Bug threat to defence

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The Independent Online
THE GOVERNMENT admitted yesterday that the millennium bug posed a real threat to Britain's armed forces, after tests found that it completely disabled a key anti-aircraft missile system.

George Robertson, Secretary of State for Defence, revealed that Rapier, the Army's main low-level air defence unit, had failed when tested for compliance with the year 2000.

Describing preparations for the bug as the Ministry of Defence's "highest priority" after its main front-line operations, Mr Robertson said that pounds 200m had been allocated to make sure the date change passed by as smoothly as possible.

The armed forces will be on stand-by to offer emergency help if other government departments suffer breakdowns in communications or infrastructure, he confirmed.

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