Prime Minister hails new partnership to equip defence sector for long-term success


PR_2013-09-09Prime Minister David Cameron will today give his backing to a new joint government and industry vision for growth in the UK Defence sector. Securing Prosperity – a strategic vision for the UK Defence Sector will be launched this morning (Monday). The new document identifies the sector’s core strengths and sets out how government and industry will work together to maximise the UK’s competitive advantage to boost British jobs, trade and growth. This strategic vision for the Defence sector has been developed by the Defence Growth Partnership (DGP) – a forum set up by the Prime Minister in 2012 in which the government, the UK’s top Defence companies, the sector trade association and SMEs are working together for growth.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Britain’s defence industry is a national success story that we are right to take pride in. Across the country, British engineers, scientists, apprentices and manufacturers are working to ensure that our armed forces have the best equipment in the world.”But as well as making an essential contribution to our national security, the industry is vital to economic growth too – with well over 100,000 people employed and a turnover of £22 billion a year. “The Defence Growth Partnership sets us and industry a joint challenge to deliver a long-term strategic vision to maintain our position on the leader board – maximising opportunities for British business and further strengthening the economy.”

Key UK strengths that the Defence Growth Partnership will maximise include:

  • air capabilities – which have yielded 82% of UK defence export success over the last ten years, and which have significant potential for growth
  • intelligent systems – development of the electronics, software and systems integration that are at the heart of many military capabilities
  • growing international business – developing more coordinated UK solutions, tailored to the needs of customers around the world
  • technology and enterprise – establishing more effective ways of creating and exploiting the intellectual property of the future, such as autonomous systems
  • skills – developing the next generation of apprentices, technicians, engineers and other professionals
  • value chain competitiveness – improving the competitiveness of the UK’s defence value chain, providing differentiation in terms of capability, cost and market access

As well as supplying world class equipment, services and support to our armed forces and others around the world, the defence industry is a key sector of the UK economy. It is a vital driver of opportunity and employment all over the country, which industry estimates supports well over a hundred thousand highly skilled jobs in companies large and small throughout the supply chain.

The government is committed to creating the conditions that industry needs to continue to generate the innovation, well-paid jobs and high-value exports that are critical to long-term, balanced economic growth.

The Defence Growth Partnership will meet today (Monday) to launch its Strategic Vision at a breakfast event at the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS). The DGP is jointly chaired by MBDA UK Managing Director Steve Wadey and Business Minister Michael Fallon. They will be joined at the launch by major UK Defence firms, Defence trade organisation ADS group, and Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne.

Steve Wadey, MBDA UK Managing Director and DGP Co-Chair, said: “The work of the Defence Growth Partnership to date has brought the importance of the sector to the fore, highlighting the UK’s core areas of strength which offer the greatest opportunity for growth, both at home and overseas. The defence industry welcomes the opportunity to work in partnership with government, enabling us to develop technologies, skills and capabilities that meet the needs of customers today and for the long-term, ultimately driving growth in the UK economy.”

Business Minister Michael Fallon said: “The UK is a market leader on the world stage, with Defence exports alone generating £8.8 billion in 2012. But customers’ needs are changing in an uncertain world; competition is fiercer and technology is evolving rapidly. This long-term partnership between government and industry will maximise new opportunities for exports and inward investment, support new skills and generate new jobs in companies of all sizes.

Paul Everitt, Chief Executive of defence trade organisation, ADS group, said: “Today is an important step forward for the UK Defence industry as the Defence Growth Partnership reveals its strategic priorities and looks to develop a plan that will support this high value sector for the long term. By working in partnership, government and industry have a unique opportunity to put the right mechanisms in place to capitalise on opportunities for growth.”

Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne said: “I welcome today’s publication of ‘Securing Prosperity’ as we move into the next stage of the Defence Growth Partnership. The MoD supports the DGP’s vision of a strong, vibrant and competitive defence industry focusing on delivering battle winning capabilities for the UK Armed Forces, our Allies and Defence Partners around the world. “The work of the Defence Growth Partnership, the ten-year £160 billion Equipment Plan and the approach in the National Security through Technology White Paper will ensure the defence industry is in the strongest possible position to succeed in the domestic and global market.

This week, Business Minister Michael Fallon and Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne will attend the DSEI (Defence Systems and Equipment International) exhibition in London to discuss the Defence Growth Partnership’s new Strategic Vision.

The Strategic Vision for the Defence Sector sets out how the DGP will work together as it works towards publishing a full implementation plan for the sector in the summer of 2014.