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3 juin 2015 3 03 /06 /juin /2015 16:50
UK Defence Spending

 

2 June 2015 — MOD News Team


Yesterday, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon appeared on BBC Radio 4’s World at One Programme to discuss defence spending.

 

As the Secretary of State pointed out, Britain has always punched above its weight and the US has long seen us as an indispensable partner in operations right around the world. With nearly 4,000 personnel engaged in global operations, ranging from tackling Ebola in Sierra Leone, helping to deter Russian aggression in Ukraine, to fighting ISIL in the Middle East.

We have made it very clear that when the target was published last year that we met it then, and we have made it very clear that we’re going to go on meeting it in this financial year.

 

The 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review will be driven by a hard-headed appraisal of our foreign policy and security objectives and the role we wish our country to play, as well as the risks we face in a rapidly changing world. By undertaking such a full and comprehensive look at future threats, alongside the Comprehensive Spending Review, we are able to look at the future and be sure that Armed Forces have what they need.

It is now a balanced Defence budget… It tells you that we can run a defence budget properly, and so well that you can invest for the future. We’re building two aircraft carriers, seven Hunter-Killer submarines, there are new armoured vehicles on order for the army, we’re buying the Joint Strike Fighter to go on the carriers. It is because we have sorted out the defence budget that we’re able to invest in equipment.

 

The US have always wanted European members of NATO to take a greater share of the burden, the UK is one of only four countries that does spend 2%.

 When the Defence Secretary was asked whether we should scrap Trident to make savings, he committed to renewing our continuous at sea nuclear deterrent with four submarines.

Every successive government has renewed the nuclear deterrent and that decision faces this Parliament next year when we have to replace the boats. We have to be sure that we can keep this country safe for the period right up to 2060.

 

You can listen to the full interview here (13:15).

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26 mars 2015 4 26 /03 /mars /2015 12:50
MOD announces appointment of the Chief Executive for Defence Equipment and Support

 

25 March 2015 Ministry of Defence

 

The MOD is pleased to announce the appointment of Tony Douglas as the Chief Executive of Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S).

 

Mr Douglas, who is currently Chief Executive Officer at Abu Dhabi Airports, was appointed by the Prime Minister, in consultation with the Deputy Prime Minister and the Defence Secretary, under the new arrangements announced by the Civil Service Commission in October last year.

Bernard Gray will continue to lead DE&S in his role of Chief of Defence Materiel until he and Mr Douglas have completed their handover towards the end of 2015.

As well as being responsible for the procurement and maintenance of our Armed Forces’ equipment, Mr Douglas will also lead DE&S through the transformation needed for it to become a world class acquisition organisation. He will be an Accounting Officer accountable to Parliament for DE&S’s annual running costs of around £1.3 billion and will report to the DE&S Board which was established in 2014.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

I am delighted to welcome Tony Douglas into the role. He brings a wealth of international experience and expertise in project and programme management, organisational leadership and business strategy, which will prove invaluable for the future of DE&S and defence as a whole.

This Government has transformed how we equip our Armed Forces. The key to our success has been matching our equipment programme to the funding available and giving DE&S the capacity, capability and freedom to deliver the equipment they need. I look forward to Tony building on this and creating a world class acquisition organisation.

Commenting on his new role, Tony said:

I am absolutely delighted to have the privilege of serving my country and supporting Her Majesty’s Armed Forces. Delivering their requirements with the utmost service quality and providing best value to the taxpayer is a responsibility that I take with real pride.

Paul Skinner, Chair of the DE&S Board, and a member of the appointment panel, said:

I am delighted that we have been able to attract someone of Tony’s calibre to this vitally important role in the national Defence structure. Together with my Board colleagues I look forward to working with him in building on recent performance improvements under Bernard’s leadership and transforming DE&S into a genuinely world class organisation.

Tony Douglas - Chief Executive Officer - photo Abu Dhabi Airports

Tony Douglas - Chief Executive Officer - photo Abu Dhabi Airports


source Abu Dhabi Airports

 

Tony Douglas joined Abu Dhabi Airports as Chief Executive Officer on 1st March 2013 to spearhead the development of the airports’ infrastructure in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, including its crowning jewel, the iconic 700,000 sqm Midfield Terminal Building (MTB).

Tony joins Abu Dhabi Airports after completing his latest mega project, Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone (KPIZ) on schedule and below budget, as the CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) since 2010.

Prior to his landing in the UAE, Tony was the Chief Operating Officer and the Group Chief Executive designate for Laing O’Rourke, where he had abroad executive remit covering strategic business development and operational management across the Group’s three geographic hubs: Europe;
Middle East and South Asia; and Australasia. As a member of the Group Executive Board, he led accountability for the Group’s largest and most complex project delivery activities.

