There has been no relevant news out of Westminster this week with the emphasis and focus of the Government on BREXIT.
Type 31 Frigates: asked Her Majesty's Government whether their recent order for five Type 31e frigates will increase the number of frigates in the Royal Navy. Defence Minister Baroness Goldie stated “Her Majesty's Government announced the preferred bidder for the Type 31 General Purpose Frigate competition in September 2019 and looks forward to the contract award in due course. These five ships will replace the existing five General Purpose Type 23 Frigates. We remain committed to a surface fleet of at least 19 frigates and destroyers, and the Royal Navy will continue to have the ships it requires to fulfil Defence and policy commitments. It remains our intent to grow the destroyer and frigate force by the 2030s.”
Manufacturing Industries: asked the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps the Department is taking to maintain the capabilities of UK defence manufacturing. Defence Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan stated “On 14 March 2019 (HCWS1411), we provided an update to Parliament on our ambitious Defence Prosperity Programme which includes work to sustain an internationally competitive and productive UK Defence sector. Since the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review introduced a new National Security Objective to Promote UK Prosperity we have published strategies for Shipbuilding and Combat Air and refreshed our Defence Industrial Policy with a new emphasis on supporting growth and competitiveness.”
Military Aircraft: Procurement: asked Her Majesty's Government whether the Future Combat Air System Technology Initiative will develop carrier-borne variants; and what assessment they have made of the importance of carrier-borne variants to achieving the aim of delivering a Next Generation Combat Air System capable of operating in the 2040+ environment. Defence Minister Baroness Goldie stated “The F-35 is at the beginning of its service life and is the most effective and developed aircraft capable of Queen Elizabeth Class (QEC) based operations. The Tempest acquisition programme is looking at the replacement of Typhoon's capabilities and any new combat air system will need to be interoperable with Carrier Enabled Power Projection. During the Concept Phase, QEC basing for any unmanned force multipliers which may form part of the future combat air system is being considered.”
Unmanned Marine Vehicles: asked the Secretary of State for Defence, whether she has plans for further trials of Ecosub platforms in the next two years. Defence Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan stated “The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) has already conducted environmental data gathering trials using Ecosub vehicles it has purchased. Over the next two years, the Department intends to conduct further assessments on these in a wider variety of military applications.
Shipbuilding: Recruitment: Commons asked the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps her Department is taking to increase the number of IT specialists entering employment with UK shipyards. Defence Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan stated “Having the skills within the UK to design, build, repair, and supply certain equipment and systems and integrate naval ships is a key factor in the successful delivery of naval capability. We acknowledge that ensuring that there are sufficient numbers of properly skilled workers across the sector will require continued investment and support from Industry. The question of apprenticeship and other recruitment is a matter for privately owned companies to determine. There are a variety of initiatives in place across the UK designed to support the development of skills, some are the responsibility of the Devolved Administrations. With regards to naval shipbuilding, the Maritime Enterprise Working Group coordinate a long term programme to improve the industry's productivity and competitiveness, including current work to understand the underpinning skills base and roles.”
Armoured Fighting Vehicles: Procurement: asked the Secretary of State for Defence, when she will announce the procurement timetable for the Mechanised Infantry Vehicle programme; and what proportion of the build will be undertaken domestically. Defence Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan stated “The Mechanised Infantry Vehicle programme is currently under review and a decision is expected this year. If a contract is placed, it is anticipated that circa 60% by value of the contract spend will be with UK suppliers.”
Join us for our final Meet the Buyer event of 2019, which will focus on Aerospace. Pre-arranged meetings with the following companies - Aquila Air Traffic Management, BAE Systems, Defence & Security Accelerator,
DIT Export Support, ITP Aero, MOD, QinetiQ, Raytheon, Rolls-Royce, UK Defence Solutions Centre
This event will take place at Teesside University’s state-of-the-art Darlington campus on November 19th. The appointment booking process will start 23rd October so Book Now to secure your place.