Brexit Britain unveils bumper £460m defence contract vital to MoD – 600 jobs secured
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The contract, which has been negotiated by Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), the procurement arm of the UK Ministry of Defence, will support Britain’s military from the warehouse to the front line, and is expected to delivered £54million in efficiency savings. Minister for Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin said it would also enable rapid deployment of personnel and equipment whenever required.
In addition, roughly 300 jobs at Boeing Defence UK’s Milton Keynes and Bristol sites, as well as a further 375 roles in the wider UK supply chain including IBM, Fujitsu, Sopra Steria and BAE Systems, have been safeguarded.
Mr Quin said: “This contract helps ensure our Armed Forces can rapidly deploy personnel and equipment on operations at home and abroad whenever required, maintaining their reputation as one of the finest fighting forces in the world.”
Logistics Information Systems (LogIS) will support vital services including inventory, transport, engineering and general ledger management, Mr Quin explained.
Supporting the Ministry of Defence’s ongoing Modernising Defence Programme, the contract will ensure access to what the MoD calls a “single technology-enabled system” for “essential inventory services”, covering everything from washers and bolts to replacement parts for nuclear missiles.
Guaranteeing the UK’s ability to provide critical defence, security and resilience, the contract enables the management of current and future equipment through ongoing access to cutting-edge software applications which are maintained and updated in line with the changing needs of defence.
Head of Support Chain Information Systems at Defence Equipment & Support, Dave Penlington said: “Defence cannot mount or sustain operations without logistics information.
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“This crucial capability will make our Armed Forces more agile and better placed to support future cutting-edge equipment.
“I am delighted that the team’s hard work alongside industry has ensured the UK Armed Forces have the tools they need to do their jobs effectively.”
Director Support Transformation at UK Strategic Command, Air Vice Marshal Richard Hill added: “Securing this contract will provide the means to deliver and modernise Logistic Information Systems (LogIS).
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“This in turn will enable our transformation programme by integrating with industry partners to deliver Support Advantage.”
The latest developments are part of a strategy aimed at ensuring Britain’s armed forces are fit for purpose in the 21st century, in line with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Global Britain vision.
Mr Johnson looked to the future in a foreword to the policy paper Global Britain in a Competitive Age: the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, which was last updated on July 2, 2021.
In it, he wrote: “Having left the European Union, the UK has started a new chapter in our history. We will be open to the world, free to tread our own path, blessed with a global network of friends and partners, and with the opportunity to forge new and deeper relationships.
“Our Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the EU gives us the freedom to do things differently and better, both economically and politically.”
In the years ahead “agility and speed of action” would enable Britain to deliver for its citizens, while enhancing the nation’s prosperity and security, Mr Johnson stressed.
He added: “Protecting our people, our homeland and our democracy is the first duty of any government, so I have begun the biggest programme of investment in defence since the end of the Cold War.
“This will demonstrate to our allies, in Europe and beyond, that they can always count on the UK when it really matters.”
The UK would exceed Tory manifesto pledges and NATO spending commitments, with defence spending currently standing at 2.2 percent of GDP, Mr Johnson explained.
He committed his Government to a modernisation programme which “embraces the newer domains of cyber and space, equipping our armed forces with cutting-edge technology”.
Mr Johnson said: “And we will continue to defend the integrity of our nation against state threats, whether in the form of illicit finance or coercive economic measures, disinformation, cyber-attacks, electoral interference or even – three years after the Salisbury attack – the use of chemical or other weapons of mass destruction.”
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