On 29 March 2010 the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD)and MBDA UK commenced the next phase of the UK’s Complex Weapons sector strategy, the Team CW initiative, by signing apartnering agreement known as the Interim Portfolio Management Agreement (PMA-I).
The Team CW initiative is the innovative method that the MODtogether with its industry partners is taking to deliver the UK’s Complex Weapons. The approach will ensure our Armed Forces are provided with battle winning capabilities both now and in the future. Team CW provides the MOD with an affordable programme and industry with a sustainable future and the confidence to invest in the continued development of cutting edge capabilities.
The Team CW initiative is being taken forward by the MOD in co-operation with MBDA (UK) Ltd, Thales UK, Roxel (UK Rocket Motors) Ltd and QinetiQ. The phrase “Team CW” embraces both this new approach towards Complex Weapons delivery and the participants involved.
Progress to date
In June 2008, the Ministry of Defence awarded the first element of a £250 million Assessment Phase to test the Team CW approach towards the delivery of future Complex Weapons capability. Subsequent elements of the AP were approved during 2009.
The Assessment Phase (AP) was implemented through separate enabling contracts with MBDA (UK) Ltd and Thales UK for the six programmes contained within it, and a legally-binding Teaming Agreement to refine and test the Team CW approach/business model.
In March 2010, following the conclusion of the Assessment Phase, which had demonstrated the feasibility and benefits of the Team CW approach, the Ministry of Defence commenced implementation of the CW sector strategy by signing a partnering agreement with the first of the Team CW prime contractors, MBDA UK. This agreement isknown as the Interim Portfolio Management Agreement (PMA-I). Under the agreement,the Ministry of Defence and MBDA UK signed a Through Life Enabling Contract (TLEC) with its first package of work worth £330M for the development and manufacture of two of the six Team CW launch projects and to conduct further assessment work on two projects.
Key Characteristics of the Agreement
The PMA-I provides the overall framework for how the MOD and MBDA will work togetherand captures a joint view of the UK Complex Weapons required from MBDA over the next 10 years. Whilst the projects within the PMA-I will be committed on a case by case basis the PMA-I allows MBDA to operate under certain assumptions about potential future business that allows it to invest with confidence in the development of a coherent portfolio of weapons utilising commonality, modularity and reuse. Independent scrutiny has assessed the benefits to MOD of this approach to be of the order of £1.2Bn.
The Agreement builds on four years of very close cooperation between MOD and Industry which has resulted in a balanced and affordable programme that will provide a Sovereign Capability to UK forces through the sustainment of indigenous UK industrial capabilitiesthat remain responsive to the demands of the UK Customer.
The MOD and MBDA are taking a long term approach to the planning of the military capability required by UK forces, both those defined today and those that will be defined through the course of the PMA-I.
The Portfolio Management Agreement establishes a joint governance and management structure in order to deliver the future needs of the CW sector. This joint governance will manage the delivery the portfolio of projects to challenging Performance, Cost and Time parameters including effective risk, opportunity and Incentivisation management approaches.
Work Package 1 of the TLEC launched the demonstration and manufacturing phases of two systems that are aimed at providing a capability that will be available to support current operations. The SPEAR Block 2 Capability builds on the Brimstone UOR to provide fast jets with a very precise and discrete ground attack capability whilst the Fireshadow programme will provide a new Loitering Munition capability.
The Agreement will allow for the continued progress of Anglo–French cooperation on the FASGW / ANL programmes and for the future upgrades of Storm Shadow (in the UK) and SCALP (in France). MBDA is well placed to support this cooperation through its unique capabilities in both countries.
One of the key elements of the Agreement is an ability to flex the output of the contract to reflect the changing needs of UK forces. This approach has been developed through the assessment phase and places the agreementin a good position to respond to future shifts in requirements.
This Agreement builds on the continuing acquisition reform activities being conducted both within MOD and MBDA and retains a strong emphasis on continued improvement, notably through the adoption of a Joint Transformation Plan.