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27 Jul 23. Trident nuclear project can’t be delivered, says watchdog.
Delivery of nuclear reactors to power a new fleet of Trident submarines on the Clyde has been branded as “unachievable” for the second year running by a UK Government watchdog.
The Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) has given a £3.7bn reactor-building project run by Rolls Royce for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) a “red” rating for 2022-23. The project was also assessed as red in 2021-22, as reported by The Ferret.
According to the IPA, red means that “successful delivery of the project appears to be unachievable”. This is because of “major issues” that do not appear to be “manageable or resolvable”.
The 2022-23 rating for another scheme crucial to renewing the Trident nuclear weapons system — a £1.9bn construction project at the Faslane and Coulport nuclear bases near Helensburgh — has been kept secret. In 2021-22 it was assessed as red.
The planned date for the final delivery to the Clyde of the new Dreadnought-class submarines, armed with Trident nuclear warheads, has also been classified as confidential by the MoD “for the purpose of safeguarding national security”.
The Scottish National Party (SNP) accused the UK Government of desperately trying to hide how “outrageously unaffordable” the Trident programme had become. The Scottish Greens described the programme as “a grotesque money pit”.
Campaigners criticised the MoD for “rewarding failure” by throwing money at nuclear projects, and for concealing the truth about the problems and delays. They warned of “everyday harms” from the risks of radiation leaks, as well as “catastrophic accidents”.
Rolls-Royce accepted that the reactor programme was “challenging” but stressed it was working hard to ensure no further delays. The MoD argued that IPA assessments were not “comprehensive” and said it was improving project management.
The IPA’s latest annual report for 2022-23 assessed the feasibility of 52 military projects costing a total of £255.4bn. Eleven were related to the UK’s nuclear weapons programme and together cost more than £57bn, though the overall costs for three of them were kept secret.
The manufacture of nuclear reactors at a Rolls-Royce factory in Derby was the only project to be publicly rated as red. The reactors are to drive four new Trident-armed Dreadnought submarines due to start replacing existing Vanguard submarines at Faslane “in the early 2030s”.
The IPA warned that there were “significant and ongoing challenges associated with achieving the required core delivery date for Dreadnought”. The date was important, it said, for keeping at least one nuclear-armed submarine on patrol all the time, a policy known as “continuous at sea deterrence”.
Eight other MoD nuclear projects were assessed as “amber” which meant they had “significant issues” requiring management attention. They included the overall £34bn Dreadnought delivery programme, the building of nuclear-powered Astute submarines at Barrow and the dismantling of defunct nuclear submarines at Rosyth in Fife.
Another previously mysterious project called Aurora was rated as amber. It is to make the plutonium components for new nuclear bombs at Aldermaston in Berkshire and is reckoned to cost between £2bn and £2.5bn.
The planned completion date for Aurora has been kept secret, along with the end dates for four other nuclear projects, including the Dreadnought and Astute submarine programmes. The dates were withheld under a freedom of information law exemption meant to protect national security.
2022-23 assessments for two other nuclear projects have also been classified as confidential so as not to prejudice international relations and the defence of the UK. One, Teutates, is a collaboration on nuclear weapon safety with France and the other is called “Clyde Infrastructure”.
The Clyde project is to build a series of new facilities at Faslane and Coulport to support nuclear submarine operations. It was rated as red by the IPA in 2021-22, and amber in 2020-21 and 2019-20.
The cost of the Clyde project has increased 19 per cent from £1.6bn to £1.9bn in the last year. According to the IPA, this is because of “challenges in delivering in a nuclear and operational environment”.
Trident ‘a moral abomination’
The SNP lambasted the UK Government for writing “blank cheques” to maintain the Trident programme. “The veil of secrecy surrounding nuclear spending is a desperate attempt by the UK Government to hide how outrageously unaffordable these weapons have become,” said the party’s Westminster defence spokesperson, Dave Doogan MP.
“The hollowing-out of the armed forces to pay for the ever-expanding nuclear vanity-weapons budget has led the UK to possess just 0.1 per cent of the world’s nuclear warheads — but at eye-watering cost while conventional capabilities atrophy.”
The Green MSP Ross Greer described nuclear weapons as a “moral abomination” that had no place in Scotland. “As these figures show, they are also a grotesque money pit that is swallowing up billions of pounds and giving huge handouts to international arms dealers,” he said.
“The Scottish Greens are proud to have secured the Scottish Government’s support for the international treaty banning nuclear weapons, already signed by 92 other countries.”
