§ Mr. Soames
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the Seawolf Mid-life Update programme; and what slippage there has been in the project. 
§ Mr. Ingram
The Seawolf Mid-Life Update will improve the performance of this short range air defence system which is fitted to the Royal Navy's frigates, and will maintain its effectiveness well into this century. Against an original forecast In-Service Date (ISD) of late 2004, slippage of 13 months was reported in the 2001 Major Project Report. Following incorporation of an associated programme into the project to realise efficiency benefits through the harmonisation of work packages, the programme to ISD will be reviewed early in 2004. While slippage to ISD will delay the first ship fit, compression of the ship fitting programme will enable earlier delivery of the total capability across the frigate fleet.