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Gray Report says Ministry of Defence procurement plans are unaffordable

City A.M. Reporter
BRITAIN wastes up to &pound;2.2bn a year because of over-ambitious defence projects getting out of control, a report commissioned by the government said yesterday.<br /><br />The report, by former Ministry of Defence adviser Bernard Gray, said average defence equipment programmes take five years longer and costs 40 per cent more than planned.<br /><br />&ldquo;This programme is unaffordable on any likely projection of future budgets,&rdquo; it said.<br /><br />Public borrowing is forecast to hit a record &pound;175bn this year due to the recession, and all major political parties have called for spending cuts.<br /><br />The report was released a day after Prime Minister Gordon Brown planned to boost British troop numbers in Afghanistan by 500 to 9,500.<br /><br />Retired generals and relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan have accused Brown of failing to provide equipment to protect the country&rsquo;s troops.<br /><br />The report recommended governments hold strategic defence reviews in the first session of each new parliament and said a rolling, 10-year defence budget should be agreed.<br /><br />The government said it accepted most of the recommendations.<br /><br />Defence secretary Bob Ainsworth told parliament: &ldquo;We will work to adjust our equipment programme to bring it into balance with future requirements and the likely availability of resources.&rdquo;<br />