Session 2006-07, 13 February 2007
Publication of Report
Publication of Report
DEFENCE COMMITTEE HIGHLIGHTS RISKS OF DELAY TO THE NAVY’S AIRCRAFT CARRIERS
Progress in reshaping the industrial sector which builds the Royal Navy’s surface ships has been disappointing, says a report by the House of Commons Defence Committee published today (Sixth Report, Session 2006-07,
The Defence Industrial Strategy: update, HC 177). The Committee says the MoD is right to insist on industry’s restructuring but it warns that further delays in the main investment decision to place contracts for the two new aircraft carriers may delay delivery of the carriers, leaving a damaging capability gap.
The Committee welcomes the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the US in December on the Joint Strike Fighter - following US assurances that the UK will be given all the technical information it requires to operate, maintain and upgrade the UK aircraft independently. But it says that the MoD would not provide the Committee with details of those assurances, and it has concerns about how things will work out in practice.
Overall, the Committee believes good progress was made in implementing the Defence Industrial Strategy during 2006 - in particular, in implementing changes to improve the way the MoD works. But it says the DIS will only deliver the anticipated benefits to the UK Armed Forces and the UK taxpayer if it is adequately funded in the Spending Review.
The Rt Hon James Arbuthnot, Chairman of the Defence Committee, says “In many areas the MoD has done well in implementing the Defence Industrial Strategy, but there is still a lot to do. Industry in both the surface ship and submarine sectors must realise that their failure to come together to restructure is delaying the orders they want to see. If we do not see real progress in 2007, there is a risk that the Future Carriers will be late, leaving the Royal Navy without a carrier strike capability.”
The report is published at 00:01 15 February 2007. Embargoed copies will be made available from 11:00 on 13 February 2007.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
1. Committee Membership is as follows: Rt Hon James Arbuthnot MP (Chairman), Mr David S Borrow MP, Mr David Crausby MP, Linda Gilroy MP, Mr David Hamilton MP, Mr Mike Hancock MP, Mr Dai Havard MP, Mr Adam Holloway MP, Mr Bernard Jenkin MP, Mr Brian Jenkins MP, Mr Kevan Jones MP, Robert Key MP, Willie Rennie MP, John Smith MP
2. News Release: No. 24
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