LONDON Oct 15 Britain's Ministry of Defence
wants to fast-track the purchase of 800 armoured vehicles from
Germany because it fears that the fall in the value of sterling
could lead to unconfirmed projects being cancelled, the Times
newspaper reported on Saturday.
A ministry spokeswoman said a decision had not been taken on
the strategy for purchasing mechanised infantry vehicles, or
Citing unnamed defence industry sources, the Times said the
purchase of a fleet of eight-wheeled armoured vehicles from a
consortium led by Germany's Rheinmetall would cost 3
billion pounds ($3.73 billion).
Sterling has fallen nearly 20 percent against the U.S.
dollar since Britain's vote to leave the European Union on June
23. The Times said military officials were worried the fall in
the value of the currency could force the government to postpone
or cancel projects that are not already on the books.
The newspaper said that a move to seal the deal quickly on
the armoured vehicles with the German-led consortium would rule
out a competitive tender for the contract.
"While no decision has been taken on the acquisition
strategy for MIV, our approach is competitive procurement
wherever possible," the ministry spokeswoman said.
($1 = 0.8042 pounds)
(Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; Editing by Andrew Heavens)