This chapter examines the emergence of international competition in British defence procurement policy in the period 1979-97. Between 1979 and 1983, the government, like its predecessors, maintained a strong commitment to the protection and development of the united Kingdom defence industrial base. The government at the time clearly recognised the benefits of competition in defence procurement: Competition is as healthy and desirable in the defence industries as anywhere else. The emergence of a more laissez faire attitude in British defence procurement policy was not preceded by a grand eloquent policy statement by the government. Competition was more important than the preservation of an indigenous helicopter manufacturing capability. The Eurofighter programme is interesting because, on paper at least, it represents a clear betrayal of the Thatcher and Major government's commitment to competition and the pursuit of value for money in defence procurement.