Defence procurement like a “Whitehall Farce”

Published Mar 21, 2017

bill3.pngUKIP Defence spokesman, Bill Etheridge, highlighted the glaring gaps in the capacity of the Royal Navy as the Royal Australian Navy completed exercise off the coast of Perth.

The Australian Navy’s new Canberra class LHD HMAS Adelaide served as the flagship of a multinational fleet.

Having entered service in late 2014 the HMAS Adelaide and its sister ship, the HMAS Canberra are the largest warships ever operated by the Royal Australian Navy and represented a significant leap in amphibious capability.

Since then the Australian Defence Force has been working up its capability to deploy from these resources regionally and globally.

In sharp contrast, Royal Navy helicopters will be compelled to use French naval vessel the Mistral in similar operations in the Pacific in May, with HMS Ocean headed back to the UK for the last time.

Mr Etheridge, MEP for the West Midlands, said “Shocking gaps in the UK defence capacity are emerging as a result of continued cuts.

“Having to utilise French ships because we have none of our own is inexcusable. Reports are now coming out that our new aircraft carriers could face further delays.

“Apart from having no planes ready for service, there is speculation that lack of personnel could also hamper progress.

“The whole thing is truly a real life Whitehall farce and heads should roll in defence procurement.”

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