Before joining Laing O’Rourke, he held a number of senior executive positions with BAA, the UK’s leading airport infrastructure operator and a FTSE40 company, culminating in his appointment as Chief Executive in charge of Heathrow, one of the world’s premier airports. He was an executive
member of the BAA Group Board and an active participant in the £16.3bn takeover of BAA by Grupo Ferrovial.

Tony was previously Heathrow Terminal 5 Managing Director, with overall executive responsibility for the delivery of the £4.3bn Terminal 5 build programme. Prior to this he was BAA’s Group Technical Director with responsibility for technical functions, including development, design, group supply chain, construction and maintenance of new and improved airport facilities. He has also held the position of BAA’s Group Supply Chain Director, accountable for £1bn annual expenditure for construction and related products and services.

Earlier in his career, Tony worked for the Kenwood Group as Manufacturing and Global Logistics Director. This was his first role on the board of a major internationally-focused PLC. A mechanical engineer by training, his career began in 1979 at General Motors, where he joined as an apprentice industrial engineer. In 1990 he moved to British Aircraft Engineering (BAE), where he rose to become Product Manufacturing Director in its regional aircraft division.

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14 mars 2015 6 14 /03 /mars /2015 12:21
Polar Epsilon 2 Radarsat-2 source ADGA

Polar Epsilon 2 Radarsat-2 source ADGA

 

March 11, 2015 By David Pugliese – Defense News

 

VICTORIA, British Columbia — Canada's military for years has had a wishlist of billions of dollars of new equipment designed to support Arctic operations. But this year it is actually moving ahead on those acquisitions, first with new patrol ships and then by upgrading utility aircraft for operations in the country's northern regions.

 

The first steel will be cut on the Royal Canadian Navy's Arctic offshore patrol ships in September. Five ships will be constructed by Irving Shipbuilding of Canada, while Lockheed Martin is handling onboard combat systems in the CAN $3.5 billion (US $3.4 billion) project.

 

This year will also see the release of a request for bids on an upgrade program for the Royal Canadian Air Force's CC-138 Twin Otter aircraft, which are used for utility transports in the Arctic. The project is expected to cost $20 million to $49 million.

 

"The CC-138 Twin Otter will undergo a life extension program to ensure the fleet remains safe and operationally effective until the UTA [utility transport aircraft] enters service," Air Force spokesman Maj. James Simiana said.

 

The UTA is a proposed new fleet of transport aircraft for the Arctic but isn't expected to be ready to replace the 40-year-old Twin Otters until 2025.

 

In the meantime, the upgrade will replace the Twin Otter's wing boxes and install cockpit voice/flight data recorders, improving supportability with a new supply chain of parts, according to the Air Force.

 

In addition, high frequency radios and aircraft spares will be acquired and training devices will be improved.

 

The Air Force expects the upgrade contract to be awarded in 2016, with final delivery of the modernized Twin Otters in 2020.

 

Navy League of Canada analyst Norm Jolin said the focus for new Arctic equipment shouldn't be weapon systems but the austere environment. Much of the Arctic is still uncharted and despite global warming, the region is often inaccessible, said Jolin, a retired Royal Canadian Navy captain.

 

"Up in the north, it's still about survival," he said.

 

With that in mind, the Canadian Army plans to outfit individual soldiers with new winter warfare equipment, including snowshoes, skis and toboggans. Up to $49 million will be spent on that gear with deliveries to begin in 2021.

 

Further into the future, the Army plans to purchase up to 100 all-terrain vehicles capable of operations in the snow. The vehicles would replace tracked BV-206s purchased in the 1980s. The program is estimated to cost between $100 million and $249 million, but the military doesn't expect to go to industry for bids until after 2021.

 

Increasing the Canadian government and military's presence in the resource-rich Arctic is a key defense platform for Conservative Party Prime Minister Stephen Harper. In January, he named Julian Fantino as associate defense minister with a focus on Arctic issues.

 

Harper contends that the increased military and government presence is needed because oil, gas and minerals in the Arctic are critical to the country's economic growth. The types of incidents the Canadian Forces would most likely have to respond to in the Arctic, Jolin said, would be a major environmental disaster or a search-and-rescue operation, such as aiding a commercial cruise ship that has capsized after hitting an uncharted obstacle.

 

"The biggest thing will be coordination, so you'll want to have the ability to mount a command post, have good radios and radars, good surveillance," he said. "It's about command and control, power generation and communications."

 

To meet the communications and surveillance needs, Canada's military plans to take part in two space programs to support Arctic operations.

