Select Committee on Defence Seventh Report

1  Introduction

1. The Government's Defence Industrial Strategy (DIS) was published on 15 December 2005.[1] It takes forward the Defence Industrial Policy of October 2002,[2] which our predecessors examined in their Defence Procurement reports of 2003[3] and 2004.[4]

2. The Government's aims in relation to the DIS are summarised as follows:

    Our Defence Industrial Strategy takes forward our Defence Industrial Policy, published in 2002, by providing greater transparency of our future defence requirements and, for the first time, setting out those industrial capabilities we need in the UK to ensure that we can continue to operate our equipment in the way we choose….. to maintain appropriate sovereignty and thereby protect our national security…. In doing so, it builds upon the Defence Industrial Policy, explains more clearly how procurement decisions are made, and to assist industry in planning for the future commits Government to greater transparency of our forward plans, noting that as in any business, these change over time as spending priorities shift or cost estimates mature.[5]

3. We announced our inquiry on the day that the DIS was published.[6] Its purpose has been to examine the process for producing the DIS, the initial reaction of the defence industry and other interested parties, the likely impact on the defence industry, the changes required of the Ministry of Defence (MoD), and the plans for implementing the DIS. Given the importance of the DIS, we expect to inquire into further aspects in the future.

Oral and written evidence

4. We took evidence from defence companies, defence trade associations, defence academics, the MoD, and the Department for Trade and Industry (DTI). We received written submissions from a range of organisations including trade unions, the English Regional Development Agencies and the Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Northern Ireland.[7] We are grateful to all those who contributed to our inquiry, and to the specialist advisers who assisted us in our inquiry: Mr Paul Beaver, Rear Admiral Richard Cobbold, Professor David Kirkpatrick, Air Vice Marshal Professor Tony Mason and Brigadier Austin Thorp.

1   Cm 6697 Back

2   Policy Paper 5: Defence Industrial Policy, Ministry of Defence, 14 October 2002 Back

3   Defence Committee, Eighth Report of Session 2002-03, Defence Procurement, HC 694 Back

4   Defence Committee, Sixth Report of Session 2003-04, Defence Procurement, HC 572-I Back

5   Cm 6697, Foreword Back

6   Defence Committee, News Release No.12, Defence Committee Inquiry into the Defence Industrial Strategy, 15 December 2005 Back

7   Ev 66-124 Back

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