London, Jan.27 (ANI): Leading British militayr figures have warned that the David Cameron Government faces a huge security risk if it decides to go ahead with plans to scrap the Royal Air Force's (RAF's) four billion pound Nimrod surveillance aircraft fleet.
They said that Britain could face a "massive security gap" by destroying the Nimrod.
In an open letter to the Daily Telegraph, former defence chiefs from all three services said that the decision to destroy nine MRA4 Nimrods to save money is "perverse" and could cause serious long-term damage to the country's interests.
The protest over the Government's decision in last year's Strategic Defence and Spending Review to destroy what is regarded as a vital part of the country's defences comes as private demolition contractors hired by the Ministry of Defence began breaking up the aircraft.
Former military chiefs believe that without the Nimrod's surveillance technology, the country will be dangerously exposed.
The planes can detect and sink submarines, drop life rafts to sailors in trouble and play a vital role in drug-smuggling and counter-terrorism operations.
"Nimrod would have continued to provide long-range maritime and overland reconnaissance - including over the UK - anti-submarine surveillance, air-sea rescue coordination, and perhaps most importantly, reconnaissance support to the Navy's Trident submarines," the ex-chiefs said.
Privately, it is understood that senior RAF officers believe the strategic spending review has caused "untold damage" to Britain's defences.
The Telegraph has also learnt that very senior military chiefs have written privately to defence industry figures to begin looking at replacing the Nimrods in three years' time. A likely replacement would probably be an inferior American aircraft. (ANI)