UKIP Defence Spokesman, Bill Etheridge MEP, has launched a broadside at the Ministry of Defence as news emerged of not only a ten month delay for the fourth Astute class submarine, but also a near £200m increase in their combined cost. The fourth Astute vessel, HMS Audacious, was initially due in August 2015 but this had already been put back to January next year. November 2018 is the new predicted date.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) have also admitted that the price to build the four new nuclear submarines rose by £191m in the year 2015/2016.
A BAE spokeswoman said: "The design and build of a nuclear powered submarine is one of the world's most complex engineering challenges.
Mr Etheridge, MEP for the West Midlands, said “An engineering challenge it may be, but surely that should have been included in the quote?
“If there have been changes to the specifications of the order, then it is up to the civil servants in Defence Procurement to tell us that.
“But what we are seeing at the moment is a succession of orders run over budget, past the agreed delivery date and failing to provide security for the country and its citizens.
“The taxpayers of the United Kingdom deserve better!”