MoD 'kept ordering weapons to fight Russia'

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Indy Politics
MINISTRY of Defence officials continued to order new weapons designed to stop a massive Russian invasion of Europe long after the Government publicly admitted the prospect of such an invasion had receded, MPs were told yesterday, writes Christopher Bellamy.

The MoD's procurement executive ordered thousands of intelligent anti-tank mines - intended to blunt a Russian armoured attack - after the Options for Change Defence Review was launched in 1990, the Select Committee on Defence was told. The review endeavoured to restructure Britain's armed forces to the post-Cold War era, but even after it was published the procurement executive increased its order for such mines.

Extra ground stations for the military satellite communications network were only established after the threat of Russian attacks on the one ground station, at RAF Oakhanger, had receded. MPs were struck by the irony that during the Cold war a single bomb could have rendered the entire network useless. Then the new stations cost pounds 99m - pounds 38m more than planned.

The Labour MP, John Home Robinson, described the MoD's inability to foresee the extra costs as ludicrous. 'It's been an unholy cock-up,' he said.