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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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12 juin 2014 4 12 /06 /juin /2014 16:50
Army reservists on a training exercise on Salisbury Plain [Picture: Shane Wilkinson, UK MoD]

Army reservists on a training exercise on Salisbury Plain [Picture: Shane Wilkinson, UK MoD]


11 June 2014 Ministry of Defence and The Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP


The National Audit Office has published a report into the progress of Army 2020, the transformation programme for the British Army.


The report examines the development of Army 2020 and the progress in implementing it. It also examines the main risks to successful implementation of Army 2020 and its dependencies with wider defence change programmes.

According to the National Audit Office report the MOD’s decision to reduce the size of the regular Army and increase the number of trained Army reserves was taken without appropriate testing of feasibility.

In response to the report Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said:

The MOD has always been clear that the numbers in the reserves would fall before they increased, but we have now seen the trained strength of the reserves climb for the first time in nearly 20 years. The well publicised IT issues in the Army Recruiting Centre are being addressed, the application process has been simplified, medical clearance procedures have been streamlined and the Army is running a high profile recruitment campaign. While there is much still to do, we are confident of achieving the target of a 35,000 trained reserve [across all 3 services] by the end of Financial year 2018.

The Armed Forces are being restructured to ensure they can defend against new and emerging threats to our security. In future, they will be smaller, but better equipped, able to deploy rapidly to protect our interests anywhere in the world and supported by an integrated reserve force.

After years of neglect, the reserve forces are being reformed and revitalised, with £1.8 billion being invested in better training and equipment to fully integrate them with the rest of the Armed Forces. Although there have been a number technical challenges, the programme is on track and the reserves are now growing in size for the first time in 18 years.

While increasing the Army reserve from around 19,000 to 30,000 won’t happen overnight, there is no longer the decline that has plagued the UK’s reserve forces previously. The MOD is confident of delivering a reinvigorated reserves by 2018.

General Sir Peter Wall with troops in Afghanistan [Picture: MOD, Crown copyright]
General Sir Peter Wall with troops in Afghanistan [Picture: MOD, Crown copyright]

General Sir Peter Wall, Chief of the General Staff, said:

The NAO report fails to capture the nature of the national austerity we faced at the time these decisions were made. The Army has designed a novel and imaginative structure which best meets the challenges we are likely to face within the resources made available. Thankfully, most of the structural change for our new model, which we call Army 2020, is now behind us. We are recruiting regular and reserve soldiers for this new Army avidly. I am confident that, having made such significant changes, the Army 2020 model will endure.

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2 avril 2014 3 02 /04 /avril /2014 16:50
Swedish Auditor Criticizes Low Defense Spending

April 2, 2014 defense-aerospace.com/

(Source: Radio Sweden; published April 1, 2014)


Sweden's New Defence Poorly Planned


The National Audit Office criticised the government and the armed forces on Tuesday for not doing enough to ensure the long-term funding of the nation's defence.


In 2009, Sweden's armed forces went from a conscript system to become a professional force, but according to the National Audit Office, the budget for the big change has been too tight. The government is now told it needs to "improve the economic conditions to reach the goals long-term".


The equipment budget for the next ten years alone needs another SEK 30-50 billion, according to the report.


The switch-over to professional armed forces also means recruiting new staff with different competencies, something that has not happened fast enough.


In a statement, the auditor Jan Landahl said "extensive rationalisations" are necessary. But whether that is enough, or more money is needed, he did not want to say. "It is pretty tough. You are supposed to lower the staffing costs at the same time as you have to add new staff for the new organisation," Landahl told the news agency TT.


In a comment, Defence Minister Karin Enström said the Ministry of Defence and the armed forces have been working hard for the past year and a half to review the budget. She says the government has already decided on a gradual increase in the defence budget. "I can also see that further increases will be necessary," she told TT.


She adds that the crisis in Crimea has changed the security situation in Europe. "We are prepared to strengthen our capability, and then you also have to pay what it costs," she said.

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