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UK GCAP fighter effort can only survive if more funds are allocated, expert warns

7th March 2024 - 10:57 GMT | by Norbert Neumann in London


Unrealistic cost estimations have led to systemic delays, significant budget overruns and the procurement of considerably smaller fleets. (Photo: BAE Systems)

The urgency to address chronic issues of cost overruns and delays in UK defence procurement, particularly in complex and important initiatives like the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP), have underscored the need for upfront honesty about project costs.

Industry and the UK MoD should be “much more honest” about the actual costs of UK military procurement programmes upfront when it comes to programmes like the triliteral Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP), a think tank expert has warned. Ensuring strict adherence to the fighter jet’s service entry date is imperative to prevent Japan, a key partner in the project, from walking away. 

A parliamentary hearing on 6 March highlighted the persistent problem of unrealistic cost estimations and delayed schedules affecting the UK's defence procurement efforts – issues that could be mitigated with more transparent planning.

Professor Justin Bronk, a senior research fellow for

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Norbert Neumann


Norbert Neumann

Norbert is the Aviation, Military Training & Simulation reporter at Shephard Media. Before joining Shephard in …

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