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SDSR

The Government has today launched a Green Paper which marks the formal consultation on Equipment, Support and Technology for UK Defence and Security.

The consultation, led by the Ministry of Defence and Home Office, will cover a range of issues, including national security, working with other countries, exports, small & medium-sized enterprises and cyber security. This is the first time these key issues have been considered together from both a defence and security perspective.

The Green Paper provides details of the consultation which will last for three months, commencing in the New Year. This will lead to a White Paper, published in Spring 2011, which will set out the Government's approach to industry and technology policy in the defence and security domains over the next five years.

Minister for Defence, Equipment, Support and Technology, Peter Luff said:

"To ensure our Armed Forces have the equipment and support they need, industry requires as much clarity as possible to plan its investment in research and production. The Strategic Defence and Security Review made clear that this consultation is an opportunity for industry and the public to help us shape how we deliver some of the vital components of our national security."

Security Minister Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones said:

"As we said in the Strategic Defence and Security Review, Government needs to be smarter in the way that we meet the challenges to national security. Defence and security go hand in hand in many areas, which is why we are increasingly joining efforts to deliver solutions."

 

By Nick Watts

The government's proposed Defence Industrial Technology Policy (DITP) will be published in December. Or rather, it will be the basis for a discussion between industry and government. Both sides have much at stake, so the outcome is important. Getting the right answers means asking the right questions. The government and the MOD each need to ask three questions when formulating the DITP:

How can the UK secure the necessary operational sovereignty to guarantee the provision of key strategic capability into the future?How best can the government partner with industry to ensure the continuation of a viable defence sector in the UK?How can the government help the UK's defence sector to explore and exploit opportunities in the export market?

 For its part Industry also needs to collectively consider three questions, as it engages with the government and MOD:

How will industry adjust to the stated aim of MOD to reduce the number of operating platforms: how will this enable the UK to retain a viable defence industry? To what extent can exports help pull through programmes for the UK market?How can industry help MOD reform its acquisition process, to ensure that programmes get developed quickly and that equipment is delivered on time and on budget?

The DITP will be a Green Paper, a discussion document. This is intended to guide the subsequent discussions so that a White Paper can result. The White Paper will represent the government's settled view on the future of the MOD's industrial and technology policy for the life of this parliament, and at least until the next SDR in 2015. In the context of the SDSR and the CSR, there is much gloomy talk in the air. Yet both sides of this discussion have a mutual interest in ensuring that the other survives to fight another day.

The context, while not promising could be a lot worse. After the fall of communism the subsequent peace dividend took its toll on both the armed forces of the west and the defence industry. The notorious "Last supper" of 1993 encapsulated this. US Defence Secretary Aspin told the leaders of the 15 largest US defence contractors that the DOD was not going to solve industry's over capacity problem. The result was a wave of consolidation which has produced stronger contractors now. In Europe and the UK a similar series of consolidations took place.

The world in 2010 is far different from 1990, when policy makers were trying to get their heads around what the changes of 1989 meant. The SDSR set the context within which the industrial and technology questions need to be considered. The arithmetic of the CSR is another factor affecting the DITP. The contemporary setting does not allow the laissez faire approach adopted by Les Aspin in 1993, however much the government may wish.

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Articles taken from Flight International Magazine.

1st November: Lockheed Martin eyes common architecture for F-35, F-22
Lockheed Martin is looking at revamping several of the F-22's most critical systems with hardware from the F-35.

The initiative would create a common architecture that links upgrades of the radar, electronic warfare suite and communications, navigation and identification (CNI) system to both aircraft.

3rd November: Lockheed's F-35 faces second restructuring this year
Facing a new round of cost overruns and schedule delays, the Lockheed Martin F-35 programme will finish the final two months of 2010 in much the same way as it opened the year.

One more year of development and an extra $5 billion may be added on top of previous extensions, according to the preliminary findings of a major F-35 review leaked by the Center for Defense Information (CDI), a well-connected think-tank.

12th November: F-35 cuts 'could slash US budget': report
The US government could save about $58 billion by slashing four major aerospace and defence accounts, a presidential commission advises in a draft proposal released on 10 November.

15th November: F-35B flies with Block 1.0 software
Lockheed Martin has flown an F-35 flight test aircraft with the third of five major blocks of software for the first time. The advance represents a key step, as the programme has struggled to deliver an estimated 11.6 million lines of code demanded by fusing the aircraft's advanced sensors and avionics.

22nd November: Latest deal for 31 F-35s shows slight price decline
Lockheed Martin has finalised a nearly $3.5 billion contract to deliver 31 more F-35s at a slightly lower price than last year.

The contract award, announced late on 19 November, is a key boost for Lockheed's F-35 production programme as top Department of Defense officials are scheduled to meet on 22 November to review possible new delays and cost overruns on the development side.
The $3.5 billion award is the third contract Lockheed has received as part of the fourth lot of low-rate initial production (LRIP-4), which will be delivered in fiscal year 2013.

22nd November: Fatigue cracks raise questions about key decision in F-35 redesign
Lockheed Martin has discovered fatigue cracks on an aluminium bulkhead inside a ground test aircraft for the short take-off and landing F-35B variant after 1,500h of durability testing.
25th November: F-35 production cost fall highlights pressures facing Lockheed
With the development phase of the Lockheed Martin F-35 under close scrutiny by US Department of Defense officials, a long-awaited contract award shows that production costs are falling, while the risks are shifting from the government to the contractor.

