Weekly Defence Insights by Ollie Welch NDI

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Westminster news:

 

EEF National Manufacturing Conference 2017

 

EEF hosted over 800 of Britain’s leading industrialists at the QEII Centre in London on Wednesday for the 2017 EEF National Manufacturing Conference, sponsored by Lombard. It was a day of much discussion and debate, with keynote speeches from Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell MP. At the heart of the discussion were the opportunities and risks presented by Brexit for manufacturers and what the sector requires from the upcoming Government Industrial Strategy to trigger a UK manufacturing renaissance. As an integral part of EEF, NDI were well represented at the conference and many members took up the opportunity to join the delegation, highlighting the dual benefits of being part of an organisation that is focused on defence, while at the same time integral to a group spanning the breadth of the manufacturing sector. Later that evening NDI hosted two tables at the National Manufacturing Dinner, where around 700 guests attended including many EEF member companies, key partners and the wider business community.

 

BAE Systems announce new Chief Executive Officer

 

BAE Systems confirmed on Wednesday that Charles Woodburn is to take over from Ian King as Chief Executive Officer from July. The announcement came as the company released its 2016 financial results, showing strong performance and confidence for the year ahead. During his tenure Mr King successfully steered BAE Systems through the challenges of the international financial crisis, a time which marked a global downturn in defence spending and a climate of increasing demand for efficiency savings. As a result, Mr Woodburn inherits a company with a strong international order book and a much improved relationship with the Ministry of Defence. He joined the company in May 2016 as Chief Operating Officer, bringing with him 20 years of senior management experience primarily within the international oil and gas industries. BAE Systems is a global partner of NDI and we would like to thank Mr King for his support in cultivating this important relationship. We welcome Mr Woodburn into his new role and look forward to building on our fruitful partnership with the company to the benefit of all NDI members .

 

MOD launches International Defence Engagement Strategy

 

On 17 February MOD launched its new International Defence Engagement Strategy. This has been designed to help build and maintain the military relationships on which the UK’s national security depends. On launch, the Government claimed that, through this new strategy, it will step up its leadership in international organisations, including NATO and the UN, as well as with key bilateral partners. NDI welcomes the Government’s renewed commitment to an outward looking defence posture that promises to be ‘international by design’. It is encouraging that, reflecting the commitment in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review, UK national prosperity has been identified as a legitimate output of this activity. UK defence exports are both enabled by, and are an enabler of, defence diplomacy and success depends on the relationship between Government and industry being as close as it can be. NDI will continue to work with MOD, to ensure that the interests of UK defence manufacturers are at the heart of these international relationships, which is good for industry, national security and the economy.

 

Parliamentary Questions of interest:

 

In a quiet week for the MOD in terms of questions answered in Parliament, the Department was asked about the total number and value of contracts signed since 2010, their value in each such year, and an estimate of the number of work days contracted out in each such year. Making no attempt to answer, the Minister for Defence Procurement replied that such information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

 

Other news:

 

MBDA signs £146m contract to upgrade RAF's long range missile (Ministry of Defence)

 

Welsh company, Qioptiq, wins £82m MOD contract (Ministry of Defence)

 

New £25m apprentice training facility at Barrow-in-Furness (Ministry of Defence)
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