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BATTLESPACE Editor Julian Nettlefold Meets Colonel Carew Wilks Team Leader MoD SUV IPT

Specialist and Utility Vehicles (SUV) is a new through-life Integrated Project Team (IPT) for the procurement (acquisition, support and disposal) of military light vehicles across the MoD. Until 1 October 2003 there were two Combat Support Vehicle (CSV) IPTs in the Defence Procurement Agency (DPA). These were CSV Heavy (CSVH) and CSV Light (CSVL), who managed vehicle projects through the early stages of their lives, from initial concept through to manufacture. There was also a CSV Support (CSVS) IPT within the Defence Logistics Organisation (DLO) whose fundamental responsibility was the in-service management and final disposal of combat support vehicles for all three Services. With effect from 1 October 2003 these three IPTs were restructured to form two Dual-Accountable Through-Life IPTs, hosted by DLO Andover. The General Support Vehicles (GSV) IPT is responsible for vehicles with a payload of six tonnes and over, and tankers. The Specialist and Utility Vehicles (SUV) IPT is responsible for utility, light forces and special project vehicles.

As an amalgamation of the DPA-based CSVL and elements of the DLO-based CSVS IPTs, the new SUV IPT brings the skills and expertise of both organisations together to provide a genuine whole-life approach to the provision of vehicle capability to military forces.

The key benefits of this through-life IPT will be:
• A truly whole-life approach, bringing coherence to light vehicle acquisition.
• A single focus for internal MoD customers – a one stop shop for specialist and utility vehicle capability.
• A single point of entry to the MoD for the vehicle and automotive industry.
• Ensuring lessons from in-service experience are fed into new procurements.

Formed on 1 October 2003 under Col Carew Wilks MBE as a dual-accountable IPT with responsibilities both to the DPA and DLO, and hosted by DGES (Land) at DLO Andover, the IPT is currently spread across four main sites. Initially, vehicle procurement activity will continue from Abbey Wood; in-service management from Andover; specialist airfield vehicle acquisition from Brampton; and spares provisioning from Telford.

“My team of 150 people has ILS, finance, commercial, planning and business-planning sections, together with four capability-based output teams. Based at four locations we are responsible for the procurement, support, spares provision, back-up and modifications of some 30,000 vehicles ranging from motorbikes thru light Land Rover type vehicles to specialist EoD vehicles such as the DAF 45 vehicle seen at DVD last year. We are currently working with Leyland DAF to produce a special EoD version of this vehicle for Northern Ireland. Operation Tellic has proved to be a huge learning curve for our new department as it brings in the new responsibilities of spares and support in expeditionary operations, a theme of this year’s DVD. We have simply thousands of vehicles in theater from Standard Land Rover 90 Defenders thru Wolf and Pinzgauers to the newly desertised Northern Ireland Snatch vehicle built by NP Aerospace of Coventry. The contract to desertise up to 200 of these vehicles was managed from the SUV office here at Andover. In logistic support and spares we coordinate the provision of spares to Iraq, Afghanistan and other out of area operations and arrange for their shipment, usually by air into theatre.”

The bulk of the IPT will be based at Andover by mid-2005. Responsibility for the cradle-to-grave acquisition of light vehicles will offer excellent opportunities to improve the coherence between new and in-service vehicle programmes. This will provide a much-improved focus both for the customers and for the suppliers in industry. An increased emphasis and perspective on through-life management will significantly improve the IPT’s role as a vehicle gatekeeper, enabling it to ta

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