A $3.5 billion contract awarded on 19 November completes the orders of 30 F-35s from the USA and one from the UK in the fourth annual lot of low-rate initial production, or LRIP-4. Two other deals awarded earlier for LRIP-4 aircraft raise their total cost to $4.6 billion, or about $148 million each.

 

A|D|S, the UK's AeroSpace, Defence and Security trade organisation yesterday commented on the signing of a defence treaty between UK Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicholas Sarkozy.

Ian Godden, Chairman of A|D|S, said:

As the natural partner to both Governments, with an existing strong element of cross-Channel co-operation, the UK-based defence industry welcomes today's treaty. This agreement may well prove crucial to both retaining and developing future capabilities within Europe by ensuring sustained investment in research and technology (R&T) - to deliver the next generation of programmes for our armed forces. The alternative, buying off the shelf from the US, is often not the appropriate solution for our troops and this development ensures that future governments will retain a choice of suppliers both UK-based and from overseas that meet the needs of our armed forces.

The UK is number one in Europe and second only to the US worldwide in terms of global defence exports market share. The UK defence sector employs over 300,000 people, generates more than £35 billion per year to the UK economy and last year our defence exports were worth £7.2 billion. Retaining a manufacturing base of this scale in Britain will sustain this economic strength for the long-term and ensure a continued competitiveness in the global market to meet the aims of the Government to grow our economy through exports.

Joint R&T programmes that lead to collaborative procurement programmes can be an efficient way of delivering capabilities to our armed forces that might not be affordable on a purely national basis. The conditions for co-operating with French industry have never been better. Both countries are seeking to sustain capabilities which they could otherwise not afford. Our R&T budgets are of similar size and we are engaged in similar operations which require similar capabilities. We look forward to joint programmes that will benefit from the efficiencies that flow from larger scale purchases and sustain skills and technology.

 

Adam Dempsey, Research Associate UK Defence Forum

In the aftermath of last week's Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) many industry analysts were quick to paint a bleak future for the UK's defence sector. Further job losses are expected as hardware is retired, personnel numbers reduced and service contracts terminated. The global marketplace is unlikely to offer much in the way of respite. The United Kingdom joins France, the United States and others in seeking to offset shrinking domestic markets via exports. A crowded marketplace is further exacerbated by challenges from states with more 'joined-up' defence-industrial bases and emerging market entrants. The £650 million allocated to cyber security by the SDSR may provide new opportunities. Yet the specific nature of the UK's cyber security requirements remains unclear. Indeed, total clarity does not appear to be on the horizon.

What the SDSR makes very clear is that threats to national security emanating from cyber space are likely to increase over the next five to ten years. Whilst cyber attacks from hostile states cannot be ruled out, the actions of cyber terrorists and criminals are perhaps of greater concern. In 2009 alone 51% of all known malicious software threats were identified. The language of the SDSR also suggests that Government departments are not yet capable of fully addressing the threat. As a result, the £650 million allocated will support a National Cyber Security Programme that seeks to transform the Government's response in partnership with the private sector.

Greater clarity may be provided with the publication of the Defence Industrial Green Paper by the end of the year, followed by a White Paper in 2011. In advance of such publications, the increased emphasis upon cyber security has influenced a raft of recent mergers and acquisitions (M & A). During the third quarter of 2010 more than a third of all defence M & A concentrated on cyber security capabilities. The most high-profile acquisition was the EADS subsidiary Cassidian's purchase of the UK's Regency IT Consulting. According to Jane's, the purchase reflects Cassidian's overall cyber security strategy for the UK market. The purchase also suggests that defence companies are positioning themselves to ensure that they will benefit from the clarity that future Government documents may offer.

Cassidian's purchase of Regency IT Consulting also reflects the growing cyber security opportunities emerging throughout the international marketplace. As other markets – and indeed governments – seek to mitigate the threats posed by a cyber attack M & A focussed upon cyber security solutions are likely to increase. A cursory glance of Regency's website may also provide an insight into the public-private cooperation to be forged by the National Cyber Security Programme. Underpinning Regency's services is the practice of managing information-related risks with Information Assurance (IA). From the development of IT infrastructures through to the storage of information, IA seeks to ensure that authorised users only have access to privileged and confidential data.

As is to be expected Regency's website also outlines the type of services it offers. Yet if the U.S. cyber security market is anything to go by certain services offered to the Government may not make company websites. U.S. cyber security programmes have been estimated to be worth $11 billion. As these focus upon the protection of IT infrastructures, hardware and networks they also provide another indicator of possible contents for UK programmes. However estimates that approximately 75% of cyber opportunities are 'black' also suggests that aspects of the Government's programme may remain a largely grey area. Of course, the upcoming Green Paper may make the UK's cyber security strategy more clear. But if the machinery of government decides to replicate its American counterparts future documents may also make bold proclamations whilst keeping exact details to a bare minimum.

Indeed, such high levels of confidentiality make perfect sense when national security is at risk. One only need look at havoc wreaked by the Stuxnet virus on Iran's nuclear facilities at Bushehr or India's main television satellite to appreciate that a cyber attack is often against networks that societies take for granted. Giving challenges to cyber security more information on infrastructures ensures that the perpetrator maintains the upper hand. Accordingly, the specifics of national cyber security strategies – and purchases – may remain a grey area for some time to come.