MoD ‘trying to hide’ Trident delays
The Nuclear Information Service, which researches and criticises nuclear weapons, pointed out that the MoD had been repeatedly given additional billions for its nuclear programme. “But there’s no sign that throwing money at the problem is having any effect beyond rewarding failure,” the group’s director, David Cullen, told The Ferret.
“There is a clear pattern of the MoD withholding information that could show whether HMS Dreadnought will come into service on the planned date. The obvious conclusion is that they are trying to hide the risk of delays from the public.”
The Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament attacked the nuclear industry for its “big back catalogues” of cost escalations and time over-runs. “The nuclear propulsion of the nuclear weapon system only adds to the repertoire of everyday harms from radiation leaks and opportunities of catastrophic accidents,” said campaign chair, Lynn Jamieson.
Nuclear reactor project ‘challenging’
Rolls-Royce pointed out that building a new reactor construction plant was very complicated. “We’re working closely with the MoD to ensure this important project faces no further delays,” said a company spokesperson.
“The findings of the IPA report are being addressed and improvements have been recognised by the review team since the previous report. While the programme remains challenging, progress has accelerated and the majority of the technical and infrastructure challenges are now behind us.”
The Ministry of Defence highlighted that the IPA report showed “clear progress” on some programmes. “Delivery confidence assessments are not a comprehensive reflection of project performance but reflect a project’s likelihood of success at a specific snapshot in time if issues and risks are left unaddressed,” said a spokesperson.
“The majority of our programmes are rated amber, meaning successful delivery is feasible, against mitigated risks that are regularly reviewed to support successful delivery. We continue to improve our management of major projects.”
The MoD spokesperson added: “Our nuclear deterrent protects every UK citizen from the most extreme threats, every minute of every day.”
(Source: News Now/https://theferret.scot/)
04 Jul 23. Europe Looking to Future Combat Air System (FCAS) to Boost Defence Autonomy.
“FCAS is much more than merely an air defence system: it represents Europe’s big chance to reinforce its defence autonomy and to establish and expand its own supply chain for high-tech products. This is why long-term European partnerships are so important,” stated Michael Schreyögg, chief programme Officer, MTU Aero Engines.
The German company founded the European Military Engine Team (EUMET) with its French partner, Safran Aircraft Engines, and in collaboration with its Spanish partner ITP Aero, to develop new technologies and engine demonstrators designed to meet the requirements of the European Future Combat Air System (FCAS), which is planned to enter service in 2040.
The requirements for the Next European Fighter Engine (NEFE) call for innovative technologies in engine development which have been clearly defined. Among them is a low radar signature, protection against cyber attacks and electromagnetic effects. The NEFE is still in the research and technology phase that will be followed by an engine demonstrator between 2027 and 2032.
Another key element of FCAS is the Expendable Remote Carrier (ERC). MBDA is developing a full-scale airborne ERC demonstrator.
Head of the group’s FCAS programme, Jean Judde de Larivière, told Armada International that the ERC’s are being developed o enable the next generation air combat systems to fully operate in highly contested airspace. The precise role of the ERCs have yet to be defined. They could act as decoys, jammer, communication links, ISR assets, air-to-ground attack, or all of the above, which would confuse an enemy.
MBDA demonstrator ERC will befour metres long, weight 880 pounds (400 kilograms), fly at subsonic speeds and have a one hour endurance. With its modular design capable of carrying various payloads, a first flight is planned for 2029.
At this year’s Paris Airshow, Airbus outlined its vision of future FCAS operations. Mixed formations of manned and unmanned aircraft packages with Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft operating with Multi-Domain Combat Cloud (MDCC). With enhanced connectivity and exchange of information across all domains for C2 elements a more collaborative and agile operational environment for warfighting will become a reality. With four ERCs to every manned fighter, losses are predicted and as the package enters contested airspace, C2 can be automatically handed over to one of the manned fighters, leaving the AEW&C aircraft out of danger.
At Le Bourget, it was revealed that the Belgian government had announced its interest in joining the European FCAS programme although in what capacity has yet to be confirmed. (Source: Armada)
26 Jul 23. UK and Turkey continue to strengthen ties at Defence industry fair. The UK and Turkey’s defence relationship will continue to strengthen, following Ministerial meetings at the International Defence Industry Fair in Istanbul.
• Export opportunities discussed between Defence counterparts.
• UK and Turkish Minsters discussed greater military and industry cooperation.
• Meeting held at International Defence Industry Fair in Turkey.
