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Thursday, 9 March 1972
Page: 596

Senator BISHOP (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - My question is directed to the Minister for Air. Is it a fact that, resulting from discussions between the Royal Australian Air Force and the United States Air Force, a 2,000 miles per hour Lockheed aircraft, which is stated to be the technical successor to the U2 spy plane, is likely to be stationed at Elizabeth air base in South Australia to study upper atmosphere weather patterns? As the Air Officer commanding Edinburgh air base is reported on 4th March as having stated that he had no knowledge of the proposal, is- the Minister able to give any information in relation to arrangements which have been made to base the aircraft at Edinburgh or at another RAAF base in Australia?

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Air) - I understand that there are reports that certain spy planes are to be stationed at Edinburgh. Those reports are not correct. It would be true to say that the defence science staff of the Department of Defence, in conjunction with the Royal Australian Air Force, has had talks with the United States Air Force about the possibility of a research programme being carried out in the upper atmosphere by high flying aircraft.

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