UK armed forces 'face £7bn equipment funding black hole'
The Ministry of Defence has a funding black hole of at least £7bn in its 10-year plan to equip the UK's armed forces, according to a report by the Commons spending watchdog.
The Public Accounts Committee said the MoD lacked the ability to "accurately cost programmes" and that the shortfall could reach £14.8bn by 2028.
MPs added the government did not have a "coherent and credible" funding plan.
The MoD said it was "addressing the financial challenges" it is facing.
A spokesman for the department added: "We are confident that we will deliver the equipment plan within budget this year, as we did last year, as we strive to ensure our military have the very best ships, aircraft and vehicles."
The MoD plans to spend more than £180bn on new warships, submarines, jets and armoured vehicles over the next decade.
But the PAC's chairwoman, Labour MP Meg Hillier, said the department was "a repeat offender" when it came to "poor financial planning".
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She added that progress in addressing concerns raised by the committee in May 2018 had been "woeful".
"The MoD simply cannot afford everything it says it needs and it is not acceptable for officials to continue deferring decisions that have a bearing on its current affordability gap and longer-term risks," Ms Hillier said.
In its report, the PAC demanded more information on the risks associated with major projects, including the purchase of F-35 stealth jets and Type 31e frigates.
Part of the problem, the committee said, was that the government had dithered over which projects to fully finance and which to cancel or scale back.