 

The government will fund the construction of two polar communications and weather satellites. An analysis of various options for the project is expected to start this year, with a request for proposals to be issued to industry in 2018. A contact will be awarded in 2020.

 

The two spacecraft, which will provide the backbone of military and government communications in the Arctic as well as weather forecasting, are estimated to cost $1.5 billion.

 

The Canadian military also has an increased surveillance capability planned for the Arctic, dubbed Polar Epsilon 2. The system will use the data produced by the Canadian government's Radarsat Constellation Mission (RCM) spacecraft currently under design. The RCM satellites are scheduled for launch in 2018.

 

Polar Epsilon 2 will involve the construction of ground infrastructure and systems to collect and process data from the three RCM satellites. The project is estimated to cost between $100 million and $249 million. A contract is expected to be awarded in 2017, with delivery of the systems two years later.

 

The building of other Arctic infrastructure is also underway. In 2013 the Canadian Forces opened a $25 million Arctic Training Centre in Resolute Bay. Canada has also just started work on a naval refueling facility on Baffin Island, Nunavut, Department of National Defence spokeswoman Dominique Tessier said.

 

Originally the plan was to build a deep-water port at Nanisivik, but because of the high costs of construction in the Arctic that has been scaled back to a $130 million refueling site for the Royal Canadian Navy. The site will be used to support the new Arctic offshore patrol ships.

 

Early preparation work for construction began in September 2014, Tessier said. Full operational capability of the facility is planned for 2018, she added.

 

"This upcoming construction season [in] 2015 will involve jetty recapitalization and site material preparation," Tessier said.

 

Subsequent construction seasons in the north, from 2016 to 2018, will see construction of tank farm and road upgrades.

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11 mars 2015 3 11 /03 /mars /2015 08:50
Norway's Cold Response 2014 exercise (Photo Norwegian Armed Forces)

Norway's Cold Response 2014 exercise (Photo Norwegian Armed Forces)

 

March 3, 2015 By Gerard O'Dwyer - Defense News

 

HELSINKI — As Russia strengthens its naval, air and ground forces in its northern territories, Norway has responded by scaling-up manpower, equipment and Arctic combat units as part of a broader reinforcement of its High North defenses.

 

Norway's program, part of the Norwegian Defense Forces' (NDF) Smart Defense strategy, comprises a strong Arctic-focused dimension in funding and resource allocation.

 

The Smart Defense approach to High North military reinforcement has, since 2010, placed higher priority on Arctic-class specialized equipment procurement coupled with more intensive training for High North-deployed units. The goal is to produce combat-ready modular units that can fight independently or alongside NATO forces.

 

The NDF's August 2009 decision to relocate the Army's headquarters functions to the Arctic town of Bodø — 1,700 kilometers north of Oslo — bolstered Norway's commitment to establishing an integrated High North defense system. That decision led to the establishment of the Joint Operational Command Headquarters (JOCH).

 

This new approach is centered around more compact units equipped with the best available Arctic fighting equipment and capable of delivering greater firepower.

 

The JOCH is overseeing the evolution of Norway's High North defenses into a centralized command and coordinated fighting structure that will be able to call upon an Air Force equipped with F-35s, forward Army battalions deploying CV90 tracked armored fighting vehicles and high mobility Archer artillery units, and a stronger Navy operating anti-aircraft and submarine-hunting Arctic-class Fridtjof Nansen frigates and Skjold corvettes.

 

The scaling-up of Norway's defense capabilities in the High North is happening while the military intelligence services are urging the government to adopt a more cautious posture toward Russia's increasing militarization in the region.

 

Although the Norwegian Intelligence Service (NIS) believes Norway is under no "short- to medium-term threat" from Russia, its latest open threat evaluation assessment, FOKUS-2015, advocates vigilance.

 

"Threat is a combination of two factors; capacity and intention," NIS chief Lt. Gen. Kjell Grandhagen said. "Although capacity is increasing, it is difficult for the time being to see a rational reason for Russian military activity against Norway in a short- to medium-term perspective. But intentions can change over time, and it is therefore now increasingly important for Norway to follow Russia's long-term political, economic and military development."

 

The NIS' intel-gathering capacity will be enhanced once its new advanced signals intelligence ship, the Marjata 11, enters service in the High North and Barents Sea in 2016.

 

Under the Smart Defense program, Ørland, located on the mid-Norway coast, and Evenes, above Norway's Arctic Circle, will become the main operating bases for F-35 aircraft and, during more regular joint exercises, NATO aircraft and forces. Evenes also will house a Quick Reaction Alert squadron.

