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Liam Fox paves the way for major changes to defence spending as he states that current programmes are "entirely unaffordable"

By Jonathan Isaby

Liam Fox Defence Secretary Defence Secretary Liam Fox has been speaking at the Farnborough Air Show this morning and he has signalled that there will have to be major changes to defence spending in these straitened economic times.

Her are a few key extracts from his speech:

"The defence programme is entirely unaffordable – especially if we try to do what we need to do in the future while simultaneously doing everything that we've done in the past... The unavoidable reality is that change is coming."

"The armed forces need to be reconfigured to meet the needs of new security environment but there will be major reforms to our armed forces procurement practices."

"We will reform acquisition processes and have a 10-year planning horizon for costs cuts... There will be a new defence industrial strategy published this year after the spending review has been concluded. But the [defence] industry will need to help us by cutting costs and improving efficiency."

"The industry's long-term prosperity... rests on offering better value for money to the British taxpayer. Without cost containment in the current programmes, we have no option but to either cut the programmes currently under way or curtail investment in future programmes.

"We demand, and the nation expects, that our armed forces are provided with the equipment and support they require to do the jobs that we ask them to do. But in addition we demand, and the nation expects, that we can demonstrate value for money on defence expenditure."

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