 

Diesel generators have now been installed on the first of the new aircraft carriers. Both ships will have two Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbines and four diesel generator sets. The generators – provided by Converteam – provide a total power of 109 megawatts. The latest edition of Desider indicates that power will be generated to distribute electricity throughout the vessel powering anything from the propulsion system to crew members' laptops.

Another £33 million worth of contracts have also been recently awarded. These include:

- An £18 million contract for storage facilities to Wincanton.
- A £15 million contract for Balfour Beatty Engineering Services for the installation of cables on modules being constructed at Govan before final integration at Rosyth.
- A £44,000 contract for Edmundson Electrical to provide component parts used to pack and make airtight cables running throughout the vessels
- A £137,000 contract to Jetway Associates to supply hose baskets, which form part of the ships' fire fighting equipment.

According the Aircraft Carrier Alliance around £1.25 billion worth of contracts have been placed throughout the UK, which in turn are supporting thousands of jobs in almost every region.

Regional involvement in the development of the carriers was further enhanced as the final shipyard in the programme started its part of the construction work. Birkenhead-based Cammell Laird will build tow sections of the ships' flight deck. The work is worth over £44 million pounds and will keep a workforce of 1,200 busy until 2012. Upon completion the flight decks will be the size of three football pitches.

Commencing construction was especially significant for Cammell Laird as it marked the return of shipbuilding to the yard after a 17 year hiatus. Yet the company is by no means a stranger to carrier construction, having provided three throughout its illustrious 182 year history.

The Birkenhead shipyard joins five others – Govan and Rosyth in Scotland, Portsmouth, Devon and Newcastle in England – in the massive construction project. Work currently supports around 10,000 jobs at the shipyards and throughout the supply chain.

Despite the increase in debate over the cost of the aircraft carriers in the run-up to the publishing of the Strategic Defence and Security Review work continues unabated.

 

Speech by General Sir David Richards KCB CBE DSO ADC Gen ,Chief of Defence Staff, The Policy Exchange, Monday 22nd November 2010

Over the past month I have been getting to grips with my new appointment as Chief of the Defence Staff. Whilst I do not have time to ponder it too much, I am genuinely still somewhat baffled how I have ended up in this position. The 18 year old boy who joined 29 Commando Regiment to follow his brother would not recognise the rather care-worn man who stands before you – and would have quailed at the thought of high rank dismissing it without doubt as ridiculous anyway.

The job will not be simple, but it will be made easier by the fact that I know I will be supported by some of the most capable, dedicated and selfless soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines that this country has ever produced. And by the civilians in the MOD who have again and again demonstrated their skills and commitment.

I am not going to dwell on people in this talk other than to say that if we fail to attract and retain the very high quality people that historically join the British Armed Forces, our prospects for the future will diminish markedly. They lie at the heart of military capability. I am not certain the consequences of failing in this are always fully appreciated. People tend to focus more on the kit and metal than the people.

Over the next decade we will need every ounce of their dedication because the issues that we, in Defence as a whole, have to address are diverse and challenging. And, as was the case with every one of my predecessors, I recognise that the outcome of our efforts must meet the very real challenges confronting us. It is vital for the future security of our nation.

I speak at a time when all three services are heavily committed to operations. In Afghanistan, off the Horn of Africa, in the Gulf and in the Falkland Islands, to name a few prominent examples, the Navy, Army and Air Force are together ensuring the UK's interests are defended. They and the civilians who work alongside them across the Ministry of Defence, and indeed on operations themselves, have rarely been pushed so hard. Current commitments demand our endurance and test our resolve. But I have no doubt that with the support of the people of this country – support not only for who we are but for what we do – the Armed Forces will meet every challenge thrown at us. I am confident that they will not let you down.

I wanted to talk to you this evening about three things:

First, the National Security Strategy which is the guiding document for our analysis. It set the strategic context for and then shaped the Strategic Defence and Security Review, as it will the follow-on work. It is, in military speak, our Commander's Intent.
Secondly, the Review itself; the options we had, the choices we made and the military judgments that lay behind them. As with any outcome that is properly strategic in its approach, our military judgments are matched to the resource it is deemed the country can afford. This has required the difficult decisions we have taken to be a reasoned balance of acceptable risks.

And third is Afghanistan; the last in this list but the absolute priority of the National Security Council and the Armed Forces. The Defence Secretary reiterated in parliament this month that it is our main effort. And as I have said in the past, our actions in Afghanistan are vital for the short and long term national security of our country. The consequences of the choices made there will reverberate for many years to come, on international security and stability but also on the ability of Britain to exert influence worldwide.

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The UK MoD has concluded its Planning Round for 2011 - the annual budget review to ensure commitments match resources. This implements measures announced in the Strategic Defence & Security Review; our operations in Afghanistan and Libya are not affected. Details will be provided to Parliament after the recess break which has just started.

Implementing difficult SDSR decisions is claimed to have made significant inroads into the so called £38bn black hole while ensuring operations are fully equipped and resourced.

Defence budget savings examples:

HM Treasury have allowed MoD to keep savings it will make from lower liabilities around the decommissioning of equipment. This had previously been ringfenced (and was therefore previously subject to claw back by HMT).

HM Treasury have agreed that the operational allowance can now be fully funded from the Special Reserve. (Previously only 50% of this was planned to have been funded from the Reserve.)

Decommissioning and cancellation of assets as stated in the SDSR.

Re-negotiating contracts with industry, which is said to be producing greater savings.

