£1-2bn black hole

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Member for

13 years

Posts: 25

A £1-2bn black hole in the UK defence budget has been a recurring feature of defence reporting for years now. In the past month...ish the following have been announced:

UK T3A eurofighter - 24 cut (offset against Saudi order) - 24 x £50m ea. (approx for ease of calc) - £1.2bn
UK T3B eurofighter - 'not all' - assume this will offset 24 for Oman - another £1.2bn
Various ISTAR upgrades (Soothsayer/eagle/helix) cancelled or postponed - £1-1.2bn quoted.
2 off T45s @ £250m - £0.5bn

Now I'm no Einstein but these 4 add to £4.1bn.

Surely this bloody black hole must now be closed.... or is the treasury quickly opening up new ones as quickly as the old ones are closed... or were they never properly budgeted for in the first place?


Comments etc from those better informed than myself welcome.

Original post

Member for

13 years 3 months

Posts: 384

I don't know much, but these are all long term projects, a lot of recent expenditure is on short term unknowns, deployments, new body armour, new armoured vehicles, helo upgrades, support weapons, the list goes on, and if the bullets are being fired that costs more than sitting in a store. I know extra is made availabe for conflicts, but this is soon consumed.

Plus the accountants that work out the figures aren't cheap

Member for

15 years 10 months

Posts: 338

The majority of equipment purchased specifically for operations is covered by UORs although the treasury has nor put an annual cap on things. They "Back Hole" is still there and is going to get bigger as in the current climate there will be next to zero growth or worse in the Defence Budget over the next few years.

The cuts you have highlighted are really just to break even with the existing budget and allow other programmes to progress in years to come like the JSF, Carriers, Warrior Upgrade, FRES Recce, Astute, T45 etc