Author Topic: Brit budget bungle (?)  (Read 1542 times)

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Offline bossi

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Brit budget bungle (?)
« on: October 02, 2004, 07:55:05 »
Army forced to sell Land Rovers bought for Iraq
By Michael Smith, Defence Correspondent, The Telegraph
(Filed: 02/10/2004)

The Army is having to sell Supacat all-terrain vehicles and converted Land Rovers it had to buy urgently to fight the Iraq war because Gordon Brown will not pay for them.

 
 
In addition, plans to buy extra armour for Warrior armoured personnel carriers and the Challenger 2 tank and new weapons and sensors for infantry forces have had to be cancelled.

The Chancellor told MPs on Budget day last November that he would pay for the war in full, making  £1 billion available.

But he is insisting that if the equipment is still required after the war, the Ministry of Defence should have bought it from its own budget, the influential Defence Analysis reports today.

The Treasury is already refusing to provide up to  £500 million of the money paid out by the Armed Forces during the war, saying they would have spent it on routine operations anyway.

Francis Tusa, the editor of Defence Analysis, says: "If equipment bought under urgent operational requirements is still in service 18 to 24 months later, the Treasury decides that the equipment was not a force enhancement for an operation but was a normal procurement."

The Supacats and WMIK Land Rovers will fetch far less than they cost.

Mr Tusa says: "Senior officers have complained that, come the next major operation, the ministry will have to buy the same items again and will face the same fruitless and pointless battles after the end of the conflict."

The enforced sell-offs are a severe blow to the Army, which has had a series of vital equipment enhancements cancelled - such as the extra armour - because of cost overruns associated with delays to RAF and Royal Navy equipment.

Its new medium armoured units will have no armoured vehicles of their own and will have to share them with existing reconnaissance units.

A senior infantry officer has complained that the new armoured vehicles programme known as the Future Rapid Effects System has turned into "a debacle".

The Ministry said it was considering what to do with the Supacat and the WMIK Land Rover but that "no formal decision has been made".

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/10/02/narmy02.xml
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