Why was Nimrod MRA4 cancelled?
See attached audit report. No other comment necessary!
But just to make things clear...
During an exchange with Mr Kevan Jones (Labour) on 3 February 2014, Mr Philip Hammond, Secretary of State for Defence, replied; 'It is a bit rich for him to say that the gap in maritime patrol cover was created by this Government. What this Government did was to recognise the reality that his Government had been investing in aircraft that would never fly, would never be certified and would never be able to deliver a capability'.
It is a pity Mr Hammond did not expand upon 'would never be certified', given he had stated Nimrod MRA4 was cancelled to save money. This made no sense, given over £4Bn had already been sunk. Gradually, through various comments like this, the truth has been confirmed - the Nimrod MRA4 could never be certified as airworthy due to legacy systemic airworthiness failures. A fact that became clearer by the day after notification to senior MoD staffs in 1994.
If it were truly a 'savings measure' then that would, perhaps, be sufficient reason not to hold a public inquiry into the waste. But this admission surely warrants a full inquiry into the conduct of the programme.
One wonders if Minister is satisfied with the accuracy of the (mandatory) Post Project Evaluation report which, we now know, should confirm that the aircraft could never be declared airworthy. As it would reference the Project History Sheets (also mandated) then the point at which this was known, and by whom, should be revealed. Then an inquiry could ask why the programme was allowed to proceed for another 15 or so years. And hopefully note the same names crop up on the Chinook Mk3 debacle.
But inconvenient facts like these are usually buried by MoD. And in this case also by the current Government, given who was in power when the problems were notified and ignored. Something Kevan Jones wasn't quite knowledgeable enough about when Hammond misled Parliament. Misleading Parliament? Isn't that a serious transgression under the Ministerial Code of Conduct? Ah, but it doesn't apply when there are senior people to be protected.