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By DeusExMacintosh

MOD wasted billions on jet contracts for new carriers

MPs have raised fresh concerns about the cost of fighter jets for the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers, warning of “uncontrolled growth” in budgets.

The Commons Public Accounts Committee said billions of pounds had already gone “down the drain” during the carrier strike procurement programme. An order for jump jets for the two new carriers was scrapped in 2010, only to be reversed eighteen months later.

Ministers said they were balancing cost control with state of art technology.

Defence secretary Philip Hammond said he welcomed the committee’s recognition the carrier contract signed by the last government in 2007 was not fit for purpose – and that the Ministry of Defence was negotiating with the industry to bring costs under control.

The cross-party committee – which assesses value for money in government spending – said it still regarded the prestige project as “a huge technical and commercial risk” and was not convinced that the MoD had it under control.

The project, expected to cost £3.65bn when it was approved six years ago, was now on course to rise to £5.5bn, it said in a new report.

Assembly work is continuing on one carrier – HMS Queen Elizabeth – but it will not be finished until 2016 at the earliest, and may not be ready for action until 2020.

BBC News

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