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07.05.2020

Welcome to slightly shorter than usual Defence Insights owing to the Bank Holiday. Since last week we have ‘Zoom met’ Jeremy Quinn MP (Min DP) and attended our first Zoom meeting with Sir Simon Bollom’s (CEO DE&S) Defence Supplier Forum Executive Group. We thanked both for including NDI and asked for them to become regular meetings. 

We impressed upon both the need for UK programmes from MOD to maximise UK content and gave the Minister examples of ‘lazy procurement’ by MOD. We also asked for Defence Programmes across the CADMID cycle to be accelerated if possible, including increasing spending through DASA and the various Growth Partnerships and an accelerated TEMPEST programme. 

We have also held another well attended combined Advisory Board / Policy Committee today. Kelly has raced out this summary:

Members from our Advisory Board and Policy Committee came together this afternoon for our second virtual meeting. Tim Figures, Make UK Policy Director, presented Make UK’s, hot off the press, “Manufacturing: our road to recovery”. This 3 point plan sets out how to:

  1. Boost economic confidence
  2. Ensure a safe return to work
  3. Build resilience

John Kite, MOD, welcomed positive comments made by the group regarding the Job Retention Scheme. Around two thirds of the group are taking advantage of the scheme. DSF exec group are having virtual meetings with trade bodies weekly and NDI is now part of these weekly meetings. Under that, two new working groups have been set up to look at recovery and what happens next. Safe working is a critical part of this. 

David Wolf, DIT DSO, explained they are focused on how they can support small businesses during this time. They continue to analyse markets and are looking at how to engage across sectors and build new campaigns. They won’t be going back to their pre COVID strategy and will be doing things differently in the future. He asked for further member feedback on the DIT-DSO questions below.

If you have any comments do not hesitate to contact me or your NDI Account Manager and please forward this to anyone that might be interested or may want to join NDI and ask them to contact [email protected] to be added to the mailing list. We send you our best wishes in the meantime. Please look at www.makeuk.org for the very latest news and advice for manufacturers. 

Please stay safe and well (and your families) and enjoy the long weekend.  Andrew Kinniburgh ([email protected])

MOD and Policy News

Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) - Open Call remains open for innovation to fight Covid-19 and other areas of technology from DASA. Link here to see details. Scroll down to see Covid-19 specifics.

DIT-DSO
We are still keen to get your responses to the questions below. We did feedback to David Wolfe that if anyone had the answers to these questions they would be pretty amazing, but any comments are gratefully received:

Questions for review

  • What are the current thoughts of your members on the future of international trade?
  • Will the balance of domestic vs international sales change?
  • What do you see as potential barriers for exports post COVID-19?
  • What do you see as potential opportunities post COVID-19?
  • What can we do better together?
  • What HMG support is needed to help re-establish / increase exports post COVID-19 ?

DIT have also issued a document with links entitled:

Coronavirus (COVID-19): support for UK businesses trading internationally

House of Commons Defence Select Committee – no news this week.

Hansard Defence News – nothing new to report.

DE&S – latest issue of the DESider magazine can be found here.

Defense News reports on the relaunch of the fleet solid support ship competition that was pulled in November last year amidst Brexit negotiations, after rumours that the MOD may award the contract to an  overseas yard.   

Janes Defence Weekly reports that the first Type 45 destroyer, HMS Dauntless has arrived at Cammell Laird's shipyard in Birkenhead to receive new diesel generators intended to sort out major problems with the power and propulsion system which the Type 45s have been blighted with since they entered service.  

The Daily Telegraph reports on the ongoing battle to secure refunds for the cancelled Farnborough Airshow from ADS FIL subsidiary’s CEO stating that “Handing back money now would put our own survival in question, which would threaten the future of the airshow which has taken place since 1948 ever happening again.” We continue to monitor the situation for our members.  

Stay safe and enjoy the bank holiday weekend.

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