 

Ørland, Evenes and the NDF's core High North battalions will also be equipped with an updated Norwegian advanced surface-to-air missile system, which is being deployed primarily to protect key military installations, warfare units and infrastructure against air-to-surface attacks.

 

The system uses active missiles and different types of sensors, boosting firepower for the NDF's Smart Defense and High North strengthening program.

 

Archer, the next-generation self-propelled artillery system developed as a joint project with Sweden, also increases firepower. Norway plans to deploy 24 Archer systems complete with fully automated 155 mm/L52 howitzer guns and M151 Protector remote-controlled weapon stations. These are mounted on modified Volvo A30 six-wheel-drive chassis all-terrain articulated haulers.

 

The Arctic-class Archer's operational strike-and-run capacity makes it ideal in the hilly and forested terrains of the High North. Moreover, Archer can fire Nexter Bonus and Raytheon/Bofors XM982 Excalibur guided rounds over respective distances of 34 kilometers and 60 kilometers.

 

The NDF also is establishing a specialized Arctic-trained "professional" rapid reaction force north (RRFN), set to become fully operational in 2017. The RRFN unit's core will comprise an existing armored battalion and a motorized infantry battalion equipped with CV90 infantry fighting vehicles and Leopard 2 tanks

 

Norway's ability to defend its High North territories also received a boost from the Defense Ministry's US $1.6 billion program to re-equip its core forward armored brigade units with CV90 tracked infantry fighting vehicles, part of the NDF's biggest fighting vehicle modernization project investment.

 

The vehicle fleet upgrade, with delivery scheduled from BAE Systems in 2015-17, will include 74 modernized and armor-strengthened infantry fighting vehicles, 21 reconnaissance, 16 multirole (mortar carrier or cargo), 15 command and control, 16 engineering, in addition to two driver training vehicle types.

 

The new and updated vehicles are expected to make the NDF's forward armored battalions in the High North more mobile with improved firepower. The infantry vehicles also will have better protection against armor-piercing weapons and rounds, including improvised explosive devices.

 

The infantry and reconnaissance vehicles will also be equipped with better sensor systems, surveillance and communication capabilities, and fitted with integrated technologies that will extend to dismounted infantry troops. Norwegian company Kongsberg's Protector remote weapon stations are to be fitted to all IFV variants.

 

The need to prioritize military readiness and defense capability in the High North helped drive Norway's decision to raise spending on defense above that of any of its Nordic neighbors, said defense analyst Thorvald Stoltenberg, a former Norwegian defense minister.

 

"Russia is rebuilding its naval and Air Force strength, as well as its Arctic fighting capability, in the High North," Stoltenberg said. "While this is understandable from a Russian perspective, its growing level of activity regionally is causing problems and concerns among all Nordic governments and militaries. This is unfortunate, as the emphasis should be on building more, not less, bilateral cooperation with Russia on defense and security in the Arctic."

 

Norway's defense budget will run to $8 billion in 2015.

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4 mars 2015 3 04 /03 /mars /2015 08:50
Soldier Equipment and Technology Advancement Forum

 

Mar 3, 2015 Source : ASDEvents

 

  • Optimising Soldier Equipment For Winter Warfare
  • 15 April, 2015 - 16 April, 2015, Oslo, Norway

 

The dismounted soldier and marine are still the greatest asset of any defence force and time and time again have proven vital for mission effectiveness in a variety of complex operational environments. As the global political and economic landscape has shifted and many soldier modernisation programme managers are evaluating changes in national defence strategies, it has never been more important to gather the community and share information on how dismounted operations can be improved with new equipment and technology advances.

Unlike other events, SETAF is a meeting for the soldier modernisation community that is designed around a series of focused discussion groups run by co-chairs who are selected experts on vital subject matter.

With no PowerPoint presentations, the SETAF meeting will dedicate the precious time of its participants to in-depth learning, networking and discussions, making it a complementary part of the soldier modernisation communities’ annual training and development programme.
 

