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End To Nimrod Programme Welcomed By Military Accident Expert

Aircraft Being Dismantled Following Review


A military law expert at Irwin Mitchell has welcomed the news that the Ministry of Defence’s programme to build new Nimrod MRA4 surveillance planes has been brought to an end.

The dismantling of aircraft at the BAE Systems factory in Greater Manchester is now underway and has come after the government’s defence review proposed the move in a bid to save the MoD around £2 billion over the next decade.

Irwin Mitchell has had long-held concerns about the Nimrod fleet following its work in the aftermath of a Nimrod crash in Afghanistan in 2006. The law firm represented the families of all 14 armed forces personnel killed on board the plane when it came down in Kandahar.

The inquest into the tragedy ended with the coroner ruling that he had doubts over whether the aircraft involved was even airworthy when it was first launched around 50 years previously. A subsequent independent review also raised safety concerns.

Andrew Buckham, a member of the firm’s Military Accidents Team who acted for the families of those killed in their battle for justice, said: “The concerns raised over the Nimrod MRA4 following the 2006 crash led us to continue our hard-fought campaign to ensure that the planes were grounded and necessary checks carried out.

“News that the project to build a new version of the aircraft has been scrapped is welcome, as the Nimrod airframe is based on a 1950s design. We hope that if there is to be a new aircraft in the future to replace the Nimrod, the design will be based on a modern state of the art airframe.”