UK Minister for Defence Procurement, Lord Drayson, announces Complex Weapons package MBDA, QinetiQ, Roxel and Thales UK announce formation of Team CW Strategic Partnering Agreement to be created between UK MoD and ‘Team CW’
Leading members of the UK’s Complex Weapons (CW) industry welcomed the announcement today by Lord Drayson, UK Minister for Defence Procurement, of a package of measures aimed at securing sovereign capability in the sector for the UK’s Armed Forces. The package, which includes a number of key enabling contracts, is expected to lead in the longer term to full-scale development and manufacturing contracts. The most significant item within this package is the announcement to change to a sole source procurement policy for the Loitering Munition Development & Manufacture Programme to the MBDA-led Team CW.
MBDA, QinetiQ, Roxel and Thales UK’s air defence and missile electronics businesses, heralded the package of measures as a significant step forward. The companies have joined forces to form ‘Team CW’, under the leadership of MBDA UK, committed to jointly delivering ‘Value For Money’ solutions to meet the MoD’s short, medium and long-term weapons requirements. Team CW will also involve other key members of the Complex Weapons supply chain to ensure innovation, technology pull-through and sustainment of critical UK sovereign capabilities as required.
The commitments outlined today by Lord Drayson will help to provide the members of Team CW with the procurement and business planning assumptions necessary to ensure a sustainable future and will form the bedrock of a Strategic Partnering Agreement (SPA) between Team CW and the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) that will be co-signed by the year-end.
The SPA will provide the partnership environment to ensure the enabling contracts for the CW sector and future programmes will be proactively managed to deliver mutual benefit. It will also create the appropriate mechanism to jointly change both MoD and industry cultures to support the new acquisition processes, value measures and initiatives recommended by the McKane report (“Enabling Acquisition Change”). This will allow the necessary transformation steps to be undertaken to re-shape the sector in line with this vision.
Longer term, the SPA will support the development of joint MoD/Team CW capability route maps to ensure technology insertion, which will deliver the strategic coherence of research pull-through from the supply chain. Underpinning this objective is the development of an embedded through-life capability management culture.
Team CW acknowledged the announcement by Lord Drayson as a significant shift in the UK Government’s defence procurement strategy and as evidence of the Minister’s Defence Industrial Strategy (DIS) in action. The DIS White Paper, published by the MoD at the end of 2005, identified significant challenges the Complex Weapons sector needed to address including the reduction in major equipment procurement and associated funding streams. The change in the UK CW market environment required a new direction and vision to be developed. Team CW formed to provide a coherent response to these new market conditions.
Steve Wadey, Team CW Chairman and Managing Director of MBDA UK, said: “In the last six months, industry and MoD have taken decisive action within this sector. This has necessitated commitment, robust decision-making and strong leadership from both industry and MoD. The contribution made by all parties during this time has been considerable. We are confident, as Team CW, that this drive and determination will be maintained during 2006 and beyond, and we are committed to ensuring the successful implementation of the Strategic Partnering Agreement and delivery of world class complex weapons for the UK’s Armed Forces”.