After delays of over nine years and spiraling costs, the number of aircraft was reduced to nine and the projected cost to taxpayers in 2010 increased to £3.65bn.
Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir David Richards, said: “The decision to cancel the Nimrod MRA4 was not taken lightly by Ministers and Service Chiefs. Severe financial pressures meant we had to address the Department’s spending and tough decisions had to be taken.
“This project was delayed and overspent; canceling it will save £2bn over ten years. None of these nine aircraft were operational, only one was built and it had not passed flight tests. Since March last year, well before the SDSR [Strategic Defence and Security Review], the Nimrod MR2 has not flown and we have been mitigating the impact with other military assets and by working with allies and partners where appropriate.”
The MOD will ensure the integrity of UK waters by utilizing a range of capabilities such as Type 23 frigates, Merlin anti-submarine warfare helicopters and Hercules C-130 aircraft.