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Extending Nimrod Planes for Libya Costs U.K. 4 Million Pounds

The U.K.’s decision to extend the life of its Nimrod spy plane to support military operations in Libya will cost an extra 4 million pounds ($6.6 million) for three months’ work, Defense Procurement Minister Peter Luff said.

The BAE Systems Plc-made reconnaissance aircraft, which was due to be grounded April 1, will remain in use until the end of June. Delaying the retirement of two C-130K Hercules transport planes and the frigate HMS Cumberland, which evacuated Britons from Libya, has cost 15,000 pounds and 575,000 pounds respectively, Luff said.

The figures were revealed in written answers to a question by the opposition Labour Party defense spokesman, Jim Murphy.

“The government are spending millions keeping equipment in service in Libya which they had planned to scrap in their rushed defense review,” Murphy said in an e-mail today. “It’s time for ministers to reopen the review and assess whether the current equipment program is sufficient for the new threats the U.K. faces.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Kitty Donaldson in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at

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