The 18 July publication of the much-awaited Defence Command Paper Refresh spells out the future for our sectors. Our defence experts take a deeper look into what it means for our members…
The Defence Command Paper Refresh is a welcome reflection on the lessons learnt from the War in Ukraine. While it differs from previous versions in deferring on fresh platform decisions, it contains several welcome announcements and provides a renewed strategic direction.
Key announcements include increased funding for restocking munitions, renewed commitments to early engagement with industry, and a view to realising the vision of a true Defence Enterprise: bringing together industry and MoD as one team.
Following ADS extensive engagement on ESG issues MOD’s recognition of the challenges facing defence companies, large and small, arising from the ESG investment agenda is welcome.
We’re pleased to note that ADS’ submission to the Secretary of State’s Office of Net Assessment and Challenge consultation has helped to shape the paper’s thinking, particularly on the importance of providing industry with long-term certainty, the value of iterative development, and the need for early engagement on strategic requirements.
As with IRR23, the paper mentions the ambition to raise defence spending to 2.5% of GDP when economic and fiscal circumstance allow but does not provide further clarity on when this will be. Additionally, we would welcome clarification if the additional £2.5 billion in munitions comes from existing MoD budgets or from new funding.
ADS looks forward to working with MOD to deliver upon the DCP’s ambitions, although further details on timelines for implementing these stated ambitions and how progress will be measured would be welcome, including in the Army’s future soldier next steps paper.
Welcoming the publication, ADS Chief Executive Kevin Craven commented…
The refreshed Defence Command Paper is a much-needed publication that demonstrates how the UK is learning lessons from the war in Ukraine.
While the strategy differs from previous versions in deferring on fresh platform decisions for now, the news on increased funding for restocking munitions is very welcome. We also welcome the Government’s recognition of the challenges facing defence companies, large and small, arising from the ESG investment agenda.
The paper is crucially focused on increased and early engagement with industry with a view to realising the vision of a true Defence Enterprise. With this in mind, the move towards a new form of acquisition that allows for iterative capability development is both timely and necessary.
We look forward to continued partnership with the Ministry of Defence to deliver upon the ambition set out in the DCP to secure the UK’s advantage.