In a fast-changing political landscape, emerging technological warfare tactics and advanced digital defence equipment are becoming an increasing threat to existing defence programs around the world.
The outbreak of war between Ukraine and Russia has further intensified the geopolitical tension between nations. However, the invasion of Ukraine hasn’t been the only direct threat many countries, including the United Kingdom, have experienced in the last several years, as emerging threats in the virtual ecosystem pose an immense risk for a nation’s defence supply chain performance strategy.
For the first time, the UK government has developed a plan that would allocate 2.5% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to the Ministry of Defence (MOD), as the fiscal and economic circumstances allow. This enables the MOD and other public defence organisations to access advanced and high-quality goods and services through a more dynamic procurement process.
Defence Procurement Strategies
As the landscape continues to evolve, new challenges are now posing a direct threat to the United Kingdom’s defence procurement strategies. Predicting the outcomes of future conflict has become an immensely complex, and highly volatile procedure that requires the development of a more agile and flexible supply chain.
The threat of invasion, both within the real world and the virtual ecosystem, requires defence organisations to seek private sellers and suppliers that can provide the UK, and more importantly the MOD with high-quality and reliable equipment, materials and services.
These policy changes have meant that small and medium enterprises seeking to acquire defence contracts or MOD tenders will need to provide sufficient background information regarding their materials and services to ensure they can become reliable suppliers.
Rising costs due to inflationary pressure and slower economic activity are further emphasising private suppliers to ensure the provision of materials and services that are value for money.
While there has been a significant increase in budget expenditure directed towards funding new defence programs, MOD contracts are geared towards suppliers that can reduce the cost of production and provide overall value within the domestic supply chain.
Modern warfare can no longer rely on robust and seemingly outdated defence strategies, which in return requires the government along with defence contractors to oversee the innovation of defence strategies, and warfare equipment and further leverage technological advancement.
New strategies are further investigating the importance of procurement costs and business activities, including awarding tenders to the most cost-efficient organisations. This emphasises businesses and companies applying for MOD contracts, security tenders and other defence contracts to conduct a thorough spend analysis and address management efficiency wihtin their industry.
Although some argue that these additional procurement spend analysis creates a lag within the supply chain, ultimately this helps to further strengthen ties between public defence organisations and private suppliers which ensures high-quality equipment and services are acquired while seeking to provide constituents with value for money.
Collaboration and partnership
Building a dynamic and integrated defence supply chain has meant that the partnership between public organisations and private sellers can now be fostered through a more collaborative effort.
With these adoptions, the defence sector has access to highly sophisticated information, technology and defence systems that have been developed by researchers, academia and service providers within the private sector.
Being prepared for developing and unforeseen threats requires defence contractors to be prepared with the necessary materials and goods to fulfil the demands of the defence sector. As new threats evolve, new technologies and innovative goods requirements will only increase, further escalating demand for private sector suppliers to deliver on their obligations.
Bringing these changes to the defence procurement system encourages the partnership between public defence organisations and private sector companies to continuously build a more dynamic, and highly sophisticated procurement and supply chain network that meets the ongoing demands of the defence sector.
Defence contract opportunities
Changes in defence supply chain management have created new contract opportunities for private sellers, allowing them the chance to leverage a dynamic and hyper-sophisticated landscape, while further developing more capable technological systems.
Cyber security contracts
Modern warfare is now being fought on the virtual ecosystem, as increased cybersecurity threats pose immense risk for both government entities and British constituents. Developing the digital infrastructure to counter cyber terrorists and malicious actors requires an immense amount of knowledge and experience, and the ability to understand the dynamic cyber industry.
In the last few years, terrorists have become a major threat to public safety and have further highlighted weak points within the UK defence network. To successfully counter terrorist attacks and organisations acting out on British soil or in the Commonwealth, defence intelligence on these groups is constantly evolving.
Without the necessary equipment or armed forces, counter-terrorism procedures would become nearly impossible. To ensure the protection of every British citizen in the UK and abroad, effective strategies are developed through private organisation collaboration.
Another defence procurement opportunity is through surveillance tenders. This enables the defence sector, and more importantly, the Ministry of Defence to broaden their view and understanding of potential threats.
Keeping a watchful eye on international terrorist organisations, while monitoring the development of potential threats enables the safeguarding of military troops and armed forces personnel abroad.
Space exploration has become the new frontier of human ingenuity and international collaboration. However, these achievements are not without immense investment, which often requires private organisations and institutions to provide government programs with the necessary technology and knowledge to fulfil government demand and ensure the forward-looking progress of space exploration.
Rethinking military capabilities
As modern warfare begins to undergo dynamic changes, public defence organisations are set to seek new innovative and more advanced capabilities within the private sector to fulfil their needs, and to establish a more sophisticated defence network and supply chain.
New threats, both domestic and international, require the Ministry of Defence to have a more agile, and responsive procurement strategy that allows them to continuously tap the knowledge and experience of private sellers.
Additionally, changes in modern warfare have meant that procurement activities have become increasingly focused on finding the most reliable and cost-effective private suppliers. This not only helps build a responsive procurement network. This ensures endless collaboration between public and private industries to improve the protection, safety and defence of British constituents in the United Kingdom and abroad, but further highlights the government’s national interests.