Remove 80% of DES recruitment marketing

70% reductions in Domestic assistance costs for Land Command appointments

Reduce civilians' expenses and allowances

Reduce Main Building & DES civilians

Reduce Army photographers

"To safeguard operations and as part of the Defence Secretary's drive to increase financial discipline, a new strict spending control regime has been implemented at the MoD. The Comprehensive Commitment Control Regime will ensure all future spending focuses solely on Defence’s strategic priorities. All expenditure that is not already committed or does not directly contribute to operations in Afghanistan and Libya will now be controlled more tightly by the MoD and subject to clearance at more
senior levels."

 

Rees Ward, Chief Executive ADS

The UK defence industry is a crucial partner for the Government if it is to achieve its aims around support to the Armed Forces and the Force 2020 vision, on economic growth and on exports. Without sufficient investment in the UK sector the industry will be unable to develop new battle-winning products onshore specific to our own Armed Forces as well as products for export.  There is great potential for development of the fragmented UK security market, and we support proposals for Government and industry to work together more effectively to support national security and promote economic growth.

The UK defence industry supports over 300,000 jobs and generates an estimated £35 billion per year to the economy.  It represents 10 per cent of UK manufacturing and exported £7.2 billion of products in 2009.  The wider security sector supports around 600,000 jobs and is poised for strong global growth thanks to the innovative, world-leading and proven equipment and capabilities that it develops.

The UK industry is a crucial partner for the UK Government to achieve its military and economic aims and the Green Paper offers an excellent opportunity to suggest ideas to the Government about reforms and improvements to deliver additional benefits for our troops and security authorities.  This will also benefit the taxpayer through providing increased value for money and enhanced public protection.  We welcome the open attitude in which this consultation has been carried out and we look forward to further discussions with the Government on how industry can help in the future.

In the industry's view the White Paper that will follow this Green Paper should describe how the UK's national security policy can both underpin the nation's defence and bring broader value to our economy, including how Government policy can contribute to advanced manufacturing and engineering, to the skill base and to British exports.

The experience of the defence and security sectors as well as their excellence in products and services is recognised both at home and by other nations.  The UK is number one in Europe and second only to the US worldwide in the defence exports market with a 21 per cent market share.  Furthermore, the innovative and proven UK security sector is primed for global growth providing the correct climate is delivered by the Government.  UK industry is also a world leader in providing engineering and training support services through innovative contracts and partnerships that demonstrably reduce MoD costs and have great potential as an export model in their own right alongside equipment sales.

Industry believes that the Government would gain through assessing the economic benefits of the UK defence and security supply chain as well as the unique strategic value of the industry to the nation and to UK national security.

A|D|S is the trade organisation advancing the UK Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space industries. A|D|S was formed from the merger of the Association of Police and Public Security Suppliers (APPSS), the Defence Manufacturers Association (DMA) and the Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC) in October 2009. A|D|S also encompasses the British Aviation Group (BAG).

 

The Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Peter Luf MP, today laid in Parliament, a Green Paper entitled Equipment, Support andTechnology for UK Defence and Security: A Consultation Paper.

He said "The first duty of Government is the security of our nation. It is therefore
essential that the UK equips itself with the right tools to tackle current and
future threats. The convergence of defence and security that underpinned the
Strategic Defence and Security Review means that we should seek to bring together
our approach to equipment, support, and technology in both the defence and security
sectors. I have therefore worked with the Minister for Security in preparing this
Green Paper to reflect our new approach. We have also included cyber security as a
separate section because it is a new and fundamental challenge.

"Our default position is to use open competition in the global market; to buy
off-the-shelf where we can; and to promote open markets in defence and security
capabilities. We will take action to protect our operational advantages and freedom
of action, but only where essential for national security.

"The UK currently enjoys a strong industrial presence in the defence and security
markets and export success abroad in those markets; last year, defence and security
exports achieved around £8.5 billion revenue. We are committed to doing more to
promote exports of both defence and security products from the UK to responsible
nations, as well as to boost the role of small and medium sized enterprises, both in
their direct and indirect supplies to the Government and its agencies."

The Green Paper is available online at http://defenceconsultations.org.uk/. The
formal public consultation period will run from January to March 2011 The Government plans
to publish a White Paper on these issues in 2011.

Defence Viewpoints will publish further comment and analysis shortly

 

Summary of key recommendations

1. Armed Forces Community Covenant

The Community Covenant has its roots in a successful US scheme in which states and towns (incorporating local government and local service providers, the voluntary sector and private companies) voluntarily pledge support for the „Armed Forces family‟ (including Service personnel, veterans and their respective families, including the bereaved) in their area.

Who could pledge support to the Community Covenant? Local Authorities (including county councils) would provide an ideal focus, depending on local needs (for example, in some areas the regional military structure might work more effectively with county councils; in other areas Local Authorities might be a more appropriate focus). There is nothing to stop a county and a town within that county both pledging support, as in the US. Private companies could also pledge to work with Local Authorities or sign up individually to offer benefits or services to the military community. Community Covenants also provide a framework for charities to cooperate with each other, and with the public and private sector, at the local level. Individuals would be encouraged to show their support as part of the Community Covenant – for example by volunteering to work with a charity, organising events, or making donations.

How could communities be encouraged to get involved? It could in principle be possible to impose a duty on Local Authorities to make provisions under the Community Covenant. However, the example of the US, and of existing civil-military partnerships in the UK, shows that a voluntary scheme can be equally, if not more, effective. Public commitment (via a pledging ceremony or similar) creates pressure to meet obligations and raises public awareness, encouraging community groups and individuals to take part. Potential benefits to civilian authorities, companies and charities include: better targeting of resources; sharing facilities and land; good publicity and ongoing good news coverage. Meeting obligations to the military community should not impose significant costs on local government.

