A UK parliamentary committee has expressed apprehensions regarding a potential threat to defence projects, which could be caused by possible cost overruns related to the country’s Carrier Strike project.
The committee noted that the project is expensive and that there is still a need to fully verify the cost of certain aspects of the initiative.
Carrier Strike is currently slated to involve the delivery of two Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, as well as new F-35 Lightning II jets and a new radar system.
The report, titled Delivering Carrier Strike, was prepared by the UK House of Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and calls for a concerted effort by the government to keep the project on budget.
PAC chairperson Meg Hillier said: “There is a lot at stake with Carrier Strike, a hugely complex, costly programme intended to be at the heart of national defence for years to come.
“The project continues to leave the MoD exposed financially. Government must bring Carrier Strike in on budget or risk jeopardising the funds available for other defence programmes.
“Uncertainty over some costs and the potentially negative impact of foreign exchange rates mean this will be no easy task.”
The committee recommended that the carriers be used efficiently, with the ability to be deployed flexibly alongside a range of other military equipment, in order to secure value for money from the investment.
The report also suggested that the carriers and jets should be designed to facilitate upgrades at a later date in order to keep pace with technological advances.
In addition, the committee urged the UK Ministry of Defence to develop a detailed estimate of the costs of supporting and operating the Carrier Strike initiative.