Arab Today, arab today british parliament criticizes rising costs of new aircraft carriers
Last Updated : GMT 08:53:10
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British parliament criticizes rising costs of new aircraft carriers

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today British parliament criticizes rising costs of new aircraft carriers

London - Xinhua

Britain\'s parliament released a report on Tuesday strongly criticizing the growing cost and poor organization of the military plan to build two new, large aircraft carriers.The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said in its report that the plan to build two 65,000 ton carriers, the largest vessels yet in the Royal Navy, was set to cost more than planned and was likely to be late in delivery, and the carriers would not have the capabilities originally promised.The two carriers, to be called HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, are both currently under construction in British shipyards.They have been the source of much controversy since the project began in 1998, and prime minister David Cameron wanted to cancel the order to save money in 2010 as part of a Strategic and Defense Security Review (SDSR).However cancellation fees would mean it would cost more to scrap the project than to go ahead with it.PAC chairman Margaret Hodge said, \"Once again, a major Ministry of Defense (MOD) project will be completed much later, cost much more and offer less military capability than originally planned.\"She said that changes in the SDSR to the aircraft carriers and the aircraft which will fly from them in order to save money, have changed the risks and costs involved in the project in \"ways that are not fully understood.\"\"Rather than two carriers, available from 2016 and 2018, at a cost of 3.65 billion pounds (about 5.7 billion U.S. dollars), we will now spend more than 6 billion pounds, get one operational carrier and have no aircraft carrier capability until 2020,\" Hodge said.The second carrier will be mothballed, while the operational carrier will be available at sea for 150 to 200 days a year, less than originally planned and the technology to fly the new aircraft was untested and could be expensive.Hodge said the MOD had made a mistake by concentrating on \"short-term affordability and the need to make cash savings, and did not focus strongly on long-term value for money.\"The two aircraft carriers were originally intended to replace Britain\'s fleet of three smaller through-deck carriers of the Invincible class.However, rising costs led to the carrier program being cut back and in the 2010 SDSR the three-vessel Invincible fleet was scrapped, with one being converted to a helicopter carrier role. The planes to fly from them were also scrapped, leaving Britain with a 10-year gap without aircraft carriers or fixed-wing naval jet planes.

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