RUN-DOWN power cables at Portsmouth Naval Base could threaten the ability of the Royal Navy’s £6bn aircraft carriers to operate, a damning report by a Whitehall spending watchdog has said.
A report released this morning by the National Audit Office claims the Ministry of Defence’s crumbling network of military bases has been allowed to deteriorate so badly it risks affecting the operational readiness of the armed forces. Despite plans to sell 25 per cent of the defence estate by 2040, the NAO said there was still an £8.5bn shortfall in the funding needed to maintain and update facilities over the course of the next 30 years.
Ten key findings in the report
And one of the key highlights of the report is that a lack of funding to replace 80-year-old power cables at the Portsmouth Naval Base is threatening the future of the multi-billion pound aircraft carriers – the first of which is due to arrive next year. This comes amid an on-going £100m improvement programme of the historic naval base to prepare the site for the arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.
The NAO’s report said a contract with a private sector consortium led by Capita to manage the estate had failed to deliver the expected ‘transformation’ in the way it was run despite the group receiving £90m in funding from the taxpayer. WATCH: HMS Queen Elizabeth – the navy’s new mighty aircraft carrier The NAO claimed extent of the deterioration meant the inability of the MoD to invest sufficient funds in the estate could now jeopardise the delivery of new and existing military capabilities. Others problems highlighted in the report include: (end of excerpt)
Click here for the full story, on The News Portsmouth website.
Click here for the report’s download page, on the NAO website.