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By Julian Nettlefold, Editor BATTLESPACE

28 Jun 06. A sea of stands, flags and vehicles greeted visitors to this years DVD at Millbrook. Even more impressive were the numbers of Exhibitors up to 181 from 106 last year.

Nigel Gilhead, the SUV IPT leader confirmed his team’s praise of DVD saying that the event was now reaching new heights and the Arrival of Colonel Gordon Lane’s ESS IPT were now confirmed as annual attendees and partners. Nigel Gilhead that visitor numbers were well up on last year and expected to pass the 4000 mark.
The question on everyone’s lips is how many more IPTs will join this event, clearly a winning event for the DPA to meet is suppliers and to find new sources. The Close Armour and BOWMAN IPTs spring to mind as naturals given the nature of some of the exhibits this year.

Nigel Gilhead confirmed that there was increased foreign delegation involvement at DVD with a number of delegations attending, including one from Denmark, “DVD is the leading Field Mobility Event in Europe.

The SUV IPT is now investigating methods to improve the existing logistic support contracts for the MoD and he is looking for suggestions for a possible single point of contact for Logistic Support. Indeed the buzz at the show was that the SUV IPT was looking to kick-start the OUVs requirement with a long awaited deal with Land Rover to manage Through Life Support for the 1100 MoD Land Rover fleet. The announcement late last month that the existing Defender will be fitted with a new Euro 4 engine based on the Transit engine was a clue to future policy. The new Defender will not be based on the Discovery chassis but have the existing ladder chassis.

Tim Flesher, the Deputy Chief of Defence Logistics (DCDL) officially opened this year’s DVD with a strong statement saying that DVD was how the Premier Military Equipment event in Europe that brings together vehicle manufacturers, suppliers with its MoD customer so that they can understand their customer’s needs and requirements. This is designed to provide better co-ordination and integration between the Integrated Project Teams (IPTs, the MoD’s procurement specialists), delivering reduced operating costs and increased capability. Many of the savings expected are related to the reduced proliferation of equipment meeting similar needs, leading to a reduced logistics footprint, reduced service costs and improved field support

“The Defence Industrial Strategy sets out intent for new strategy and that’s what you will see here. The DLO delivers the best logistic support for out of area operations in the most hostile environments in the world,” he said.

With a budget of almost £9bn, the DLO’s spend represents over 20 per cent of the UK’s Defence budget. The theme for this year’s DVD is Gatekeeper, the latest phase of the MoD’s Smart Procurement initiative.

This year’s DVD at Millbrook on June 28th and 29th will see a doubling of exhibition space with the advent of the ESS(Engineering Systems Support Integrated Project Team)IPT providing crucial battlefield infrastructure systems to the Armed Forces. Visitors and exhibitors to DVD 06 will be greeted with a sea of stands and exhibits stretching from the Capability Centre to the Off-Road Track.

A number of observers were keen to hear of the expected launch of the Pinzgauer Vector vehicle at DVD. A DLO spokesman said that an official announcement is expected at Farnborough by the Minister but the DLO expects that a new patrol vehicle, Vector, will be supplied to supplement the SNATCH vehicles, with improved mobility in 2007.”

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