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UK Parliament

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.

Read more...  

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.

 

1.      The Operational Honours and Awards list 36 covers a period between April and October, 2010 and April 2010. There have been over 130 citations, mostly from Operation Herrick 12 in Afghanistan, but includes awards from outside of the conflict.
2.      For more information on the Awards, their history and meaning please see the MOD website: http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceFor/Veterans/Medals/HonoursAndGallantryAwards.htm
3.      For more information contact MOD press officers Damien Elvin 0207218 2661
4.      Please see below, selection of citations
5.      Supporting imagery from Herrick 12 is available on the dni website at www.defencenewsimagery.mod.uk  If you require a log-in and password, please contact Neil Hall or Panay Triantafillides on 0207 218 6401.

A selection of citations are below:

Serial 09:

MEMBER OF THE ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE

MAJOR PHILIP MARK TOTTEN

ROYAL MARINES

Company Commander

Afghanistan, Apr - Sep 10

Major Totten has shown consistent, determined and outstanding leadership of a large Company Group in probably the busiest and most dangerous Company area in Sangin. His determination and seemingly limitless supply of courage ensured a strong, cohesive and operationally very effective Company where his dispersed and challenging command has been considerably tested by constant enemy action. Often leading patrols himself, knowing the significant risk to his life, proved pivotal in maintaining the fighting spirit of his men. Without support from the Afghan Army or Police, he assumed the responsibility of local engagement
himself. Quick to grasp the complexities and frictions of his area he fostered meaningful relationships, gaining their trust and support, despite incessant intimidation by the Taliban. Totten's management of unfounded allegations of civilian casualties through International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) action was text book; he investigated thoroughly, communicated widely, and publicly exposed Taliban propaganda. Totten never once lost the confidence of the people he was sent to protect, further testimony to his absolute and convincing command. The raw, patient yet decisive leadership shown by Totten was remarkable, continually tested he inspired the men in his charge, isolated from his Patrol Bases on Sangin's front line. His composed and unflinching leadership proved essential in holding a defensive line that required an extraordinary degree of resolve and immense bravery.

Read more...  

By Nick Watts, Great North News Services Correspondent

You can't help feeling that the RAF is enjoying the Libyan situation, just a little bit. Before and immediately after the SDSR, the inter-service back biting got to the point where the other two services were asking what all those fast jets were for? History as Mark Twain once said, doesn't repeat itself but sometimes it rhymes. Many may remember that the Nott defence review which threatened to do damage to the Royal Navy was followed by the Falklands war. Now along comes a situation which the RAF must be hoping will drag on, and on, and on. Just like the Iraqi no fly zone which endured for 12 years.

The MOD briefing given in London this morning by the AOC of No 2 Group Air Vice Marshall Phil Osborne went to great lengths to stress to the assembled media just how professional / flexible the aircrews were being and how the utility of air power was just what was needed to enforce the UN's resolution 1973. There was some reference to two RN warships in the Mediterranean and to the Tomahawks which had been fired by HMS Triumph, but the story was undoubtedly about Typhoon and Tornado.

In fact the RAF has every reason to be flagging this as operation "told you so" as the utility of the Tornado has been amply demonstrated by the mission from Marham to strike targets in Libya, a round trip of some 3,000 miles. The Harrier had neither the endurance nor the weapons carrying capability to undertake such a mission. The absence of any naval aviation has not been a show stopper. The Treasury must be watching this with great interest.

The unspoken story, however, is a bit more worrying. We learnt that the Tornadoes were re-fuelled in flight by Tri-star and VC 10 tankers, both venerable aircraft. We have also learnt that the aerial surveillance has included such assets as the Nimrod R1, which provides signals intelligence, and the sentinel which provides ground surveillance. Both of which are due to be withdrawn from service. The replacements for all of these assets are not yet ready. Neither the Tankers, nor the replacement Boeing 707 style Rivet Joint electronic surveillance aircraft which are due to replace the Nimrod R1. The Sentinel and the RAF's AWACS aircraft were able to assist the USAF locate and rescue the aircrew from their crashed F 15 Eagle.