The UK and Turkey’s defence relationship will continue to strengthen, following Ministerial meetings at the International Defence Industry Fair (IDEF) hosted in Istanbul.
At IDEF, the Minister for Defence Procurement, James Cartlidge met with the Turkish Deputy Defence Minister, Celal Sami Tüfekci and the president of the Turkish Defence Industry Agency, Professor Doctor Haluk Görgün.
The meetings covered a range of topics, including equipment, exports and further opportunities for cooperation across the shared domains.
Also at IDEF, the Minister celebrated the joint venture and signing of an MOU with Nurol Mankina and NP Aerospace which declares their intent to invest in the UK Defence industry.
In recent years, the relationship between the two nations has gone from strength-to-strength, with a strong and growing defence industrial relationship with Turkey that covers air, land and sea domains, and in particular the UK industry continues to work with Turkish counterparts to develop their TF-X Combat aircraft.
Minister for Defence Procurement, James Cartlidge said: “The UK-Turkey relationship is stronger than ever. We share an enduring defence partnership with our respective industries, and we are committed to addressing our shared security challenges.
It was a pleasure to meet the Turkish Deputy Defence Minister and President of the Turkish Defence Industry Agency, and I look forward to continuing to deepening those ties.”
British industry was on display during the event which was attended by BAE Systems, Leonardo and Rolls-Royce.
During the visit, the UK and Turkey reaffirmed its commitment to the UK Defence Industry and agreed to continue collaborating with international partners and industry. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
26 Jul 23. Erdoğan Hails Record H1 Defense Exports, Sets $6bn Bar for 2023. Türkiye’s defense manufacturers have made record shipments in the first half of the year, with the country’s president stressing expectations for continued momentum and a new all-time high by the end of 2023.
“We have achieved a record export value of $2.37bn in the first six months of this year. Our target in 2023 is $6bn,” Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in a video message to the 16th International Defense Industry Fair (IDEF) 2023.
“I believe that we will achieve our export target by the end of the year, and even exceed this figure.”
One of the largest global defense events, IDEF opened on Tuesday and will run through Friday. The fair is exhibiting a range of defense products including land vehicles, weapons, simulators, radars, sonars, naval platform solutions, aviation systems, missiles, logistic vehicles, supply equipment and security systems.
Türkiye’s defense industry has undergone a profound transformation over the last two decades, in a breakthrough that has been spurred by a score of Western embargoes. It aimed at reducing external dependency on Western arms through innovative engineering initiatives and domestically developed technologies and ensuring self-sufficiency. The drive has prompted the development of homegrown air, land and marine platforms, which eventually helped Türkiye seal bns of dollars’ worth of deals in recent years.
The capabilities of its vehicles, spearheaded by its combat drones, triggered unprecedented demand that saw Türkiye’s defense industry exports hit a record of more than $4.4bn in 2022.
The figure is aimed to be lifted above $10bn in the near future, said Vice President Cevdet Yılmaz, addressing IDEF’s opening ceremony in Istanbul.
The localization drive helped Türkiye lower its foreign dependency in the defense industry from around 80% in the early 2000s to some 20% today.
Erdoğan said Türkiye is today “meticulously” implementing 850 different projects that will leave their mark on the industry. It compares to merely 62 ran back in 2002.
Türkiye attaches “great importance” to the development of its defense industry, “despite many obstacles, secret and open embargoes that we face,” he noted.
Yılmaz said Türkiye is located in a geography where conflicts are intense, adding that “past experiences show Türkiye’s independence depends on the design and production of defense products.”
The Turkish defense industry is a large ecosystem that develops its own products with its worldwide contractors, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), research institutions, technology and industry clusters, he added.
The vice president said Türkiye had a defense industry budget of approximately $5.5 bn in 2002, compared to the $90bn it stands at today. He informed that the sector boasts 3,000 companies and more than 80,000 staffers.
Replacing Western technology with indigenously developed weaponry harks back to the origins of Türkiye’s domestic arms industry, which Ankara has pushed ever since the U.S.’ 1970s arms embargo over its military intervention in the island of Cyprus that was prompted by a Greek Cypriot coup aimed at Greece’s annexation of the island. Türkiye acted as a guarantor power to protect Turkish Cypriots from persecution and violence.
“The Turkish defense industry sector has been writing a success story that has been followed with admiration by the whole world in recent years,” Erdoğan said.
“Our industry has proven its worth with its armored vehicles, artillery, rockets, air defense systems, and all kinds of weapons and radar systems tested in conflict zones.”