SETAF Event Highlights

  • No Attendees only participants: SETAF’s unique discussion based format means we deliver only technical discussions lead by experts in their field
  • Participation confirmed from soldier system experts from Norway, Sweden, Finland, UK, US, Canada, Austria, Germany, Poland, Romania and the Netherlands
  • Soldier Winter Warfare Equipment Briefing Day: hear from local and international programmes and how they design and optimise their soldier systems for sub-zero environments
  • Real solutions uncovered in the SETAF exhibition zone: the very latest technologies will be showcased to help advance the next generation of soldier system
     

Download Conference Agenda | Register to attend this Conference

 

Benefits of Attending

  • No attendees, only participants. SETAF is an event where everyone gets involved in technical discussions, no one sits out and just observes!
  • Explore shared experiences and uncover opportunities for partnership and exchange of lessons learnt with new and innovative industry partners in the SETAF exhibition zone
  • SETAF Artic Focus Day: Don’t miss the chance to hear briefings from Norway, Sweden, Finland and Canada on how they optimise soldier systems and focus their design for sub-zero and low temperature harsh operational environments
  • Hear direct operational feedback from soldier systems tested in theatre and how this real life experience is redesigning the next phase of national programmes
  • Take advantage of over 20 hours of informal networking-more than at any other soldier system meeting in 2015!
     

Focus Day / Workshop

Don't Miss the Pre-Conference Winter Warfare Soldier Equipment Briefings Day | 14th April 2015

Make Sure you register for the SETAF Programme Acquisition and Integration Masterclass | 16th April 2015
With Colonel Richard Hansen, Former Program Manager, Soldier Warrior, PEO Soldier

Download Conference Agenda | Register to attend this Conference

 

Speakers

  • Major General Anukul Chandra, Former Director General Equipment Management, Indian Army HQ
  • Major Rune Nesland-Steinor, Project Manager Weapons Optics and Electronic Warfare Land Systems Division, Norweigan Defence Logistical Organisation
  • Adelbert Bronkhorst, Principal Scientist, TNO Defence, Security & Safety
  • Brigadier General Asle Kjelsberg, Former Quartermaster General/ Head of Defence Procurement, Norwegian Defence Staff
  • Colonel Richard Hansen, Former Program Manager, Soldier Warrior, PEO Soldier, US Army
  • Darren Browning, Power Sources Team Lead, NATO LCG DSS / Power Group Chairman, DSTL
  • Derek Riezebos, Project Manager -VOSS-E-Lighter Programme, Netherlands MoD
  • Ed Andrukaitis, National Defence HQ, National Defence Headquarters
  • Gert Nutzel, Chief Scientist, PHOTONIS Netherlands B.V.
  • John Foley, Project Director-FIST & Soldier System Lead, Thales
  • Lt Colonel Christopher Woodburn, nfantry Weapons and Optics, Maneuver Branch, Fires and maneuver Integration Division, United States Marine Corps
  • Lt Colonel Pawel Sweklej, Soldier System TYTAN - Project Manager, General Command of the Polish Armed Forces
  • Lt Colonel Tiberius Tomoiaga, Director, METRA
  • Major Enric Bouffard, Lead Requirements Officer, Soldier Clothing, Protection And Equipment, Canadian Army
  • Major Jonathan Herbert, Director Land Requirements 5-6, National Defence Headquarters
  • Olaf Aul, Chief Technical Leader, IdZ -ES, Rheinmetall Electronics
  • Patrick Curlier, Vice President Optronics and Defence Division Sagem Defense and Securite, Sagem
  • Ross Jones, Programme Leader - Dismounted Soldier Systems Programme & Delivery Directorate, DSTL
  • Rune Lausand, Chief Scientist, FFI Norwegian Defence Research Establishment
  • Steven Savage, Senior Scientist, Defence, Safety and Security FOI -POWER, FOI Swedish Defence Research Agency

Download Conference Agenda | Register to attend this Conference

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25 février 2015 3 25 /02 /février /2015 13:50
Mr Philip Dunne, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology

Mr Philip Dunne, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology

 

23 February 2015 Ministry of Defence and Philip Dunne MP

(Transcript of the speech, exactly as it was delivered at Chatham House)

 

Speech by Mr Philip Dunne, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology.

 

Introduction

Good Afternoon.

It’s a pleasure to be here today to take part in a timely discussion…

…as we prepare to run the triple gauntlet of a comprehensive spending review followed by a Strategic Defence and Security Review, and as you may have a noticed, both preceded by a General Election 75 days from today, or as I prefer to think of it polling stations open 1,736 hours from now.

 

Challenging times…require change

But looking beyond the horizon of domestic UK politics for a moment, to say these are challenging times is something of a British understatement.

The world is dangerous…and getting more so.

As a nation our appetite for taking risks with our security remains low.

While our national ambition for global influence remains resolute.

At the same time, budgets are being squeezed and traditional military advantage is being undermined by disruptive technology and hybrid warfare.

So if we’re to survive and thrive in this new international dynamic we need to think differently.

I’ll explain what I mean, shortly.

But before I do, I must emphasise that while creating and sustaining armed forces fit for the 21st century will not be plain sailing…for any nation…

In the UK, the prevailing wind is behind us.

