LONDON, June 28 (UPI) -- Hoarding parts for obsolete military equipment is costing the British government billions, an audit of its Ministry of Defense says.
A report from the National Audit Office gave examples of a 54-year supply of spare parts for the Nimrod aircraft, retired from service two years ago, and 24 million items for which the military had no use in 2009 and 2010, including bayonet scabbards, stockpiled and considered to be worth $6.51 billion, the British newspaper The Guardian reported Thursday.
The military is storing 710 million items, the audit said, and stock worth $10.23 billion was either unused or over-ordered, pointing out 11,000 "large containers" that will return to Britain from Afghanistan and that the military may need to invest in more buildings for storage alone.
Margaret Hodge of the National Audit Office commented: "This report reveals the staggering waste in the ministry's buying and holding excess stock. The government simply cannot afford waste on this monumental scale."