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

Investing

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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