RAF offers to cancel Nimrod MRA4 programme as part of defence cuts

Jane's Defence Weekly reports (16 Jul 2010) that Royal Air Force chiefs have offered - just weeks before the first production aircraft are due to be delivered - to cancel the £3.65 billion Nimrod MRA4 programme to save costs and reduce the RAF payroll by 5,000 personnel.

The offer, made in the RAF submission to Phase 2 of the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) earlier this month, also includes the early retirement within five years of all of the service's Panavia Tornado GR.4 strike aircraft and the closure of three main operating air bases.

It is hoped these cuts would allow the RAF to reduce its payroll by 5,000 personnel and cancel long-term support contracts with BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce worth in excess of GBP3 billion, according to UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) officials involved in the SDSR process. Hundreds of millions of pounds would also be saved by reduced aircrew and groundcrew training requirements for the slimmed-down RAF. ...

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