Nimrod destruction cost taxpayer £3.4bn as MoD ignored 'cost implications', MPs say - photo Ronnie Macdonald
12 Sep 2015 By Alan Tovey, Industry Editor
Defence giant Lockheed Martin reveals plan to 'recycle' RAF's ageing Hercules transporters as spyplanes
The fight to sell a new spyplane to Britain will step up this week with Lockheed Martin showcasing its plans on how to fill the hole left in the UK’s military power when the Nimrod jets were scrapped.
The defence company is proposing to take C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft currently in service with the RAF but due for retirement and repurposing them with advanced sensors to take over the surveillance role.
US-based Lockheed has been working in earnest on the project for over a year and will reveal its proposals at the Defence and Security Equipment International show in London this week.
An upgraded Hercules is seen as the most serious contender to Boeing’s P-8 Poseidon jet, currently the frontrunner in the contest to replace the new generation of Nimrods which were scrapped while under construction in 2010 as part of a military review. Ending the work saved the Government £2bn, though £3bn had already been sunk into the project.