§ Mr. Riddick
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress Boeing has made towards fulfilling its obligations under the airborne warning and communication system offset agreement.
§ Mr. Aitken
The terms of the AWACS offset agreement, signed in 1987, required Boeing to offer competitive bidding opportunities to British defence companies leading to contracts being placed to a level of 130 per cent. of the purchase price of the RAF's Sentry airborne early warning aircraft. To date Boeing has submitted to my Department reports listing contracts placed totalling some $2.1 billion, of which we have agreed a total of some $1.57 billion to count for offset credit. The latter figure exceeds the 130 per cent. target and Boeing has therefore met its obligation. This target has been met well within the stipulated timescale and the offset programme has so far provided major contracts for some 250 companies throughout the United Kingdom.