The logistic support for this operation has been provided by the RAF's C 17s and the C 130s of the transport fleet. How much additional pressure is this putting on the airbridge to Afghanistan? It must be hoped that the advocates of air power will take heart from these developments and renew their case both with the MOD and the Treasury, so stave off some of the cuts demanded by the SDSR. The RAF is now involved in one enduring medium scale operation and a small one at the same time. No doubt the aircrews are working very hard, but the RAF must be at or near its operating limit. If the UK is going to be a player on the world stage, there cannot be any scope for further reductions in the front line RAF, and some of those announced must be re-visited.

There is just time to stop all those P45s going out!

 

In my statement to the House on 27 October, I said that the Government would update Parliament on developments in Afghanistan every month. This is part of our commitment to keep Parliament regularly informed. This first monthly report covers a range of issues: the Lisbon Summit, Afghanistan's Parliamentary Elections, governance and regional engagement. Future reports will update on progress in Afghanistan.

The Rt. Hon. William Hague MP
Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs

Lisbon Summit

Afghanistan was at the heart of the NATO Lisbon Summit on 19-20 November, demonstrating the high priority that NATO places on its efforts to build a secure and stable Afghanistan.

All 48 nations contributing to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) reaffirmed their enduring commitment to Afghanistan's security and stability. They also welcomed the participation and support of other international partners at the Summit, including the United Nations, the European Union, the World Bank and Japan, with all of whom ISAF shares a common vision for a better Afghanistan.

The ISAF Commander, General David Petraeus, reported that progress had been made on several fronts: the momentum of the insurgency had been broadly arrested across Afghanistan –though not in all locations – and reversed in a number of key areas; the area under the Afghan Government's control continued to expand and the Afghanistan National Security Force (ANSF) was proving to be an increasingly effective force, having successfully provided security for two nationwide elections in 2009 and 2010.

ISAF partners agreed that they would work in partnership with the Afghan Government to deliver President Karzai's objective of transitioning lead security responsibility to the ANSF, in all provinces, by the end of 2014. Transition to Afghan lead security responsibility will be dependent on the conditions in each district and province. It will see ISAF's role evolve away from combat towards increased training, mentoring and support. The transition process is on track to begin in some provinces and districts in early 2011 following a joint Afghan and NATO/ISAF assessment and decision.

In advance of the Summit NATO asked ISAF partners to fill additional training positions that would help the NATO Training Mission to Afghanistan (NTM-A) continue to meet targets for expanding the Afghan National Army (ANA)and Afghan National Police (ANP). The Summit reported a strong response from partners. The UK had already announced a contribution of approximately 320 additional trainers. Canada confirmed that it would deploy a training mission with approximately 700 military trainers, 200 support troops and 45 police; Italy pledged an additional 200 trainers; Portugal 42; Croatia 30; and Bulgaria three additional mentoring and training teams. Other countries confirmed that they were considering new pledges, which would be discussed at a Force Generation Conference at the end of November.
Although the NTM-A priority shortfalls have therefore been met, the UK will continue to press our international partners to ensure that NTM-A continues to have the resources to fulfil its mission.

Looking beyond ISAF's current mission, NATO and Afghanistan agreed at the Summit the framework of a long-term partnership. NATO agreed to provide sustained practical support for Afghanistan, while the Afghan Government affirmed that it would be an enduring partner to NATO and committed itself to carry out its responsibilities in a manner consistent with the commitments made at the London Conference of January 2010 and the Kabul Conference of July 2010. These would include measures to combat terrorism, address corruption and support regional security. NATO and the Afghan Government will now agree the details of a co-operation programme to take forward this partnership.

Read more...  

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.

Read more...  

By Nigel Green

The controversial issue of British companies supplying the Israeli armed forces during the Gaza conflict has been raised in Parliament.

More than 1,000 people have now been killed since the Israelis invaded the Palestinian enclave in December.

The possible use of British technology in the conflict has been discussed at a meeting of the Committee on Arms Export Controls.

Read more...  

Written by Graham Moonie

On Monday 23rd March the House of Commons National Audit Committee took evidence on development of the Type 45 Destroyer. Giving evidence were: Sir Bill Jeffrey, Permanent Secretary, Dr Andrew Tyler, Chief Operating Officer, Defence Equipment and Support, and Rear Admiral Paul Lambert CB, Deputy Chief of Defence Staff Designate (Equipment Capability), Ministry of Defence.

