Posted on May 22, 2018
The watchdog said the Ministry of Defence has already had to cut costs – such as delaying scrapping old submarines and pushing back work on a new attack submarine – and find efficiencies just to get to the current level. Its report found a £2.9bn funding black hole for DNS over the coming decade – even assuming the MoD manages to deliver £3bn of planned for savings. The watchdog has previously labelled MoD savings targets “ambitious”, and called the entire military equipment budget over the next 10 years “unrealistic”. The NAO points to £600m taken from the contingency fund already to keep DNS on track as an indication of potential problems. As well as the cash crisis, the NAO report highlights a series of other risks to the programme, which could cause the Dreadnought submarine programme to be delayed. These include a serious lack of people with nuclear engineering skills in Britain. The NAO says that across the entire UK nuclear industry – including the civil sector – there will be annual demand for 7,000 new staff a year until 2021.