Letter: A cuckoo in the nest of Britain’s defence budget


The National Audit Office report is correct in accusing the UK Ministry of Defence of overambitious spending plans (Report, January 13). It’s a lesson the MoD should have learnt by now.

There has been a habit of “entryism” for single service pet projects, putting an unrealistically low figure on the cost of major projects to ensure they find a place in the programme.

The worst example was the Eurofighter Typhoon project, the most recent carrier programme.

I had hoped lessons had been learnt and realistic costs attached to new equipment programmes. Sadly it appears not. The Tempest fighter jet programme, for example, is clearly underfunded. It is a real cuckoo in the nest of the MoD budget. While understanding the employment benefits of such a programme, the MoD should not fund it on that basis.

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Admiral Lord West of Spithead
House of Lords, London SW1, UK

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