Today in the Commons, following the publication of the Ajax Lessons Learned Review, by Clive Sheldon KC, former Armed Forces Minister, Mark Francois MP called for “root and branch reform” of how we buy military equipment in the UK.
In response to an Oral Statement on the report by the Minister for Defence Procurement, James Cartlidge MP, Mark said:
“The Ajax programme has been an absolute debacle. First initiated in 2010, thirteen years and some four billion pounds later, we still do not have a new armoured vehicle in front line service, we won’t have until late 2025 and it won’t be fully in service until 2030. This report starkly reveals, in exquisite and agonising detail, just how massively bureaucratic and broken the MoD’s procurement system really is – so, with a war underway in Ukraine, will the Minister assure the House, that he is now, genuinely, personally, committed to ‘root and branch’ reform of how we buy our military equipment in this country, as the taxpayer and our Armed Forces deserve no less.”
Commenting further on today’s statement, Mark Francois said:
“As Chair of the Defence Sub- Committee inquiry into procurement, we will certainly be taking an in-depth look at the Ajax programme, amongst other troubled examples. With a war underway in Ukraine, it is imperative that our procurement system finally starts to deliver kit on time and on budget- not least as we might actually have to fight with it.”