Marham saves MoD £1.4bn

STEVE DOWNES Establishing RAF Marham in Norfolk as the sole site for all Tornado fleet repairs and upgrades has helped save the Ministry of Defence £1.4bn, a report reveals today.

STEVE DOWNES

Establishing RAF Marham in Norfolk as the sole site for all Tornado fleet repairs and upgrades has helped save the Ministry of Defence £1.4bn, a report reveals today.

The switch to cut the time needed to fix planes also included making RAF Cottesmore in Rutland the only repair base for Harrier jets.

The National Audit Office (NAO) report said operational availability of Harriers dipped at the outset of the change programme in 2003, but since the end of 2006 the number of planes fit for action had met the RAF's targets.

The NAO raised concerns about the MoD's ability to find the highly skilled workers it needed to man repair centres, as well as the timely supply of spare parts for both aircraft.

But auditor general Sir John Bourn said the cost of repairing and maintaining its jets had been reduced.

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