It’s been just two weeks when £3.1bn HMS Queen Elizabeth, the warship has been officially handed over the UK’s Royal Navy. In the presence of Queen Elizabeth, the most expensive and biggest warship is commissioned by the Navy which is now leaking. The ministry of defence admitted that a stern seal leak around a propeller shaft.
A statement is released by the Navy spokesperson, the leak was identified during the sea trials and it was scheduled to be repaired while it is alongside in Portsmouth. He added, “It doesn’t prevent her from sailing again and her sea trials programme will not be affected. The cost of repairs of the ship will be bear by defence companies including Babcock, BAE Systems, and Thales. And it would be covered by the existing contract with the Ministry of Defence.
According to military chiefs and BAE, it is an embarrassing blow to the image of the Royal Navy, “It is a normal practice for a volume of work and defect resolution to continue following vessel acceptance. This will be completed prior to the nation’s flagship re-commencing her program at sea in 2018.”
However, as per the statement by Former Royal Navy Admiral Chris Parry, “It really is no big deal as he had been on the ships with worse leaks.” He said, “The £3bn will look cheap at the process when she is operational.”
The Sun newspaper was the first one to get appeared with this news. The defence committee said MoD’s failure to provide adequate cost estimates, either on an overall programme basis or on a per-aircraft basis was quite unsatisfactory.
On the same day when the news of leaking of ship published, MPs have warned that the lack of transparency threatens to undermine public confidence in F-35 Fighter Jet programme. Also, as per the reports, the defence committee raised the doubt on MoD’s ability to make the saving required funding it’s £178bn programme of new equipment.
UK’s purchasing of 48 F-35 Fighter jets which is US-mage is expected to come into service from the early 2020s. Though, the programme is not running smoothly and has been seeing setbacks like stress on spiraling costs.
As per the MoD and Lockheed Martin, the cost for each aircraft will fall during the programme’s life. And the latest version costs $122.3m each. Also, the testing of the F-35 jet is under process at an airbase in Beaufort, South Carolina.
However, the Defence Committee said that when this purchase process was considered, then each individual was subject to negotiation process for each F-35 and “it was simply not acceptable for the MoD to refuse to disclose to parliament and the public its estimates for the total cost of the programme, and to suggest instead that we must wait until the mid-2030s.”
As per the spokesperson of MoD, “As Ministers, civil servants, and members of our armed forces have emphasized, the programme remains on track, on time, within costs and not only offers our military the world’s most advanced fighter jets but will support over 24,000 British jobs.”
On the other hand, on Tuesday, Lockheed Martin stated that the changes had been resolved throughout the development phase of F-35.