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UK MoD responds to MP's Report into Defence Equipment

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: 26 February, 2009  (Company News)
The MoD today welcomed the House of Commons Defence Select Committee's report into Defence Equipment 2009.
The report praises the impressive performance of DE&S (Defence Equipment and Support) in delivering equipment and supplies to two theatres in 'very challenging environments' and commends the UOR (Urgent Operational Requirement System) as 'highly effective' in meeting rapidly changing threats.

The report makes a number of recommendations on particular equipment programmes such as FRES, the A400M and the Defence Industrial Strategy, which the department notes and will respond to. It also commends DE&S for its achievements to date, stating that the organisation is heading in the right direction and notes that DE&S has made good progress in improving the skills of its staff across a range of key acquisition disciplines.

Commenting on today's report, the Minister for Defence Equipment and Support Quentin Davies said:

'Today's report praises the speed with which we are delivering vital equipment to our Armed Forces on operations. Rightly we are prioritising getting equipment out to those who need it most, but we are also maintaining our focus on delivering long-term equipment programmes: the Sentinel R1 aircraft with their ASTOR radars have just returned from a successful operational deployment; and the first of our powerful Type 45 destroyers, HMS Daring, has been handed over to MOD to start an intensive trials programme.

'We have delivered equipment valued at more than 10bn to the Armed Forces in the last three years and continue to invest in protected mobility with 700 million on 700 new armoured vehicles announced last year - the committee recognises this achievement. We work with our industry partners to deliver equipment to the frontline in record time and are developing partnership arrangements to take forward the equipment needed for future operations.

'The Defence Industrial Strategy (DIS) remains at the heart of the MoD's acquisition policy. It underpins our commercial activity and will deliver equipment to the front line at value for money for the taxpayer. We remain fully committed to the DIS, and to ensuring the future of the UK's defence industrial base. Industry has made clear to us at the highest level that they do not want a new version of the DIS at the present time and I think it is right for us to take that view into account.'

The MoD will now consider the Committee's conclusions and recommendations on all aspects of the Defence Equipment 2008 inquiry, including specific projects and programmes, and publish our full response in due course.
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