The Ministry of Defence has today published its Defence Equipment Plan 2017, followed by publication by the National Audit Office (NAO) of its report on the 10-year plan.

Defence Procurement Minister Guto Bebb said the Government planned to spend £180bn on equipment and support over the decade to 2026/27, while the NAO cautioned that the plan faced an affordability gap ranging from £4.9bn to £20.8bn.

Responding to publication of the plan, ADS said it is vital to build a closer partnership between Government and the UK defence industry.

ADS Chief Executive Paul Everitt said:

"The Government must seize the opportunity to build a closer partnership with the UK defence industry that will provide better value for taxpayers, economic prosperity and a more secure nation.

"Procurement policies based on a flexible and collaborative approach to working with industry on equipment programmes will support both the delivery of long-term value and the investment in innovation that gives our Armed Forces access to the best cutting edge technology.

"The defence industry stands ready to work with the Government to build on the positive steps made in the refreshed Defence Industrial Policy and on the Modernising Defence Programme recently announced by the Secretary of State.”