Buried deep in a report which itself was tucked away in the House of Commons library was a report on sums of money which the MOD have had to write off in the past year.
The total amount came to an eye watering £320 millions pounds – ie nearly a third of a billion.
This is money which could have been used to improve the pay of infantry soldiers or ensure that they are given the correct kit when being sent off to dangerous places like Iraq or Afghanistan.
Below I have listed just a few of the write offs and the reasons given.
• Two Warrior vehicles involved in a collision during a training exercise – cost £500,000
• Fire on an AS90 (self-propelled artillery gun) – cost £1,942,000
• Communication equipment on a remote site was stolen in 2001-2002 – cost £382,000
• Incomplete documentation on ammunitions movements in Afghanistan – cost £241,000
• Change in supplier for BOWMAN battlefield communications system – cost £51,000,000 written off.
• Withdrawal from Multi Role Armoured Vehicle Programme – total cost £56,910,000 written off.
• Cancellation of a “classified project” as a “saving measure” – cost £1,791,000
• Defective GPS chips in guided missiles – cost £1,763,000
• Food having to be scrapped due to cancellation of Marines’ deployment to Norway – cost £144,000
• Re-negotiation of NIMROD contract – cost 74,880,000 constructive loss
• Cancellation of training project for High G Force Centrifuge – cost £14,383,000
• Cancellation of Harrier Bombing System – loss of £12,896,000
• Scrapping of 45 “faulty” Lynx Metal Rotor Blades, which were found not to have been faulty after all. – cost £153,000
• Chinook Helicopters written down because they do not meet operational requirements – cost £205,000,000
• “Impairment” of an official building - £65,000,000
• Creating a new roof for RNAS Yeovilton because the one that had just been built impaired the pilots view of the runway! - £584,000
We pay our Defence Ministers and their civil servants very good salaries, give them a budget of £30 billion and charge them with responsibility for the nations defences. With this sorry record of incompetence I would not put them in charge of a fairground shooting gallery.