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As part of the opening address of the land theatre presentations at the DSEI exhibition in London the British Minister for Defence Procurement, Ann-Marie Trevelyan, announced several procurement efforts and forthcoming development programmes. Maritime procurements range from the delivery of the second of eight CITY class and Type 31 frigates to the new submarines. The former creating 1700 jobs in Scotland and 4000 across the UK. Furthermore, the UK will spend £177 million on service support contracts to provide logistic support to the small boat fleets of the Navy, Marines and the British Army by 2026.

In the future the British MoD is investing in unmanned as well as manned capabilities. For the first time the UK will have underwater drones able to scan ships and detect threats. From the sky to the stars the United Kingdom strives to have the most secure satellite system around the world.

Besides, the minister announced that the MoD had signed a £20 million contract to develop a system to protect signals from disruption. She said that the British Government invested £20 billion in the defence industry every year – equalling about £300 per citizen.

“What is absolutely clear to me, is that the key lies in connectivity, bringing down old bureaucratic barriers to make it easier for different parts of the Armed Forces family to work together. To that end I’m delighted to announce we’re opening “Team Hersa” a new Joint Delivery Office for Directed Energy Weapons. This will unite the futuristic creative ideas of DSTL and the procurement muscle of DE&S.,” Trevelyan said on one of the programmes. “We are investing £130million to create novel laser and Radio Frequency (RF) Weapons which, powered by electricity and operating without ammunition, gives the warfighter unprecedented flexibility on the frontline. This new joint venture is just the start.”

Finally, the minister stated that she was going to sign the Women in Defence Charta. This charter describes a collaboration between the MoD, Women in Defence UK, ADS, the defence industry and others: “I want to encourage more women to reach the very top of the defence world.”

Felix Bornemann