The Ministry of Defence has admitted that it spends more on computer services than it does on weapons and ammunition for the Armed Forces.
The startling admission came in a statistical publication issued by the department, breaking down how much of the defence budget is spent with British industry.
Spending on weapons and ammunition for the Armed Forces totalled £1.15bn in fiscal year 2016/17, whereas the MoD spent £1.45bn on computer services in the same period.
For the four prior years, spending on computers consistently outpaced that for arms and ammo, with half a billion more being spent on computers than weapons in 2015/16.
We understand the bulk of the spending was on maintaining and “modernising” the MoD’s IT infrastructure, including IT security and the transition from DII to modnet.
Only shipbuilding and “technical and financial services” spending outpaced the MoD’s expenditure on computers. Even construction, at £1.20bn, lagged behind it.
SNP MP Martin Docherty, who sits on Parliament’s Defence Committee said: “this underlines the changing nature of war fighting and points towards the substantive problems with the Modernising Defence Review: how does the MoD fulfil legacy capabilities while also undertaking a meaningful modernisation, all within a squeezed budget?”