Among Türkiye’s most sought-after products are armed drones, driven in part by the renowned TB2 Bayraktar produced by the privately owned firm Baykar.
Erdoğan hailed Türkiye’s capabilities in drone technology, saying it is among the world’s top three countries in the field.
Reaping the benefits of Erdoğan’s diplomatic efforts, Baykar last week signed an agreement to sell drones to Saudi Arabia in what is said to mark the biggest defense contract in Türkiye’s history.
The value of the deal has not been made public. Baykar said the deal included the export of its landmark Akıncı combat drone, the larger sibling of its battle-proven Bayraktar TB2.
“During our visit to the Gulf countries last week, we signed the biggest export contracts in our history for defense industry products,” Erdoğan said. “We believe that new ones will be added to these agreements at IDEF 2023,” he noted.
Bayraktar TB2 has made a name for itself globally and demand for the drone soared after it featured in conflicts in Syria, Libya and Azerbaijan. Interest increased further following its use by Ukraine’s military to thwart Russian forces.
Baykar has signed deals to sell TB2 to at least 30 countries to date, including four NATO and two European Union member states. It last signed a contract worth $367m with Kuwait for TB2s last month.
“Türkiye, which is one of the 10 countries that make its own warship, is also an important exporter in this field,” Erdoğan said.
In what marked the latest milestone, Türkiye in April commissioned its long-anticipated largest warship, bolstering its naval capabilities and making the country one of the few nations in the world with a domestically built aircraft carrier.
Set to be the country’s flagship, the multipurpose amphibious assault ship TCG Anadolu will also be the world’s first vessel with an air wing mainly consisting of unmanned aircraft.
The fleet on the aircraft carrier is expected to consist mostly of Baykar’s Bayraktar TB3s, a short-runway-capable version of TB2. The aircraft, the first of its kind boasting the ability to fold its wings, is expected to finish its testing phase by the end of 2023.
Another of Baykar’s landmark platforms, the unmanned fighter jet Kızılelma, will also be capable of taking off from and landing on the TCG Anadolu.
“We have put the TCG Anadolu, which we can call the world’s first ‘drone ship,’ to the service of our navy. We are taking the drone drive, which we started with Akıncı, to a very different dimension with our unmanned combat aircraft Kızılelma,” Erdoğan said.
Erdoğan also referred to the country’s domestically developed 5th-generation fighter jet. Named KAAN, the aircraft has been developed to replace the F-16s in the Air Forces Command’s fleet and are planned to be phased out starting in the 2030s. KAAN made a runway debut and completed its first taxi test after starting its engines for the first time in mid-March.
“We are carrying out the production processes (of KAAN) step by step,” said the president.
Ankara is not just looking to sell products, but aims to establish long-term partnerships and develop joint projects, he noted.
“We are pleased to present our knowledge and experience in the defense industry to the benefit of our friends.”
Yılmaz echoed Erdoğan’s view and said: “We are not a country that shows jealousy and stinginess like others.” (Source: https://www.defense-aerospace.com/ Daily Sabah)
25 Jul 23. UK annual defense spending jumps over $8.5bn, but Warrior cancellation costs mount. Overall, defense spending for the year was largely boosted by a £4.1bn ($5.3bn) increase in capital expenditure, though there were other marginal jumps in Defense Equipment and Support (DE&S), and inventory spending. Annual United Kingdom military spending increased by £6.9bn ($8.9bn) over 2022-2023 to reach a total of £52.8bn ($67.8bn), according to newly released MoD figures, which also revealed that the cancellation of a key armored vehicle program meant a hefty chunk of British military funds — £473m ($607m) — was lost.
Overall, defense spending for the year was largely boosted by a £4.1bn ($5.3bn) increase in capital expenditure, though there were other marginal jumps in Defense Equipment and Support (DE&S), and inventory spending compared to 2021-2022. DE&S is the UK’s procurement arm.
The UK’s spring budget set out an extra £5bn ($6.4bn) for defense spending over the next two years, and £2bn ($2.6bn) per year for each year up to 2027-28. The money has been reserved for spending on weapons stockpiles, AUKUS submarines and nuclear deterrence modernisation.
Compared to the UK’s under $70bn annual expenditure on defense, US national security funding for fiscal 2024 is set at $886bn, of which roughly $826 bn is specifically for the US military, though lawmakers have suggested more could be agreed.
