Bob Ainsworth – 2014 Parliamentary Question to the Ministry of Defence

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Bob Ainsworth on 2014-06-16.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what capabilities are currently being utilised to fulfil the role that would otherwise have been undertaken by Nimrod MRA4 aircraft; and what captabilities will fulfil that role in the long term.

Mr Mark Francois

Since the Nimrod MR2 was taken out of service in 2009, some 12 months early, for financial reasons, by the then Defence Secretary, a range of assets were put in place by the previous Government to cover the capability, namely Type 23 frigates, Merlin Anti-Submarine Warfare helicopters and C-130 Hercules aircraft. The MRA4 project was nearly £800 million over budget, 10 years overdue and the aircraft could not pass airworthiness tests.

The Ministry of Defence is currently reviewing the UK’s air intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance requirements, including wide area maritime surveillance, and is identifying potential solutions. This work will provide analysis in support of the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review.