Editer l'article Suivre ce blog Administration + Créer mon blog
17 février 2012 5 17 /02 /février /2012 13:25



The Eurofighter Typhoon will now receive funding to allow it to carry a full array of armaments including the Stormshadow and Brimstone missiles Photo: PA


17 Feb 2012 By Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondent – The Telegraph


The Ministry of Defence has finally balanced its books for the first time in four decades, the Defence Secretary is to announce.


The notorious £38 billion “black hole” in MoD finances has been “dealt with” and the department's “hand to mouth existence will come to an end,” Philip Hammond will say.


Ministers have even found a "spare" £2.1 billion which has been earmarked for several major spending projects to be announced in the coming weeks.


The money has come from a combination of draconian cuts over the last two years, tough bargaining with industry and a one per cent increase in the equipment budget.


All three Services will benefit from the new-found cash that will be announced in the next wave of spending proposals - known as Planning Round 12 - by early next month.


“New equipment and support contracts amounting to billions of pounds are likely to be unveiled,” said a senior MoD official. “PR12 is expected to signal a change in culture at the MoD.


“We have said to people that we expect this year to balance the budget and resolve the black hole and we can do that now without cutting anything any further.”


The Navy’s ability to conduct substantial on amphibious operations will be restored with the MoD paying to convert all 22 of the RAF’s Merlin troop transport helicopters for sea movements. The Fleet will also receive funding to start building its fleet of advanced Type 26 frigates.


At least £200 million will be made available to upgrade the fleet of Puma helicopters that are likely to play a role in ferrying special forces around the Olympics.


The Eurofighter Typhoon, that had limited success over Libya, will now receive funding to allow it to carry a full array of armaments including the Stormshadow and Brimstone missiles.


The move might give the Eurofighter consortium an outside chance of clawing back the £7 billion contract for new fighters that India awarded to the more developed French-built Rafale fighter.


Liam Fox, the former Defence Secretary, was instrumental in implementing the drastic savings that included greater accountability by the defence industry with the Major Projects Review Board which threatened to “name and shame” companies that were late and over budget.


Since Dr Fox’s departure a forensic eye has been applied to MoD accounting with the arrival of Mr Hammond nicknamed the “Phil the Spreadsheet King”.


The appointment of Bernard Gray, who wrote a highly critical report on defence procurement, as head of Defence Equipment and Support has led to a much tighter grip on industry contracts.


The MoD has also slashed allowances and will make further savings by removing troops from Germany.


But questions have been raised that the scale of the cuts has damaged Britain’s world standing as a defence power.


The loss of aircraft carriers, Harrier jets, Nimrod surveillance aircraft and 30,000 personnel have severely weakened the Forces.


Defence experts have also questioned where the extra money has come from and whether the MoD pushed certain projects into the 2013 financial year to balance the books.


Francis Tusa, editor of Defence Analysis, said: “Let them publish the financial figures. If they won’t then it is right and proper for everyone to doubt they have got their budget right.”


He warned that there was still a danger of officials disrupting the budget in the future by putting in “unaffordable programmes”.


A Treasury source said Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, and Mr Hammond had worked “closely together on good spending control and tight financial planning”

Partager cet article



  • : RP Defense
  • : Web review defence industry - Revue du web industrie de défense - company information - news in France, Europe and elsewhere ...
  • Contact


Articles Récents