MoD commits to keeping costs down on HMS Queen Elizabeth and F-35s

Surgeon Captain Rick Jolly's coffin being carried by men who served alongside him at the 'Red and Green Life Machine' during the Falklands conflict, at his funeral at HMS Raleigh in Torpoint, Cornwall Picture: LPhot Ken Gaunt/Royal Navy/MoD/Crown copyright/PA Wire

Tributes paid to larger than life Royal Navy medic who saved lives in the Falklands War

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DEFENCE officials said they were ‘committed’ to keeping costs under control on the Royal Navy’s £6.2bn aircraft carrier scheme.

The comments come as MPs warned on Thursday the costly programme was so expensive it had left the Ministry of Defence ‘financially exposed’.

Despite the concerns raised by the public accounts committee, the MoD insisted it had a grip on finances.

A spokesman said: ‘Our new aircraft carriers will play a vital role in keeping Britain safe for the next 50 years.

‘This is a crucial investment that will revolutionise our ability to defend our nation as we face intensifying threats, and we are committed to keeping costs under control.’

Stephen Morgan sits on the public accounts committee and was among those leading the calls for caution.

The Portsmouth South MP said the carriers – and their protection force of other warships and aircraft – were ‘strategically important’ to the economy.

But he said a looming threat of fresh cuts meant it was more important than ever that the MoD achieves ‘maximum value for money’.

‘It is imperative that cost does not increase exponentially to the extent that it impinges on the other key strategic capabilities,’ he said.

He added the committee would continue to seek assurances from the MoD that the ‘necessary steps’ are being taken to drive down costs.