"On 6 April 1965, the Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, announced the cancellation of the TSR.2 in the House of Commons. The Secretary of State for Defence, Denis Healey, explained that the government had been very reluctant to do so, but that the cost of the TSR.2 program was becoming an "intolerable burden", because the total cost of 750 millions pounds amounted to 5 million per aircraft, assuming a production of 150 aircraft. Such an expenditure, he declared, could not be cost-effective. He added that even the best efforts of BAC and the government could not provide any "assurance that the Government's ultimate financial responsibility would be limited".
Healey continued to say that Britain could no longer afford to produce combat aircraft for its own armed forces only. He went one important step further when he announced that the governments intention to reduce the number of strike aircraft that would be bought for the RAF. "It might even be possible to reshape our defences in such a way as to dispense with this type of aircraft altogether.";
"The decision not to bring the Nimrod MRA4 into service announced by the Prime Minister on 19 October was difficult,owing to the nature of the military tasks to which it was designed to contribute,the amount of public money that had been spent on it,and the impact of such a decision on the people who have dedicated their careers to delivering this capability,or who depend on it for their livelihoods.
However,the severe financial pressures faced by the nation and the urgent need to bring the defence programme into balance meant that we could not retain all our existing programmes,and that we had to prioritise those capabilities that we could continue to maintain. This project has suffered from repeated delays and cost overruns. But it is the aircraft's future support costs that contributed to the decision not to bring it into service,despite its advanced state.
I suggest that history will show this in the same light as TSR2's demise. Now although Nimrod is based on the ancient Comet platform and not the cutting edge held by the TSR2 one other factor is similar. Whereas The USA benefited financially from the botched replacement bung programmes, now it will be The EU puppeteers that will have been back handing left right and centre. One thing is for certain, it will not be as simple as stated by Wilson/Healey and now by Pseudo Dave/Luff. Mind you, TSR2 looked the business, MK4 Nimrod, ugly as an a/c can be!