UK MoD equipment plan still unaffordable, auditors say

27 February 2020

The UK’s National Audit Office (NAO) has concluded for the third year in a row that the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD’s) 10-year Equipment Plan is unaffordable because its estimated cost exceeds its budget by billions of pounds.

The plan forecasts spending GBP183.6 billion (USD236.7 billion) on equipment and support programmes over the next decade, which is GBP2.9 billion more than what is budgeted. The shortfall could swell to GBP13 billion in a “worst-case scenario”, in which all of the risks identified by the MoD materialise, the NAO said on 27 February.

Although the funding shortfall is less than what was reported last year, it relies on “more optimistic judgments”, which removed GBP7.8 billion in costs from the plan, the NAO said.

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