11 Sep 23. Defence Committee opens new call for evidence on future aviation capabilities. The Defence Committee has issued a call for evidence for its new inquiry into future aviation capabilities. The call for evidence follows on from the Committee’s recent inquiry on aviation procurement, which found that cuts set out in the 2021 Defence Command Paper will create a combat air capability gap which will persist into the 2030s. The new inquiry will consider several aspects of future aviation capability, including the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP), the New Medium Helicopter procurement, advanced jet trainer, munitions and defence industrial strategy. Those interested are invited to submit evidence on any of the subjects below by Monday 23 October.
Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP):
- What will be the key challenges in delivering GCAP’s aim to deliver a 6 generation combat aircraft by 2035, and what should the MoD be doing now to address them?
- What lessons can be learnt from previous large multilateral defence programmes such as Typhoon?
- How can the MoD ensure that GCAP attracts and retains political and public support over the next decade?
- With full-scale production of the new aircraft not expected to be underway until the 2030s, how can the MoD and industry ensure that an appropriately skilled workforce is retained in the interim?
- What are the reasons for, and the implications of, delays to the New Medium Lift helicopter procurement?
- Is planned investment across the rotary wing fleet appropriately balanced to deliver the capabilities required?
Advanced jet trainer
- With the Hawk T2 expected to leave service in 2040, and synthetic training becoming increasingly prevalent, how should the MoD approach the procurement of its next advanced jet trainer?
- What is your assessment of the MoD’s vision, strategy and planning of future airborne weapons systems across the combat fleet?
- Is the air mobility fleet suitably equipped for the transport of such weapons?
Defence industrial strategy
- How can the MoD ensure that these procurements best contribute to a sustainable and thriving defence industrial base, by building and maintaining appropriately skilled, effective and active defence manufacturing teams?
- How should exportability be built into these programmes from the outset, and what should the MoD, and the Government more broadly, be doing to maximise their export potential?
Form of written evidence:
Submissions should be no longer than 3,000 words. The main body of any submission should use numbered paragraphs. Each submission should contain:
- a short summary, perhaps in bullet point form;
- a brief introduction about the person or organisation submitting evidence, for example explaining their area of expertise or experience;
- any factual information from which the Committee might be able to draw conclusions, or which could be put to other witnesses;
- any recommendations for action by the Government or others which the submitter would like the Committee to consider for inclusion in its report to the House.
Submissions should be in malleable format such as MS Word (not PDFs) with no use of colour or logos. Submissions should be arranged in numbered paragraphs.
Guidance on submitting written evidence and data protection information is available here: Guidance on submitting written evidence.
Deadline for submissions
The Committee is asking for initial written evidence to be submitted through the Committee’s web portal by 23 October 2023.
It is recommended that all submitters familiarise themselves with the Guidance on giving evidence to a Select Committee of the House of Commons which outlines particulars of word count, format, document size, and content restrictions.
We encourage members of underrepresented groups to submit written evidence. We aim to have diverse panels of Select Committee witnesses and ask organisations to bear this in mind when we ask them to choose a representative. We are currently monitoring the diversity of our witnesses.