Air-Force RAF lost £600,000 missile system in jet test blunder

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RAF lost £600,000 missile system in jet test blunder​

FOI request also revealed that in the same financial year the Royal Navy lost sonar equipment worth £792,000

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A high-tech missile system that cost more than £600,000 was destroyed after plunging from a Typhoon jet during a test, the RAF has admitted.

When engineers ran a test from a motionless £110 million Typhoon jet plane, the fighter's missile guiding unit, a Litening III Reconnaissance Pod, dropped off the bottom of the plane and was damaged beyond repair.

It was accounted for in the 2019/2020 financial year, but the Ministry of Defence declined to reveal the date of the incident.

"In an organisation as large and complex as the MoD such incidents can occur, but we do not take matters lightly, and thoroughly investigate all losses," a spokesman said.

A freedom of information request also revealed that in the same financial year the Royal Navy lost sonar equipment worth £792,000. Officials said the sonar system, known as a flank array, had been trailing behind a submarine when it was lost at sea.

The disclosures came after it was revealed that the MoD wrote off £450 million in the 2019/2020 financial year in contract wrangles, lost equipment and ditched projects.
Harry Fone, of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "With the tax burden at a 70-year high, defence chiefs can't afford to waste a single penny. Ministers must fall into line and get a grip on public sector procurement."

The MoD said: "We are committed to delivering value for money and ensuring lessons are learnt to minimise future incidents."



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