Existing examples of civil-military partnerships in the UK and of public support for the military demonstrate the potential of the Community Covenant to gain local support and improve life for the local Armed Forces community.
Central government role Support could come in a number of forms, depending on the level of central government participation deemed necessary. Given the scope for local variations in the adoption and delivery, central government‟s role in promoting the "key ingredients" of a Community Covenant could be particularly valuable.

Examples could include: provision of a Community Covenant template document for organisations to pledge to; guidance on key areas of priority (such as disregarding compensation payments for means testing); a central Community Covenant website (to link to news stories and information about local schemes); issuing of formal scroll/certification or logo for businesses; organisation/funding for formal pledging ceremonies; funding to cover any initial start-up costs (though these should be minimal). Funding might not be available from central government but sponsorship could be sought from private companies or charities.

The Task Force sees Community Covenants as a framework for providing much of the support needed by Service personnel and their families, although we have also identified a number of other low-cost measures which could improve support for serving regulars, reservists, and families (including the bereaved).

2. Recognition for the Armed Forces Family

Policy options: Veterans‟ Privilege Card – funded by charitable funding, charging users, or updating Service ID cards. Service Families‟ Card – similar to above, although uses (such as access to military bases) could vary. Army Reservists‟ ID cards – these would be similar to Service ID cards used by Regulars. Charging is not a practical option, as the cards would need to be the property of the MOD.

Rationale

Veterans‟ Privilege Cards and Service Families Cards would allow veterans and Service families to identify themselves to service providers and to claim any discounts offered by private companies under the Community Covenant. A more secure chip-and-pin card could also allow veterans internet access to online pension details, and could enable access to bases at the discretion of commanding officers. This also applies to Service families. Some Army Reservists have no formal means of identifying their status between deployments, and a Reservist ID card would allow this.

3. Explore options for increasing home ownership among Service families

Policy options: Encouraging home ownership is a long-term aspiration, and in particular is difficult to achieve while mobility forms a central part of Service life. Most options involve upfront costs, while reduced reliance on Service accommodation would generate cashable savings only when pockets of estate were vacated and could be handed back. Options recommended for further exploration include: enhancing accommodation allowances; expanding a pilot shared equity scheme (launched in January 2010 and funds for the first year have been fully taken up); exploring options for boosting take-up of the Government‟s low cost home ownership programme "HomeBuy", including raising awareness; encouraging a bank or banks to offer favourable mortgage rates to Service personnel. The Task Force suggests holding a PM/Chancellor-chaired summit of major banks at No. 10 to explore this last option further.

Rationale

Service Families Accommodation (SFA) costs around £285m per annum; some of this accommodation is in poor condition, and the cost of upgrading these 50,000 homes is substantial. Encouraging families to move into home ownership would benefit the families by giving them a foot on the housing ladder, and family stability for education, healthcare, partner‟s career, etc. This would generate savings to the MOD in the long term.

4. Veterans‟ policy and coordination of veterans‟ charities

Policy options : A Veterans‟ Commissioner or Champion, to act as the champion of veterans and guide veterans‟ policy (possibly operating through a department external to the MOD such as the Cabinet Office). The Commissioner or Champion could be supported by a cross-departmental advisory committee including representatives of charities.

Separately from this, options for better coordination of veterans‟ charities include:

o Services and Veterans‟ Charities Advisory Board (SVCAB) responsible for determining priorities for veterans (possibly based on the existing Central Advisory Committee on pensions and compensation within the MOD. This could report to a Commissioner (or Champion), if such an option were pursued, or could stand alone.

o A framework for coordinating the activities of veterans‟ charities (as is provided by Veterans Scotland). This could be coordinated by the suggested SVCAB.

o A "shopping list" of areas of greatest need could be compiled to help guide charities on how their funding could best be directed. (Possibly compiled by the suggested SVCAB or Commissioner/Champion, although other options should be explored.)

o Local coordination of charities through the Community Covenant.

Rationale

There is some contradiction between the MOD‟s principal aim of delivering military capability and the task of administering veterans‟ welfare services, and the Task Force has found widespread stakeholder support for a Veterans‟ Commissioner or similar. Collectively the numerous Service charities have considerable resources and many offer excellent support, particularly to veterans. However, the sheer diversity of the sector can cause confusion and there is concern that their full resources are not currently being tapped. Charities‟ activities can be determined by their own priorities rather than the needs of veterans.

5. Education throughout Service career

Policy options: Support for Service personnel in career planning, through a clear, and jargon-free personnel strategy. Build more personal responsibility into service life to improve the self-reliance of personnel at little or no additional cost. Ongoing formal education during military training, including making Service personnel aware of existing schemes and providing more options at an earlier stage of a service career. „Life skills‟ training throughout service (as opposed to concentrating training at the end of a career). Some Service personnel have little knowledge of everyday tasks such as opening and managing a bank account, securing housing, understanding benefits, or drawing up a will.

Rationale

Those who are well educated in service both stay longer, giving better returns on their training, and are better prepared for their transition to civilian life.