Elsewhere the latest UK spending breakdown, published July 20, in the UK MoD Annual Report and Accounts 2022-2023, also shows that London incurred a series of losses from procurement cancellations and equipment being written off.
The cancellation of the $607m Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme, involving an infantry fighting vehicle upgrade, stands out as the most expensive loss. The effort involved the installation of a new turret on the vehicle but was cancelled under Defence Command Paper plans in 2021 in favor of keeping the platform in service as-is until the new Boxer wheeled, armored personnel carriers enter service. Those plans have been made more complicated, however, because a final operational capability target of 2030 for Boxer has been delayed to 2032.
Other losses detailed in the annual report, include £84 m ($108 m) for a F-35B fifth generation fighter (ZM152) which crashed off the Mediterranean Sea after attempting to take off from the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier in November 2021 and £10 m ($12.9 m) for two Watchkeeper ISR drones, one of which sustained a “heavy landing at sea,” according to the report.
In all, the MoD suffered losses of £716m ($920m) across its equipment portfolio.
The papers note the UK also spent £2.3bn ($3bn) in 2022 on military aid to Ukraine, funding it “sustained” in 2023 and will maintain “at least this level of support if required” through to 2024. Despite such commitment, supply chain issues and inflation continue to impact “acquisition of components and raw materials,” according to the report.
“We will also continue to work with HM Treasury to address the budgetary consequences of continued support [to Ukraine], including direct procurement of equipment and timely replenishment of items issued from our own stockpiles,” noted the UK Ministry of Defence.
The department also outlines how it has “increased pace into acquisition” and incentivised innovation “through a range of improvement initiatives and fundamental reforms of the regulations that govern defense and security procurement and single source contracts,” though also acknowledges facing risks such as cyber security, recruitment and supply chain “resilience.” (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Breaking Defense)
25 Jul 23. Swedish JTAC Practices in a Demanding Alpine Environment. Right now, eleven Swedish soldiers from K 3 Regiment are participating in the NATO exercise Mountain Hornet 23 in southern Germany where JTAC personnel are drilled in a demanding alpine environment.
USA and Sweden. The purpose is to train JTAC (Joint Terminal Attack Controller) in an international context. This means training together with other constituent elements such as infantry units, reconnaissance units, EW (electronic warfare) and SUAV teams (which handle unmanned aerial vehicles).
In addition to ground units, combat aircraft, helicopters and training aircraft in the form of PC 9 and Learjet are also included. They are there to support the JTAC training that takes place on the ground.
The host of exercise Mountain Hornet 23 is the German Air Liaison Element of the 23rd Bergsjägarbrigaden (Mountain Infantry Brigade) and takes place between 17-28 July in Bad Reichenhall and the surrounding area.
The exercise has previously been conducted in 2019, 2021 and 2022. The goal of Mountain Hornet is to strengthen cooperation between NATO countries and maintain JTAC’s ability to solve tasks together with other countries in joint operations.
The head of the Swedish group, Oskar Gustafsson, squadron commander at K 3, finds the Mountain Hornet 23 very rewarding. “The exercise gives us the opportunity to fly in completely different terrain than we are used to home ground, which gives us experience for future tasks. To participate in planning and carrying out tasks together with other countries is good training for everyone involved.”
The structure of the exercise in general is that the first week consists of a station system where the assembled teams participate in one or two stations per day. Each station is unique and has its own training objectives. Examples of stations are control of flight from vehicles, control of flight from the seat and control of flight while moving in strenuous mountain terrain. Also air traffic control with cooperation with SUAV and reconnaissance groups helping JTAC identify targets to be engaged.
During the weekend of July 21-22, planning and preparations are carried out in order to be able to carry out an applied exercise during the second week. Then a temporarily composed company battle group solve tasks together for four days.
The Swedish participation from the Life Regiment’s hussars K3 in Karlsborg consists of personnel from the 31st Jägarbataljonen and from the 323rd Parachute Jägerskvadron. (Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com) (Source: https://www.defense-aerospace.com/ Swedish Armed Forces)
21 Jul 23. Aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales ready to resume her mission. Britain’s biggest warship is today ready to resume her duties at sea. After nine months undergoing engineering repairs and receiving significant capability enhancements to support her future tasking, aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales moved out of dry dock at Rosyth and into the River Forth.
Once at anchor and in deeper water, the ship’s team will prove machinery and bring her systems to life – before sailing under the iconic Forth Bridges on her way to Portsmouth.
