Gov­ern­ment slammed for de­ci­sion to axe Nim­rod

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MPs have slammed the Gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to scrap the next gen­er­a­tion of Nim­rod maritime sur­veil­lance air­craft.

The Nim­rod MRA4 was can­celled in the 2010 Strate­gic De­fence and Se­cu­rity Re­view, as min­is­ters at­tempted to fill a £38bil­lion black hole in the De­fence bud­get.

The project, de­signed to re­place the Nim­rod MR2, was al­ready years late and over bud­get.

A re­port pub­lished by the House of Com­mons De­fence Com­mit­tee said the de­ci­sion has cre­ated a “ca­pa­bil­ity gap” in maritime sur­veil­lance, leav­ing the UK de­pen­dent on other nations.

Com­mit­tee chair­man James Ar­buth­not said: “We are un­con­vinced that the MoD has the ca­pac­ity to re­spond to any es­ca­la­tion in the risks that may ap­pear be­yond the UK’s shores.

“Fur­ther­more we be­lieve the risk is likely to worsen in the medium term as fur­ther sur­veil­lance ca­pa­bil­i­ties are with­drawn or not yet filled.”

The com­mit­tee ac­cused the MoD of send­ing “mixed mes­sages” over the need for Nim­rod, say­ing it doesn’t need it, yet ack­owledg­ing that its ab­sence is a risk.

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