Mr Hookem’s comments came following the announcement the warships will need to be refit with new diesel generation capacity following a string of high profile breakdowns. The work, known as Project Napier, will involve cutting into the hull of each ship to correct a fault that has seen the ships lose electrical power to the propulsion and onboard weapons systems.
Speaking of the large bill to taxpayers, Mr Hookem said, “It is sheer lunacy to saddle taxpayers with huge repair bills for ships that have never been fit for purpose. If you buy something and it doesn’t work, then it is more than reasonable to expect to be able to take it back and demand the fault be corrected free of charge. This situation is no different, despite the massive costs involved.”
“Why should taxpayers be expected to pay for inherent design faults that should have been caught in the testing and trials stage?”
“Ships that cannot operate in the heat of the Gulf and which loses electrical power to its weapons systems are nothing more than sitting ducks to aggressors. These faults seriously endanger the lives of its crew.”
“BAE, the primary contractor on Type 45, should swallow this cost instead of demanding yet more money from taxpayers, especially after the original cost overruns on the project.”
“This is a company that has a long history of cost overruns and time-delays in supplying defence equipment. It is also a company at the centre of a row over EU military equipment procurement rules, which has seen steel and equipment bought from the EU when the same products could have been produced in the UK.”
“Following Brexit, it is essential that we have a complete rethink of procurement for military equipment and put in place rules that support British industry, technology and jobs."
"We must also rethink the terms of contracts with defence suppliers to make sure taxpayers are not hit in this way time and time again.”