6. Strengthening links between civilians and the military

Policy options: Covenant or Chief of Defence Staff Commendation – for those institutions and individuals outside the service who do outstanding work for the military community. Greater community engagement by the military – encouraging civic participation; greater sharing of facilities; encouraging the military to talk about experiences. Increase the visibility of the Armed Forces – building on Armed Forces Day and encouraging homecoming parades and open days. Encouraging wider cultural engagement – such as „War Story‟, and Imperial War Museum Project; theatre productions such as The Great Game; and stronger links with universities.

Rationale

Public awareness of the work of the services has increased enormously, and there is widespread sympathy for the losses of life and limb sustained by those who serve. However, sympathy does not generate understanding. Many people in Britain have little or no contact with the Armed Forces and have little understanding of military life. There is a need to build on public support to create a greater and more enduring understanding.

 

A new programme of defence co-operation between the UK and France has been announced by British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy today, Tuesday 2 November 2010.

The programme is to be delivered through an overarching Defence Co-operation Treaty, a subordinate treaty relating to a joint nuclear facility, a letter of intent signed by Defence Ministers and a package of joint defence initiatives.

The announcement was made by the two leaders following a summit meeting held in London today.

This co-operation is intended to improve collective defence capability through UK and French forces working more closely together, contributing to more capable and effective forces, and ultimately improving the collective capability of NATO and European Defence.

These measures build on commitments made in the recent Strategic Defence and Security Review to create stronger strategic defence relationships with the UK's main allies whose security interests and military capabilities are closest to our own.

The measures agreed between the UK and France today will include:

• jointly developing a Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF) as a non-standing bilateral capability able to carry out a range of operations in the future whether acting bilaterally or through NATO, the EU or other coalition arrangements - this concept will be developed over the coming years;

• building primarily on maritime task group co-operation around the French carrier Charles de Gaulle - the UK and France will aim to have, by the early 2020s, the ability to deploy a UK-French integrated carrier strike group incorporating assets owned by both countries;

• developing joint military doctrine and training programmes;

• extending bilateral co-operation on the acquisition of equipment and technologies, for example in unmanned aerial systems, complex weapons, submarine technologies, satellite communications and research and technology;

• aligning wherever possible our logistics arrangements - including providing spares and support to the new A400M transport aircraft;

• developing a stronger defence industrial and technology base; and

• enhancing joint working to defend against emerging security concerns such as cyber security.

Overall, the Defence Co-operation Treaty will enable the strengthening of operational linkages between the French and UK Armed Forces, sharing and pooling of materials and equipment, building of joint facilities, mutual access to defence markets, and increased industrial and technological co-operation.

 

David Cameron has unveiled the Strategic Defence Review.

The key points are:

Defence spending to be cut by 8% in real terms over the next four years

There will be no cut in support for military operations in Afghanistan

Army

  • Personnel to be reduced to 95,500 by 2015

 

  • The Army is to return from Germany by 2020

 

  • Tanks and heavy artillery to be reduced by 40%

 

  • More Chinook helicopters to be made available


Royal Navy

  • Personnel will fall to 30,000 by 2015

 

  • 7 Astute Class Submarines and 6 Type-45 Destroyers will be built. There will also be a new development programme aimed at building frigates.

 

  • HMS Ark Royal will be decommissioned ahead of schedule in 2014

 

  • Construction of two new aircraft carriers to go ahead. One carrier will be held in extended readiness. The carrier version of the Joint Strike Fighter will be purchased.

 

  • The decision on a replacement for the Trident subamarines delayed until 2016


Royal Air Force

  • Personel to be reduced to 33,000 by 2015

 

  • Harrier jump jets to be retired, Nimrod MRA4 reconnaisance plans to be cancelled.

 

  • The RAF will sustain the use of the Tornado, Typhoon and JSF.

 

  • There will be increased use of unmanned aerial vehicles

The full document can be read here .
DEFENCE & SECURITY REVIEW – UK INDUSTRY REACTION

A|D|S, the UK's AeroSpace, Defence and Security trade organisation today (Tuesday) commented on the Prime Minister's Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) announcement in the House of Commons.

Ian Godden, Chairman of A|D|S, said:

"Today is a difficult day for everyone involved, from our armed forces to the industry that is proud to supply them and the politicians who are making these tough decisions to deal with issues from the past in order to look to the future.

"The key test of the success of the Review will be the extent to which it ensures that the UK has the industrial capabilities to address long-term future security needs and that our armed forces are equipped for the tasks that the nation asks of them. Today's announcement marks the beginning of a process, not the end of one. We will now work with the MoD as it produces its Defence Industrial Technology Policy to deliver the Review's aims in practical terms.

"Industry welcomes the clarity provided by the Review, which will ensure that plans can be adapted to meet new situations and future investment decisions can be made.

"The UK is a world-leader in the defence sector and to retain this position the industry and the Government must work together. This will deliver benefits for our armed forces, the UK economy, our export strength and the 300,000 people that work in UK defence – who are proud of the job that they do for our armed forces and for the delivery of over £32 billion per year for the country.

"Alongside the multinational firms based in Britain we also have more small and medium sized enterprises in defence than France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Norway combined. They are the bedrock on which our defence success is based and their needs must not be forgotten if the UK is to retain its ability to supply and support our troops to the highest possible standard."

The UK defence industry provides a key component of the nation's military capability in support of our troops and is an economic success story. Therefore, the need is for the Review to sustain UK-based industrial capabilities, exports and research and technology – all of which are crucial to the long-term future of our armed forces and our industrial base. Furthermore, a renewed focus on exports to boost demand will enable the industry to retain crucial capabilities that will allow it to continue to provide the best possible equipment and support to our own armed forces. Such joined-up working would deliver more adaptable, affordable and exportable equipment that will benefit the UK's armed forces and its economy.

