of this new version, designated −524, and are discussing with the company the timing of the programme and arrangements for sharing costs. The programme, as I announced before, is subject to review in the light of progress by Lockheed in launching the Tri-Star−2 aircraft. Bench testing is now in progress, and the engine has already run at specification thrust.