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17 Sep 11. Many European countries have implemented significant cuts to defence spending to contain budget deficits. Measures applied through retiring platforms, cancelling procurement and reducing military personnel are having a significant effect on the support in service of equipment. Outsourcing support to industry will help improve efficiency and create long term savings, allowing the armed forces to focus on combat related activities. Frost & Sullivan in the recent “European Defence Support in Service Market Assessment” forecasts the total support in service outsource spending in Europe will increase from $13.77bn in 2011 to $22.07bn in 2020. Modernization, Training and Heavy Maintenance support for platforms are areas that are most likely to be outsourced.
“More Ministries of Defence (MoDs) are now considering or employing a multi-source level of support which includes an amalgamation of the different segments to suit their needs,” says Anthony Leather, Research
Analyst for Frost & Sullivan Aerospace, Defence & Security group. Traditionally air platforms have been the first to be outsourced. They are more complex, the costs of maintenance are high and this is where most benefit and cost saving can occur from industry involvement. Frost & Sullivan believes that around 52 per cent of outsourced spend over the next ten years will be on air platforms. The level of industry integration in support in service differs throughout Europe. The UK has led the way, incorporating industry into their support model. Many Western European and Nordic countries are following this approach with France and Spain likely to be the next countries to outsource more of their support. The concept of outsourcing support to industry is growing in Eastern Europe, however not to the extent of other regions. There are still many Russian made platforms in the Eastern European market which limits support opportunity.
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