THE decision to scrap the Nimrod aircraft - a move that led to the closure of RAF Kinloss - has left a capability gap in maritime surveillance, a group of MPs have said.
The £4 billion Nimrod MRA4 project was cancelled in the 2010 strategic defence and security review following a series of delays.
However, the decision has left Britain dependent on other countries, members of the Commons defence committee have claimed in a report.
James Arbuthnot, committee chair, said: "We are unconvinced that the MoD has the capacity to respond to any escalation in the risks that may appear beyond the UK’s shores."
Armed Forces minister Andrew Robathan said only one Nimrod MRA4 had been delivered to the RAF, it had not passed airworthiness tests, the project had been hundreds of millions of pounds over budget and years late, and that substantially more money had been needed to solve continuing technical problems.
Following the cancellation of the Nimrod contract, the 70-year history of RAF Kinloss in Moray was given a death knell and the station ultimately closed as an air base in July this year.