The carrier will then build on her previous successes including acting as NATO’s command ship and leading the Maritime High Readiness Force in the Arctic, before she takes over from HMS Queen Elizabeth as the nation’s flagship towards the end of 2024.
Captain Richard Hewitt, HMS Prince of Wales’ Commanding Officer, praised the efforts of all who sought to return the carrier to front-line duties again, not least his 750-strong ship’s company, who have remained with the carrier throughout.
“We are returning HMS Prince of Wales to operations as the most advanced warship ever built for the Royal Navy.
“This year we will be operating F-35s, V-22 Ospreys, drones and the RN Merlin helicopters – pushing the boundaries of naval aviation and UK Carrier Strike capability as we progress towards a global deployment in 2025.
“Our sailors are paramount to ensuring our return to operations. They have approached the task of getting us back to sea with the remarkable ethos that I have come to expect from them. They are a credit to the ship and the Royal Navy.”
The ship’s engineering departments have worked side-by-side with engineers from industry, led by Babcock who operate the facility at Rosyth, to fix the propeller shafts alongside BAE Systems, who have also been carrying out previously-planned capability upgrade works.
Commander Helen Jones, the carrier’s Commander Marine Engineering, said: “The team on board have risen to the challenge of returning this ship to sea and we are looking forward to testing the systems and returning to operations for the Royal Navy.”
Sean Donaldson, Managing Director of Babcock’s Rosyth facility where the work has been carried out, added: “We are proud to have worked alongside the ship’s company of HMS Prince of Wales and the MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support organisation to ready the ship for operations.
“Through our 10-year maintenance agreement with the MOD for the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers, we make their mission, our mission and we’re by their side enabling them to fulfil their duty.
“Our Rosyth facility is one of the UK’s most advanced waterside manufacturing and repair facilities and we have an expert team and world-class infrastructure ready to support customers whenever required.”
Throughout her time in Scotland the Ship’s Company have been maintaining their training levels either aboard HMS Prince of Wales, or by making use of training simulators ashore such as at HMS Sultan and HMS Collingwood.
They have also supported recruitment and Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) events in the area, hosted NATO delegates and VIPs, taken part in civic events including Remembrance Parades in Edinburgh and Liverpool, Freedom of the City in Bristol, and assisted Border Force personnel during strikes over Christmas and Easter.
Once the ship has completed her propulsion trials, she will bring her flight deck back to life before returning to Portsmouth to prepare for her autumn deployment to the USA. (Source: Royal Navy)
19 Jul 23. Analysis: Defence Command Paper Refresh. The Defence Command Paper Refresh is a welcome reflection on the lessons learnt from the War in Ukraine. While it differs from previous versions in deferring on fresh platform decisions, it contains several welcome announcements and provides a renewed strategic direction.
Key announcements include increased funding for restocking munitions, renewed commitments to early engagement with industry, and a view to realising the vision of a true Defence Enterprise: bringing together industry and MoD as one team.
Following ADS extensive engagement on ESG issues MOD’s recognition of the challenges facing defence companies, large and small, arising from the ESG investment agenda is welcome.
We’re pleased to note that ADS’ submission to the Secretary of State’s Office of Net Assessment and Challenge consultation has helped to shape the paper’s thinking, particularly on the importance of providing industry with long-term certainty, the value of iterative development, and the need for early engagement on strategic requirements.
As with IRR23, the paper mentions the ambition to raise defence spending to 2.5% of GDP when economic and fiscal circumstance allow but does not provide further clarity on when this will be. Additionally, we would welcome clarification if the additional £2.5bn in munitions comes from existing MoD budgets or from new funding.
ADS looks forward to working with MOD to deliver upon the DCP’s ambitions, although further details on timelines for implementing these stated ambitions and how progress will be measured would be welcome, including in the Army’s future soldier next steps paper.
Welcoming the publication, ADS Chief Executive Kevin Craven commented…
The refreshed Defence Command Paper is a much-needed publication that demonstrates how the UK is learning lessons from the war in Ukraine.
While the strategy differs from previous versions in deferring on fresh platform decisions for now, the news on increased funding for restocking munitions is very welcome. We also welcome the Government’s recognition of the challenges facing defence companies, large and small, arising from the ESG investment agenda.
The paper is crucially focused on increased and early engagement with industry with a view to realising the vision of a true Defence Enterprise. With this in mind, the move towards a new form of acquisition that allows for iterative capability development is both timely and necessary.
We look forward to continued partnership with the Ministry of Defence to deliver upon the ambition set out in the DCP to secure the UK’s advantage. (Source: ADS)
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