 

Defence Transformation

Thanks to 5 years of defence reform, we’re on the right trajectory.

We’ve filled the black hole in the defence budget and balanced the books.

For the third consecutive year, we’ve published an affordable equipment plan, worth £163 billion over 10 years, with substantial headroom and flexibility built in…

We’ve rethought our approach to defence acquisition, redefining it along the principles of value for money and open procurement.

…and spelling it out in black and white in our 2012 white paper: ‘National security through technology’.

We’ve also got a grip on our big ticket procurement projects.

And you don’t just have to take my word for it.

We have in this country a National Audit Office admired around the world for its fearsome independence from the government of the day. Consequently its pronouncements on departmental performance, especially its report on major procurement projects, are eagerly anticipated by the Ministry of Defence each year.

So to illustrate how far we have transformed defence acquisition, you can do no better than look at the position we inherited from the NAO’s report on 2009, where the top 15 defence projects were a staggering £4.5 billion over budget in year and 336 months overdue.

Contrast this with last month’s NAO ‘Major projects report’ which confirmed the top 11 defence projects are £397 million under budget and in aggregate only 14 months over time.

 

A much leaner machine

And we have also got to grips with the formidable administrative machinery of the Ministry of Defence, where I see our transformation as an exemplar of this government’s approach to public service reform.

Head Office is smaller, more focused and more strategic. By the end of next month there will be 25,000 fewer civil servants supporting our armed forces, 2 times the proportionate head count reduction of the frontline.

Budgets have been devolved to the front line commands…with the men and women at the coalface taking responsibility for spending decisions.

And, when it comes to our corporate services, we’ve injected some re-invigorating private sector expertise…only last Thursday I announced the preferred bidder for outsourcing the logistics, services and commodities activity to bring defence’s antiquated inventory management and logistics into the 21st century.

Our Head Office now adopts a more commercial approach…ensuring we are a more intelligent customer; better able to get high-quality equipment and services at best value for the taxpayer.

 

Equipment coming on stream

Over the past year alone we’ve made a steady stream of investments in next generation kit and delivered new capability into service.

This includes:

On land, the biggest armoured fighting vehicle order for the British Army in a generation, a £3.5 billion contract for 589 fully digitalised Scout specialist vehicles…

At sea, the floating up of the Royal Navy’s flagship Queen Elizabeth Carrier, followed by confirmation it will be joined in service by our second operational aircraft carrier.

And only last Friday, the Prime Minister announced an £859 million contract for long lead items for the first 3 of our next generation Type 26 frigates.

Beneath the oceans, the launch of HMS Artful, the third of seven Astute class hunter-killer submarines.

In the air, the arrival of the Royal Air Force’s first A400M Atlas transport aircraft, which this month I helped christen the City of Bristol to reflect the contribution that city is making and will make to this programme for years to come.

And last July the Prime Minister announced an extra £800 million of investment in intelligence and surveillance assets for our emerging cyber domain.

The contrast with the previous administration’s legacy couldn’t be starker:

where there was a £38 billion budget black hole, now there is a balanced budget; where there were cost overruns, now there are cost savings; where equipment deliveries were years late, now they are either on time or a few months behind,

in short, where there was chaos, now there is competence.

But we’re not complacent.

Which is why we’re continually working to perpetuate the transformative and progressive culture that has carried us this far.

More specifically…as I said earlier…we’re ensuring that from first to last… everyone in UK defence thinks differently.

More innovatively.

More imaginatively

And more internationally.

And I’d like to touch on how we’re doing that when it comes to defence procurement.

 

First: thinking more innovatively

Firstly, thinking more innovatively…an imperative if we’re to prepare for the world as it will be…not as we hope it will be.

Because it’s innovation that delivers the military productivity so key to realising successful military outcomes in a climate of continuing budget pressure.

What’s more, it’s innovation that underpins national prosperity…driving productivity and helping us move towards an export led recovery.

And the wheel turns, neatly, full circle when you consider that a strong economy is the wellspring of strategic strength.

With such high stakes, and a return to a more contingent posture following drawdown from Afghanistan, the MOD is focusing our efforts to unlock innovation wherever we can.

So we’re protecting our S&T spend…ensuring it remains at least 1.2% of the defence budget…

…And we’re investing an increasing amount of that on research into game-changing “disruptive” capability…

This year it was around £40 million.

Next year, we hope to increase that to £60 million.

Meanwhile, our Centre for Defence Enterprise develops novel high risk, high potential benefit innovations on everything from complex weapons to sensor navigation and guidance.

At a showcase earlier this month I saw for myself some of this new research effort into analysing social media trends to identify potential threats of tomorrow.

