UK MoD looks to launch MPA requirement
By Tim Ripley
Military planners are pushing for a replacement maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) to be considered in the UK's new strategic defence and security review (SDSR) in three years' time.
A number of capability studies and assessments, launched in the aftermath of the cancellation by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) of the BAE Systems Nimrod MRA.4 in October 2011, have concluded that a new MPA could fill the resulting capability gaps.
Air Vice-Marshal (AVM) Mark Green, the ministry's director of joint and air capability transformation, told the UK House of Commons Defence Committee on 17 April: "The underlying view of the MoD is that an aircraft is likely over the medium term to be the solution that actually fills the gap that was created when we took the Nimrod out of service."
AVM Green said the work on a future MPA was part of the "SDSR 2015 debate" to look at "this capability gap and assess ways of closing it". He told the parliamentarians that there was "no requirement to buy an MPA at the moment", but that the question of whether the MoD wants to fill that gap has not been answered. "We see that as part of the SDSR discussion," he said. "We want to make sure we have information available as we run into the SDSR so we have a structured debate."224 of 591 words
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