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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Arms Makers Poised as U.K. Prepares for Crucial Sub-Hunter Decision

Kawasaki P-1 MPAThe U.K. will soon decide whether to acquire a fleet of submarine-hunting airplanes, potentially kicking off a fierce battle between arms makers to provide the new aircraft.

The decision on whether to reintroduce a sub-hunting aircraft is one of the key issues being discussed as part of the U.K. government’s ongoing Strategic Defence and Security Review. A similar process five years ago terminated the purchase of BAE Systems PLC Nimrod MRA4 planes to be used for such tasks. The program was years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget at the time of its cancellation.

Interest in reviving the sub-hunting capability has been spurred by sightings of unidentified foreign submarines off the British coast. The U.K. also relies on such planes to ensure its own submarines carrying the country’s nuclear-armed ballistic missiles aren't trailed by foreign vessels.

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