”DVD is becoming Europe’s most important defence vehicle show,” David Gould, DCE DPA.
The DVD military and service vehicles show, which closed on June 30th, continues to grow with more visitors and more exhibitors than ever before. More than 3,800 guests registered for the 2005 event, with more attending on the first day than over the whole of last year’s event. The 106 exhibitors covered a vast range of vehicles and related technologies and services, from the new Snatch armoured Land Rover to the LIMAWS rocket launcher.
Organised by the MoD’s SUV IPT (Specialist & Utility Vehicle Integrated Project Team), DVD is designed to bring industry and users closer together. The theme of this year’s event was ‘through life acquisition’ to emphasise the recent change in MoD vehicle purchasing strategy to include lifetime service and support within the vehicle acquisition operation.
In his opening address on June 29th, DCE DPA David Gould (deputy chief executive of the Defence Procurement Agency) said that DVD is becoming the largest and most important defence vehicle show in Europe. Emphasising its role as an opportunity for military vehicle acquisition teams to meet with suppliers and users, he said; “DVD is a great opportunity to ensure that the capability of industry matches our requirements and to update ourselves on the latest innovations available to us.”
Mr Gould also announced a new partnership arrangement between the MoD and BAE Systems that will lead to savings of some £29 million over the next five years and help British soldiers receive even better logistics support for their AS90 guns.
For the third year running, event host Millbrook had upgraded its already world-leading off-road and heavy-duty vehicle test facilities to give exhibitors even more opportunities to demonstrate the capabilities of their products. Millbrook’s stand showed examples of the company’s military vehicle test and engineering work and, according head of strategic marketing Julian Bryan, attracted many high-quality visitors.
Providing more detail on the success of the event, Nigel Gillhead, who in January this year succeeded Colonel Carew Wilks as SUV IPT team leader, explained; “The SUV IPT now provides a single point of contact for industry and users involved in the development, manufacture, support and maintenance of specialist and utility vehicles. DVD is an outstanding opportunity for military users, purchasing staff and our suppliers to meet and discuss the latest requirements, strategies and technologies.” Reflecting this change, Gillhead’s IPT now reports to both the DPA (Defence Procurement Agency) and the DLO (Defence Logistics Organisation).
The SUV IPT is also able to deploy its considerable purchasing skills to benefit non-military users of specialist and utility vehicles such as the police, fire and ambulance services. This was reflected in a record number of white-fleet exhibitors and visitors from many of the major commercial and service fleets. There was also a record number of exhibitors from systems and support companies, with a waiting list for space in the Systems and Services Hall.
“We all have to start thinking in new ways and delivering new types of solution to our colleagues in the field,” concluded Gillhead. “DVD is an excellent opportunity for all parties to discuss these new requirements. It was good, for example, to see suppliers of systems talking to vehicle manufacturers and to MoD users about the conditions in which their systems must operate and even experiencing some of the terrains first hand. This is only possible at DVD. It’s been an excellent year.”