Chapter 13

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One hopes industry has read, re-read and read again the consultative draft of the 2012 Defence Review released last Thursday.

The final chapter, perhaps ominously for some, numbered “13”, states the latest government view on the future of the defence industry. There are 33 pages and none are unimportant. Ignore them at your peril! Even a superficial reading shows, that if implemented, the proposals will have a profound effect on industry ownership and workshare.

Near, medium and long-term priorities and equipment requirements are also changing, as can be seen on the front page today (Wednesday). The acquisition focus of the military, for example, in the near term will be on crisis response, border security and force projection as well as sustainment in a peace support context.

From the medium term onwards, it will be necessary to re-equip the medium and heavy forces and the relevant supporting elements to ensure that they retain deterrent credibility and provide deployable peace enforcement and conflict containment capability. “Some of the projects to meet medium term requirements will have to commence during the near term to ensure that those capabilities are available in the medium term, partly because of the numbers required (for instance of vehicles, which are optimally built and delivered over an extended period) and partly because of long lead times (for instance in building and commissioning ships).” Clearly, no shortage of work!

But for who?