The strength of sterling against the US dollar will reduce the cost of the UK Ministry of Defence's 25 most significant procurement programmes by £185 million ($317 million), forecasts the National Audit Office (NAO) in its Major Projects Report for last year.

Procurement of GKN Westland WAH-64DApache Longbow attack helicopters will be £81 million cheaper, while £79 million will be saved on buying Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules.

For the first time, the NAO has included a "trends" section, covering the period from 1993. The average delay has risen from 32 months in 1993 to 43 months last year. The percentage cost overrun has doubled since 1993, but the trend is now downward, having peaked in 1996.

Source: Flight International