The committee focussed on the causes for the £1.5 billion overspend which resulted in only six ships being developed rather than eight. In particular the committee looked at what mistakes were made at the start of the project and what was done to correct these mistakes in the last two and a half years.

An uncorrected transcript of the proceedings can be viewed here

 

By Rt Hon Bob Ainsworth MP, Minister for the Armed Forces

The then Secretary of State for Defence's statement on 16 June 2008 (Official Report column 677-678) referred to the decision to withdraw the Harrier force and replace it with an equivalent force of Tornado GR4s by Spring 2009 to Kandahar airfield. Delays in construction of the necessary supporting infrastructure and our current estimate of the time required to complete the Tornado Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) enhancements means that the Tornado GR4s will now deploy in Summer 2009. We expect delivery of the UORs in advance of completion of the infrastructure project and will keep both programmes under constant review to ensure completion as quickly as possible. In the interim, Joint Force Harrier will continue to contribute to the provision of close air support to UK and Allied Forces in Southern Afghanistan; 1 (Fighter) Squadron will therefore replace IV (Army Co-operation) Squadron in mid-April.

 

The government of Pakistan knows the lack of policing capacity in the North West Frontier Province(NWFP) is a serious problem and as asked the UK for assistance in improving the effectiveness of the NWFP police through President Zardai, NWFP Chief Minister Hoti, and NWFP Inspector General of Police Malik Naveed Khan.

The UK is to make a gift of body armour with a value of £497,850. This equates to 870 sets of body armour and will complement training and other capacity building for the Police as part of a larger project to secure Peschawar and the NWFP. The decision to gift is due to the perilous and worsening security situation in Pakistan's NWFP.

Read more...  

From liberation to bachabasi

By Paul Flynn MP

It's easier to repeat an old lie than reveal a new truth.

Politicians are in denial and refuse to confront the deep futility of the war in Afghanistan. It's more comfortable to tilt at the windmills of peripheral issues. Last year it was blaming fellow Europeans for dodging their share of the burden. Now, it's the myth that more troops and helicopters are solutions.

Read more...  

By Peter Luff MP, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology

This is an abridged version of a speech given at the DVD 2010 show on 23rd June 2010

Our first priority must be ensuring that those we deploy on operations, and therefore those exposed to greatest risk, are provided with the best possible tools available.

Our second priority is the responsibility we have to ensure that we are as ready as can be for whatever future operations come our way.

Read more...  

The Secretary of State for Defence (The Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP): The significant increase in the number of international troops in southern Afghanistan is enabling commanders to make improvements in the laydown and command arrangements of coalition forces in the region.  The first of these was the handover of security responsibility for Musa Qaleh district in Helmand province from UK to US troops on 27 March.  This transfer allowed UK troops in Musa Qaleh to be redeployed to the population centres of central Helmand where they have increased ISAF's capacity to protect the Afghan civilian population from the threat posed by the insurgency, and to train and partner with the Afghan National Security Forces.

Read more...  

Together, the United Kingdom, the United States and our allies around the world, face a difficult security environment, where the outlook is sobering and the threats diverse, growing and unpredictable.

We live in a period in which direct military threats to our countries' territories are low.

But in this globalised world, the scourge of terrorism, the danger of nuclear proliferation, the ungoverned space created by fragile or failed states, and the competition for energy and resources, will test our ability to deter, contain and deal with risks to national security.

Read more...  

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 Public Accounts Committee published its 23rd Report of Session 2010-2011. This report on the Major Projects 2010, on the basis of evidence from the MoD, examined its progress in meeting cost, time and performance targets for its 15 top-spending military equipment projects. Progress made by the MoD on individual defence equipment projects, has been overshadowed by continuing failure on important major projects. Unaffordable decisions taken in the short-term have led to the inevitable waste of billions of pounds over time. In the wake of the Defence Review, the MoD has still to spell out if and how it has got its defence procurement budget under control.