 

In a written ministerial statement to Parliament announcing the publication of the National Security Strategy, the IK Prime Minister said today:

"The United Kingdom faces a complex array of threats from a myriad of sources. The National Security Strategy describes the strategic context within which these threats arise, and how they may develop in the future.

"It describes Britain's place in the world as an open, outward-facing nation whose political, economic and cultural authority far exceeds our size. Our national interest requires our continued full and active engagement in world affairs, promoting our security, our prosperity and our values.

"Our objectives are a secure and resilient United Kingdom, and shaping a stable world. In pursuit of these goals, our highest priorities are tackling terrorism, cyber security, international military crises and national disasters such as floods and pandemics.

"We will draw together and use all the instruments of national power to tackle these risks, including the Armed Forces, diplomats, intelligence and development professionals, the police, the private sector and the British people themselves.

"The National Security Strategy, together with the measures in the Strategic Defence and Security Review, will enable us to protect our security and advance our interest in the world."

 

Editor's note : You don't say.....

 

 

Ian Godden, Chairman of A|D|S, (the Aerospace, defence and security trade organisation) said:

"The Government has identified within its new National Security Strategy the broad range of security risks that face the country and against which the nation and its citizens must be protected. We welcome the strategy and the incorporation of wider security aspects alongside the defence elements of the Strategic Defence and Security Review. These include the country's approach to cyber-security, international terrorism, serious organised crime and energy security. These wider elements are important parts of the National Security Strategy and we believe that the security industry has many roles to play in meeting these challenges.

"Security and resilience is a sector that can also benefit the country's economy. The UK has strong industrial capabilities and there is great potential for these to produce increased exports and an expanded industrial base in the UK. A closer partnership between Government and industry will help to deliver national security objectives but it will also help to fulfil the economic potential of a potentially world-leading sector. The global security market is growing and is estimated to be worth around $140-180bn annually. Industry and Government share the goal of a major uplift in the performance of UK security exports with the Government playing a similar role in security to that played in relation to defence exports.

"Industry looks forward to further developing its dialogue with the Home Office, Cabinet Office and other departments on strengthening co-operation in tackling key threats to national security such as terrorism and cyber attacks. We also welcome the Government's renewed focus arising from the SDSR on the resilience of Critical National Infrastructure (CNI). The security supply community has many roles to play in CNI protection and resilience; especially by supporting the emergency services and the operators of the CNI. The operators are themselves overwhelmingly made up of private sector entities - with capabilities relevant to this crucial element of national security policy."

 

There was a hint today from UK Defence Secretary Liam Fox that there could be a radical change to the new aircraft carriers already under construction.

When the design was first unveiled, some play was made of the fact that they were "adaptable" - i.e. while the principal plan was to operate STOVL aircraft (F-35B replacing Harriers) the design could allow for catapults and arrester wires to be installed instead.

Writing in The Times, Dr Fox criticised "the decision  to order aircraft carriers that are not fully interoperable with our two closest allies - the United States and France. Neither the French Rafale nor the US Navy's planned version of the Joint Strike Fighter could land or take off from our carriers.

"The design of the carriers also meant that the variant of JSF as planned is the most expensive."

Although he goes on to say that "getting the carriers right would take longer and is likely to cost more", there are clear seeds there. After all, the F-35C - US Navy variant - is cheaper, has a longer range and greater "throw weight". This could justify a reduction in numbers on the basis of greater capability, and although time is money - as today's National Audit Office Major Projects Report clearly shows - there wouldn't be too much gnashing of teeth if delay in bringing the new carriers into service could be sold as being on the basis of capability and flexibility  not just expedience.

Then there's the politics. On November 2nd French President Sarkozy meets Prime Minister David Cameron at Portsmouth. Sarkozy is about to order more Rafales, a decision that is causing great scandal in Paris as he's accused of giving a "sweetener" to Serge Dassault to buy Le Parisien newspaper which would then back Sarkozy in the run-ip to the 2012 Presidentail elections. France also has its defence budget problems. It needs a second carrier to augment the small, under powered Charles de Gaulle. Bear in mind that France pitched in a nine figure sum at the design stage of the new UK carriers, so they have good visibility of its technical spec.  

How convenient would be the ability for maritime Rafales to hitch a ride on a UK carrier instead? And what a driver for the much-mooted improved Anglo-French defence co-operation.

And again today, US Secretary of State Clinton is reported to be concerned about defence cuts and says "Each country has to be able to make its appropriate contribution." How valuable would it be for Cameron to call Clinton and say "well, we've taken it to heart and we're going to make our carriers more interoperable with yours - and remember that our new strategic tanker aircraft use probe and drogue like the US Navy do, so we can keep backing you up with logistics as we have over Afghanistan so far". Added to which France is in the market for strategic tankers, so some kind of joint force would be another warm fuzzy for Britfrogs to push the way of the cousins.

Last straw in the wind? Recently a dozen UK Forces personnel have been undergoing training on cat and trap operations over in the USA.... 

 

To clarify : In the 6 years 2005 - 2010 31 Royal Navy and Royal Air Force personnel underwent training as pilots, landing safety officers or weapons ssytems officers on US carriers. The tempo is picking up : in the 3 years 2011-2013, which of course is right in the middle of  the UK carrier build programme, a further 51 will be trained.

