Highlights from Minister for Defence Procurement keynote speech at DSEi

The Minister for Defence Procurement Anne-Marie Trevelyan gave a keynote speech on the opening day of Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) 2019. Here Defence Online presents the edited highlights…

“British defence is about much more than big platforms: our innovative SMEs, the life blood of British defence, are experts in every part of the production process. From sail to stern, from complex weapons to wingtips.

“Confidence in great British capability today is spilling into confidence tomorrow.

“We are in the midst of a remarkable period of regeneration in Defence, and we are seeing the emergence of a fearsome future force.

“All eight Global Combat, Type 26, frigates will be built on the Clyde, sustaining 1,700 jobs in Scotland and 4,000 jobs across the wider UK maritime supply chain for decades to come.

“But there is much more in the maritime supply pipeline, with our new Dreadnought submarine class, Type 31 and Fleet Solid support ships.

“Today I can announce that we’ve awarded the £ 177m Boats In-Service Support contracts to five UK companies, so that we can repair and maintain all our small boats used by the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, British Army, and the MOD Police through to 2026.

“We’re investing in unmanned as well as manned capability, and this afternoon, on HMS Argyll, we’ll be unveiling the next generation Maritime Autonomy Surface Testbed.

For the very first time we will have underwater drones able to scout ahead of a ship and detect threats beyond the visual line of sight.

“All the while, we’re building the world’s most modern and cutting-edge carriers.

“Less than a fortnight ago our HMS Queen Elizabeth headed off to New York on her Westlant trials, and HMS Prince of Wales is preparing to leave her construction berth to set sail to her home base in Portsmouth.

“Flying from the decks of these mighty ships will be our state-of-the-art F-35 stealth fighters.

“These are 15 per cent built by the UK’s industry and highly skilled workforce, and we have begun the development of a sixth-generation fighter, Tempest, building on the world-leading skills and technological expertise of UK industry.

“From the skies to the stars, we’re determined to have the most secure satellite communication systems around. Today I can announce we have awarded a £70m contract to QinetiQ in Malvern to develop enhanced cutting-edge GPS receivers that will incorporate anti-spoof and anti-jam features to stop our signals being disrupted.

“Taken together our Defence programmes support more than 260,000 jobs directly and indirectly across the United Kingdom.

“In fact, we invest almost £20 billion with our Defence industry each and every year, or some £300 per citizen.

“It’s the strength of our industry, coupled with the enduring strength of our British values, that gives our allies the confidence to do business with us.

“We are already the second largest exporter of Defence equipment in the world, selling equipment and security assets worth £20 billion last year. Doing deals with the UK is wrapped up with our commitment to through life maintenance, to joint training and joint exercise. It’s the whole package.

“We are investing £31million in a new contract to provide the Joint Fire Synthetic Trainer at multiple UK sites.

“This is an incredible Israeli idea, built in Oldham, which will sustain 30 jobs, and allow students from the Army, Royal Navy, and RAF to train simultaneously together in realistic and complex battlefields.

“We are buying great kit but our approach to procurement is changing. We are increasingly determined to do as much selling as buying.

“Our world class manufacturing base is well established, and it’s time we did more to open it up for business. All this progress and new relationships, show that confidence breeds opportunity.”

image © Crown Copyright

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