In one previous hearing, where the focus was on only four projects, over £8 billion of taxpayer's money was identified, which had been written off or incurred simply for reasons of delay. The scale of the budget shortfall has pressurised the MoD into taking difficult decisions to cancel important military capabilities like Nimrod and Sentinel, thereby increasing operational risks and writing off nearly £5 billion. The Department has also taken short-term decisions to delay and re-scope individual projects to keep its in-year spending within the voted limits. Such decisions have been taken without a full understanding of the financial implications. The consequence has been hugely damaging; in just one year an increase of over £3 billion in the overall cost of the Department's major projects.

 

Read more...  

Tuesday, 18 January 2011
 
Treatment of around 20,000 people who suffer major trauma each year is set to improve as the Government announces significant new investment into trauma and microbiology research.
The Department of Health, the Ministry of Defence, University Hospitals Birmingham and University of Birmingham are investing £20 million in a new initiative to share medical lessons learned. The initiative will bring both military and civilian trauma surgeons and scientists together to share innovation in medical research and advanced clinical practice in the battlefield to benefit all trauma patients in the NHS at an early stage of injury.
The new National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) for surgical reconstruction and microbiology will be set up at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, where all injured service personnel are currently treated after evacuation from the frontline in Afghanistan.
Research will focus initially on today's most urgent challenges in trauma including:
• identifying effective resuscitation techniques;
• surgical care after multiple injuries or amputation; and
• fighting wound infections.
For every trauma fatality in England, there are two people who are left with severe and often permanent injuries. Currently, variable research into trauma care means advances are not always shared across the NHS. The new NIHR centre will form a central point in England for trauma research where knowledge can be translated into real improvements in care for all NHS patients and beyond. It will be the first and only research centre of its kind in the UK to focus both on military and civilian care and treatment.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said:
"The new NIHR Centre will fund world-leading research to help people recover better and faster from severe injuries. There have already been significant developments in advanced emergency treatment and transportation but more medical research is needed.
"This investment will help to strengthen the response of health and emergency services to major disasters such as road traffic accidents and terrorist attacks in the future. It will also help to make the NHS leaders in the world of trauma care - helping to improve treatment and care in the NHS and around the world. This investment also reflects our commitment to health research in the strongest possible way."
Defence Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans Andrew Robathan said:
"The medics who work for our Armed Forces are recognised the world over for pioneering new advances in trauma care and quite rightly so. Those who have been injured defending their country deserve the very best standards of care. I am proud that the MoD is investing £10 million in the new NIHR Centre, which will allow us to develop new techniques to treat our soldiers fighting in Afghanistan and allow military surgeons to share our skills and knowledge with the NHS."
Professor Dame Sally C. Davies, Director General of Research and Development at the Department of Health and (interim) Chief Medical Officer said:
"I am delighted to be establishing the new NIHR Centre for Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology, in collaboration with our partners in the Ministry of Defence and in Birmingham, which will be unique in this country.
"Translational research efforts are needed to target the early phase of injury in order to develop novel therapies and interventions for pre-hospital and early in-hospital trauma care. The cross-learning fostered between the military and civilian health care settings will improve treatment options and care for all patients".
The Surgeon General, Surgeon Vice Admiral Philip Raffaelli said:
"This is a hugely important initiative building on the strong partnership between the MoD and DH. The new centre will play a key role in building scientific evidence from injuries sustained in both military and civilian environments. All our patients will benefit now and in the future as new treatments are developed and shared across the NHS and the military."
Julie Moore, Chief Executive, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust:
"We are delighted to become the UK's only NIHR Centre for Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology. It is recognition of the work undertaken by the Trust and our partners over a number of years. It will provide us with the opportunity to build academic knowledge around pioneering clinical innovations, often performed for the first time to save lives and limbs. It will also allow us to use and develop basic science techniques to then critically examine and translate into clinical practice for the benefits of patients."
Giving the centre the best possible clinical direction from the start will be its interim chair Professor Sir Keith Porter, who is the UK's only Professor of Clinical Traumatology and has developing world-class treatment for injured military servicemen and women for the past 10 years.
Many more people survive injuries, when not so long ago they would have died due to the rapid loss of blood and severe trauma. Overcoming severe limb, head, face, burn injuries and infections can take years to treat requiring lifelong rehabilitation.
The nature of military injuries are often very complex and can in some cases require years of after care and rehabilitation.
The funding will offer researchers and medical students at the University unprecedented opportunities to work and learn with the very best in their field.

 
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