But investing in innovation is only the start…

We must weave it into the very DNA of defence procurement.

Which is why we’re increasing opportunities for SMEs …where entrepreneurs and scientists provide the niche capability and groundbreaking ideas that give us the edge.

And we’re doing that by making our procurement procedures more transparent, simpler and faster…

…engaging SMEs through a dedicated forum, which I chair…

…and setting ourselves challenging targets through an SME action plan.

And beyond the confines of MOD, we’re working with defence primes…encouraging them to open up their supply chains…

…not just to those in the defence business but to SMEs from across the spectrum…from computer gaming to motorsports.

Because military technology is no longer the main driver of civilian sector advances…it’s increasingly the other way around.

And we’re doing this…amongst other ways…via the Defence Growth Partnership…

…bringing together the best brains in industry, government and academia…

…fostering a collaborative environment to ensure the UK defence industry becomes more innovative, sustainable and competitive.

Things are moving fast.

The DGP’s Centre for Maritime Intelligence Systems in Portsmouth is up and running…a UK Centre of Excellence, to become a test bed for new systems and technology that can be sold around the world.

And it’s soon to be followed by the Defence Solutions Centre in Farnborough, which I have high hopes will also become an international centre of excellence for defence innovation.

So we’re doing our best…but we are also asking industry to step up to the mark.

Which is why we are looking to recalibrate our relationship.

Whereas, in the past, defence contractors looked upon the MOD as a benevolent cash cow that would fund its R&D, and then also pay for any development cost overruns…

Under our stewardship…working with industry…we’ve established a new mechanism to share pain and gain equally above a realistic threshold by aligning our interests more closely.

I want to see industry adopt this partnership approach more widely.

Not just identifying and managing risk and opportunity but also bearing and sharing it, in a spirit of partnership as we develop capabilities for a broader defence (and sometimes adjacent civilian) customer base.

But our ask goes beyond risk.

We’re now demanding that ‘exportability’ is actively considered from the very beginning of the acquisition cycle…


…because developing bespoke capability just for the UK attracts a cost premium that is not always justifiable, or affordable.



This will require industry and government to work together to assess our own requirements in the full context of the global export market…

…sharing both the opportunities and risks that come from developing ‘export ready’ capability.

But done properly the potential benefits are tangible:

First, the MOD gets the best kit for the best price.

Second, industry will reap the rewards of a virtuous circle of innovation, exportability and productivity.

And third, UK PLC will benefit from greater security and prosperity.

Which brings me on to my second point.

 

Second: thinking more imaginatively

Because…just as we cannot defend our security interests from Fortress Britain, neither can we advance our prosperity solely from within our shores.

Which is why, when it comes to building a strong UK defence industrial base capable of exploiting innovation to its greatest effect…we must be increasingly imaginative in the way we champion foreign investment on the one hand and exports on the other.

So, through our Defence and Security Industrial Engagement Policy…we’re encouraging overseas primes to extend opportunities for UK innovators to become part of their supply chains.

The UK defence industry is rightly proud of its place as the broadest and deepest supply chain outside the US. We have more companies engaged in defence and security than France, Germany and Italy combined.

But we are also using wider government initiatives…

…Like reducing corporation tax to one of the lowest rates in the EU’s big 5 economies…

…tax reliefs for R&D and exploiting patents.

…and deregulation

…to ensure the UK remains the number one choice in Europe for foreign direct investment.

Our success is manifest.

As just one example, more than 30% of Saab’s Gripen multi-role fighter aircraft is supplied by British industry.

And when it comes to banging the drum for UK defence exports, we’ve worked hard too.

Through the DGP we’ve been strengthening the roles and capabilities of UKTI’s Defence and Security Organisation.

While, from the Prime Minister down, ministers have taken every opportunity to promote UK defence products across the world.

Far from being embarrassed, as frankly many in the previous administration were, supporting the British defence industry is something we’re proud to do… as I was leading the UK delegation of 80 British companies at IDEX in Abu Dhabi yesterday.

This is not least because we know we have the most robust and comprehensive export licensing process anywhere.

And when it comes to success, the figures speak for themselves:

Year on year growth in defence exports…

And a 22% share of the global defence market…making us the second largest exporter of new defence products and services, behind the US.

No less crucial are the diplomatic returns we get from engaging with other countries…

…returns that make exports a pillar of our international defence engagement strategy…and, ultimately, our national security.

 

Thirdly: Thinking more internationally.

Which brings me to my third point: thinking more internationally.

Because in this increasingly interconnected world, if we’re to stay ahead of the game…

From first to last, we must pool our resources more widely, a key tenet of our white paper.

