Former British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace caused a diplomatic row in the United States after threatening to cancel an order for the supply of military helicopters, The Sunday Times reported.
Wallace announced his resignation as Defense Secretary on August 31. According to the publication, while in office, he threatened to cancel a multimillion-dollar order for Chinook military helicopters intended for British special forces.
The former head of the department, as noted, sent a warning to his colleague at the Pentagon last month. Wallace was skeptical of the contract, especially given the £500m price increase. According to the newspaper, the UK already has 60 Chinooks at its disposal, and the country’s fleet of transport aircraft is the largest among other NATO members in Europe. As an alternative, it was proposed to purchase lighter and cheaper helicopters or several French Airbus A400M Atlas, but the government considered it a “crazy idea” to cancel the agreed contract.
“The quarrel, which involved the British and American ambadors, forced Downing Street to intervene in an attempt to defuse tensions,” the article said.
Energy Security Secretary Grant Shapps has been appointed as the new UK Secretary of Defense following Wallace’s resignation. The former head of the British Ministry of Defense announced that he plans to tackle those areas of life that he had previously “neglected” and “explore new opportunities.”