In answer to a Parliamentary question, Defence Minister Lord Astor of Hever said : "The current design of the proposed "Queen Elizabeth" class aircraft carriers is also configured for the Short-Takeoff and Vertical Landing aircraft variant of the Joint Combat Aircraft (JCA) but this carrier design could be adapted for the operation of catapult-assisted take-off aircraft. If this option is chosen, the training plan would be altered."

In other words, are we already training the trainers?

 

Central departmental decisions by the UK Ministry of Defence to try to balance the defence budget have reduced its cash-flow requirements in the short-term but at a long-term cost that represents poor value for money for the taxpayer.

According to this year's Majjor Projects Report from the National Audit Office report, not making realistic budgetary provision for all likely project outcomes and slowing down projects have resulted in a £3.3 billion increase in a single year, 2009-10, in the total cost of the 15 largest defence equipment projects.

Read the full report here.

 

The UK Government has been taking an axe to the Non-Departmental Public Bodies - aka Quangos. Hundreds are to be abolished or merged.

The only ones to be abolished within the MoD is the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee. The future of the National Employer Advisory Board is under consideration - can the functions be provided by a committee of experts?

15 other MoD quangos will be retained

 

As the Prime Minister prepard to chair a National Security Council meeting to discuss the options around the Strategic Defence and Security Review Ian Godden, Chairman of A|D|S, the UK's aerospace, defence and security trade
organisation, highlighted the significance of decisions on defence spending

The Government needs to bear in mind that as well as the decision-maker on defence
it is also the customer.  Its decisions have a profound impact on our armed forces
and the 300,000 people who work across the UK in the defence industry to support our
troops.  The defence budget has been relatively flat with little in the way of
increases over the last 20 years while other Government departments have seen their
budgets double or even triple over the same time period.  With our troops constantly
being asked to do more with less, the Government keen to increase exports and
defence able to deliver enhanced returns on investment - a £100m spend yields £227m
in returns - it makes no sense on any level to be cutting investment in defence
because of this knock-on effect on our armed forces and economic recovery.  Defence
is 10 per cent of UK manufacturing and Britain is currently number one in Europe and
second only to the US in terms of the global defence exports market but this
position would be under threat if investment is cut, leading to a dearth of new
programmes to export.

Furthermore, the proposals for a greater reliance on high-technology equipment in
the future do not align with the cuts of over 20 per cent in the MoD research and
technology budget over the last three years - that have already cost hundreds of
high-skilled jobs in the industry.  This budget, of less than 1.4 per cent of the
total defence budget, must be reprioritised within the MoD to deliver the future
capabilities for our armed forces.

There is of course room for reform within the armed forces, the industry and the
MoD to deliver even greater improvements and we are committed to playing a full part
in these changes that will also deliver savings.  But the implications for any
further cuts in defence spending in terms of their impact on our troops, our
national security, our global trading position, our economy and on the long-term
capability of our industry to continue to supply the best possible equipment to our
armed forces cannot be ignored.

 

By Ian Shields, Research Associate, UK Defence Forum

Much is being written at present about defence, about security, about Britain's place in the world, and the extent to which we need (note need rather than do not need) military power. But before we can determine how we are going to undertake defence, and in particular what force structures we need, we should first establish where the threat comes from: that critical link between defence and security. The conventional approach is to look at threats to the country from state and non-state actors, placing everything in the realm of International Relations, within the state-to-state construct. This essay will approach the issue from a more individual level by considering first insecurity, which then allows the focus to be applied to security and hence to those defence apparatus that afford security. It will do so by first exploring why we presently feel insecure, then propose a different approach to achieving security, before exploring some of the practical implications that such an approach would require, and finally summarising.

There appears to be considerable concern both at Governmental level and for the man in the street about the threats the country and its citizens face, leading to a growing feeling of insecurity. Why is this, is it rational, and what actually are the threats? In many ways security is now far harder to define, and to achieve. In the present era of globalisation, we are more interconnected than ever, more interdependent for food, energy and information. Events on the other side of the world can have a far greater impact on both the country and the individual than before: one thinks of the impact of the Volcanic Ash cloud earlier this year and the disruption it caused. Moreover, our borders are, compared with a century ago, far less inviolate: we have little real say over satellites passing over head, the advent of aircraft have brought a new dimension and a new challenge to securing our borders from a determined foe (and this is the 70th anniversary year of the Battle of Britain), while the invention of the nuclear weapon, and inter-continental delivery systems, brought an entirely new paradigm to the threat to security. Moreover, near-instantaneous global communications and the advent of the 24/7 media have not only shrunk the world in a new manner, but by beaming images of violence and disaster around the world direct to citizens' homes, have arguably increased the feelings of insecurity of the citizen.

And yet the world is no more dangerous in terms of natural disasters than it ever has been, the threat of state-on-state attack against the UK is, by historic measure, very low, and the vision of extinction from a massive nuclear exchange faded with the end of the Cold War; compared to most of our history we are in a period of marked peace. And yet we feel less secure, have introduced draconian legislation that limits individual liberties to counter what is, compared with history, a very minor threat; in doing so have further reinforced the feelings of insecurity within the populace. Do terrorists really threaten our vital interests? A little, maybe, but compared with the threats of much of the twentieth century, hardly. The capacity for terrorists to inflict crude but large-scale attacks on Western interests has already been largely curtailed, and they have never had the capacity to undertake complex and more meaningful actions. The gravest threat from terrorism is its ability to provoke unwise over-reactions on our part.

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