It means collaborating on science and technology, as we do with 18 nations, including, of course, the US…

…with whom we have around 100 joint research and development arrangements currently underway.

And with whom I hope we can explore the potential for more joint working under their third offset strategy.

It means developing and procuring capability together…

…multilaterally as with the A400M…

Or bilaterally…as we’ve done with the French on the FASGW missile system or with US on the Common Missile Compartment.

Sometimes, it’ll mean working as equal partners, sometimes it’ll mean differing levels of national commitment, and sometimes it’ll simply mean agreeing to buy off each other’s shelf…as we’re exploring with the US when it comes to Scout and Striker.

Each approach presents pros and cons.

But whichever one we take…I believe it’s inevitable and desirable that UK capability programmes will become increasingly international.

And, if I’m right, it’ll be vital to work hand in glove with our allies and partner nations to make this shift in a coordinated and intelligent fashion…

…Ensuring we can align acquisition, access each other’s markets…and see capability collaboration for what it really is: a force multiplier and a pooling of the market; not a mechanism for eroding national sovereignty, competition or profit.

What’s more, by adopting common equipment platforms, interfaces and standards, our armed forces will be better able to interoperate with our allies…

Making collaborations more than just the sum of their parts when meeting the onslaught of emerging and rapidly evolving threats.

 

Conclusion

So as we approach the next SDSR

…despite the challenging targets the MOD has had for the last 5 years…

…defence can enter the process from a position of much greater strength than the doomsayers suggest…

…a strength that is the legacy of 5 years of imagination, innovation and internationalism…

…offset by a regime of realism, efficiency and prudence.

UK defence is in a far, far better place today than we were 5 years ago.

I firmly believe that whoever holds the reins of power…

And of course now 20 minutes closer to the polls opening, I am increasingly positive about the prospects that this will be the party I have the honour to be part of….

But whoever has the rare privilege of joining the ministerial team in the Ministry of Defence, I am sure that if they continue on the course we have set…

As a nation, working closely in concert with our international allies, we will find opportunity in adversity…

To deliver security through defence…

…to secure the future for Britain.

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14 janvier 2015 3 14 /01 /janvier /2015 17:50
MOD publishes equipment plan and welcomes NAO report

 

13 January 2015 Ministry of Defence and Philip Dunne MP

 

The MOD has published its third annual update to the defence equipment plan.

 

An independent audit found the cost of the department’s 11 biggest equipment programmes fell by £397 million in the past year.

The defence equipment plan is an annual update to Parliament on the MOD’s spending plans over the next decade.

The update sets out plans to spend around £163 billion on new equipment and support over the next 10 years.

The document sets out plans to spend around £40 billion on submarines, around £15.4 billion on land equipment such as tanks and armoured vehicles, and around £11.1 billion on helicopter capabilities.

Also today, the National Audit Office (NAO) has published its third assessment of the affordability of the equipment plan, which this year has been merged into one document with the MOD’s Major Projects Report.

Across the sample of projects that are reviewed by the Major Projects Report, this year represents the MOD’s best cost performance since 2005 and the best time performance since at least 2001.

A Royal Navy Merlin helicopter
A Royal Navy Merlin helicopter (library image) [Picture: Leading Airman (Photographer) Dave Jenkins, Crown copyright]

Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne said:

This equipment plan sets out our plans to spend around £163 billion on new equipment and support over the next 10 years.

For the third successive year it is realistic and affordable and provides excellent value for money to the taxpayer across the coming decade as evidenced by our success in securing savings in Equipment Support, which we have been able to factor in to the 10 year plan.

In addition I welcome the NAO report which recognises the progress we are continuing to make.

We have reduced costs by almost £400 million in our major projects and enjoyed our best performance on cost since 2005 and time since 2001.

There is always more we can do, but I am delighted the great strides the department has made have been recognised.

The Government had to take difficult decisions to balance the Defence budget as part of its long term economic plan, and this is what has led to a position where it is now able to invest significantly in equipment.

The NAO report recognises the progress we are continuing to make, including the relative stability of forecast project costs, as well as highlighting areas where we must continue to improve and refine our processes.

In order to ensure we have the flexibility to meet any unexpected costs, the MOD retains a central contingency provision of £4.6 billion over 10 years and around £8 billion of additional headroom in the later years of the decade.

Today’s report builds on Lord Levene’s Defence Reform findings published in December last year which said the right attitudes and behaviours are increasingly in place in the Head Office and the MOD’s management board has already come to be considered among the best in Whitehall.

The report also provided a positive assessment of progress in Defence Equipment and Support where reforms augur well for the future.

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