This blog was written by Scott Cattaneo, Head of Defence Commercial, ADS.

Coming up to 6 months as Head of Defence Commercial, I have had the recent task of taking over the responsibility of ADS’s relationship to OCCAR (Organisation Conjonte de Cooperation en Matiere d’Armement / translated: Organisation of Joint Armament Cooperation).

Within OCCAR, the OICP (OCCAR Industry Contract Panel) has suffered a pandemic imposed 20-month hiatus, and my visit to Germany to attend the OICP marks a relaunch of activity, with many new personnel representing their respective nations.

Within this space of time there has been significant and profound change to both the UK and EU outlook. The UK has officially left the European Union, whilst in the wake of Brexit, the economic turmoil caused by the pandemic, and with the accelerating climate emergency; the need to collaborate and innovate with our strategic European and global partners is paramount. Of course, these collaborative aspirations are underpinned by this Spring’s triumvirate publication of the Defence & Security Industrial Strategy (DSIS), the Integrated Review (IR), and the Defence Command Paper (DCP), all of which express the need for deep and meaningful collaboration with strategic partners and acknowledge a rapidly changing global and economic picture. In addition, these papers acknowledge the limitless opportunities and threats posed from new technology, and a more dynamic, obscure (“grey zone”), and asymmetric landscape of adversaries. Therefore, OCCAR’s mission of unifying commercial and contractual mechanisms between a significant cluster of strategically cooperative nations to deliver mission critical defence capabilities perfectly aligns to the zeitgeist and presents a fertile ground of business opportunities for the UK Defence Industry.

For background, OCCAR comprises 6 member nations; the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain & Belgium, manages contracts worth over 4 billion euro and acts the Contracting Authority for 13 strategic defence programmes which include Boxer Multi-role Armoured Vehicles, Cobra Weapon Locating System, Tiger New Generation of Helicopters, LSS Logistic Support Ship, and FREMM Multi Mission Frigates.

My role in OICP is to support the improvement of and become familiar with the OMP 6a (OCCAR Management Procedure) the central management protocols underpinning OCCAR’s work programmes. In this undertaking, and through my supportive role within the OICP team, my aim is to support members with related queries and signpost to opportunities and resources within the OCCAR community as they seek to gain access to this area of the Defence market.

Please feel free to contact me directly if you require any assistance with related matters.