THE Royal Navy’s new £6.2billion aircraft carriers are so expensive they have left the MoD financially exposed, MPs warn today.
The report by the Public Accounts Committee tells the Ministry of Defence that other equipment is under threat if it does not bring the project in on budget.
The MoD is already wrestling with a £20billion budget black hole which has triggered threats of more horror cuts.
Top Brass committed to the Queen Elizabeth Class carriers and £72million-a-piece Lightening II jets to fly from them as the lynchpin of UK defences.
But PAC chairwoman Meg Hillier said: “The project continues to leave the MoD exposed financially.
“Government must bring it in on budget or risk jeopardising the funds available for other defence programmes. Costs and the potentially negative impact of foreign exchange rates mean this will be no easy task.”
The MoD said last night: “We are committed to keeping costs under control.”
Labour piled into the row last night demanding action.
Nia Griffith MP, Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary, said: “The Government needs to address this issue urgently and ensure that the Carrier programme is adequately funded going forward, in particular the F-35s which need to be paid for in US dollars and will be impacted by fluctuating foreign exchange rates.”
An MoD spokesperson said: “Our new aircraft carriers will play a vital role in keeping Britain safe for the next 50 years.
“This is a crucial investment that will revolutionise our ability to defend our nation as we face intensifying threats, and we are committed to keeping costs under control."