Assured Capability (AC) Industry Briefing Note: SKYNET Enduring Capability (SKEC)

The Authority is pleased to publish an Industry Briefing Note on Assured Capability (AC) for the SKYNET Enduring Capability (SKEC).  The SKEC project will provide Skynet satellite communications service delivery from 2027, and from 2028 will deliver assured space-based assets, including Secure TT&C, and commercial satellite services to the MOD.

  1. This note explains the background to, and the process which, the Authority intends to adopt to ensure an assured capability for SKEC through-life, whilst not unduly constraining the supply chain.
  2. The purpose of the document is to:
  3. Explain the approach to be employed by the Authority to deliver an AC for SKEC, and
  4. Explain how the Authority is developing its approach to supply chain assurance through Assured Capability to ensure the competition for procuring the SKEC capability is as wide-reaching as possible.
  5. To request access, please email to view the document on Defence Share, or to request an emailed copy.
  6. Nothing in this Briefing Note shall be interpreted as a commitment or representation by the Authority that it will award a contract in any form.  The Authority reserves the right at any time to amend or withdraw the process.
  7. This Briefing Note is not intended to form the basis of any investment decision. It does not purport to be all-inclusive or to contain all the information needed to make any commercial decisions.  Each person to whom this Briefing Note is made available must make their own independent assessment of the information and use it accordingly.
  8. Comments on the concept and process described in this Briefing Note are welcomed from Industry.

Centre of Excellence for Laser and RF Directed Energy Weapons (DEW)

Team Hersa, the MOD Centre of Excellence for Laser and RF Directed Energy Weapons (DEW), have released an Expression of Interest request for Project Ealing.  This project is the integrated C-UAS and C-Mobility RF DEW element of Team Hersa, and will be released through the Weapons Sector Research Framework (WSRF).  Those companies interested in participation who are not signed up to WSRF should contact immediately for further information on the process.

MOD Team Hersa Expression of Interest

Team Hersa, the MOD Centre of Excellence for Laser and RF Directed Energy Weapons (DEW), will shortly release an Expression of Interest request for Project Tracey.  This project is the maritime Laser DEW element of Team Hersa and will be released through the Weapons Sector Research Framework (WSRF).  Those companies interested in participation who are not signed up to WSRF should contact for further information on the process.

MOD Procurement and Support of Airspace Battle Management and Tactical Data Link Cabins







SACC DT Responsibilities

The Situational Awareness Command and Control (SACC) Delivery Team, part of the ISTAR Operating Centre, is responsible for the procurement and in-service support of Airspace Battle Management (ABM) and Tactical Data Link (TDL) equipment and systems. Such systems encompass both fixed and deployable facilities, for use in the UK and overseas.

Project Background

Known as Project GUARDIAN, the new Air Command and Control System will support the continued early detection and rapid response to potential hostile or suspect aircraft that pose a threat to UK sovereignty, be that terrorists or state-based actors.

This project will see the current systems at RAF bases in the UK and Falkland Islands replaced with the new technology. It will allow the RAF to exercise command and control of UK and NATO fighters to intercept aggressive or suspect aircraft that are a threat.

The GUARDIAN project requires some UK Air Command and Control (C2) systems to be housed in physical environments such as portable Tempest and Electromagnetic Compatibility cabins.


SACC DT has a potential requirement for the procurement of new physical environments (Cabins) to hold ABM and TDL systems and for the physical environment (Cabin) to be maintained, tested and repaired where required through its Life Cycle.

SACC DT also has a potential future requirement for Contractor Logistic Support (CLS) with regards to maintenance, testing and repair work required to support the physical environment of cabins across the UK which holds ABM and TDL systems which are currently in-service.

Further details of the possible requirement can be found in the RFI on the DCO Website – see “Further Information” below.

In particular, the Delivery Team would like a view from industry on the following:

  1. Obtain high-level cost estimates for budget purposes;
  2. Obtain suitable lead time for the procurement of the possible requirement.

This will enable the Delivery Team to:

  1. Determine the level of market interest;
  2. Gather information through market analysis to inform the procurement and commercial strategies;
  3. Identify risks to the procurement such as sufficient lead time;
  4. Encourage Early Industry Engagement.

Further Information

Suppliers with an interest are invited to view the MOD Procurement and Support of Airspace Battle Management and Tactical Data Link Cabins RFI held on the DCO Website.

Any further support with regards to access and visibility of the MOD Procurement and Support of Airspace Battle Management and Tactical Data Link Cabins RFI please contact the DCO Help Desk.

Please note that responses to the RFI should be returned to the SACC DT Commercial Officer (details in the RFI) by 23:59 on 19 June 2020.

No information provided in response to the RFI will be used in any way for the purpose of evaluating suppliers or their products in any future procurement process. It is intended that no supplier or inadvertent product specific details will be issued to the project members for their approval processes; such information will be retained by the Commercial Team in strict confidence.


The Ministry of Defence’s sustainable procurement goals

For years, the Ministry of Defence has been working towards its sustainable procurement goals.

The ‘Sustainable MOD Strategy’ was established in 2015 and runs until 2025; it provides clear direction as to how the MOD should address risks to the environment and propose more sustainable alternatives in its business activities.

In May 2020, the National Audit Office (NAO) released a report on the progress the MOD has made in meeting its environmental sustainability objectives. The NAO has found that, while the defence sector has made some progress, there remains room for improvement.


Defence procurement’s impact on the environment

The defence sector plays a crucial role in securing procurements that are sustainable. As the MOD spends almost £21 billion with industry every year, it is important that the organisation works collaboratively with its suppliers to champion greener initiatives and adopt more sustainable alternatives to traditional practices.

The NAO’s recent report examines how far the Ministry of Defence has embedded environmental sustainability in its estate management, procurement, governance and policy-making.

Key statistics in the report include:

  • The Department reported 830,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions – a 42% reduction since 2009-10, which means it has achieved its Greening Government Commitments (GGCs) target for reducing carbon emissions.
  • 50% of the Department’s share of central government’s GGC reported greenhouse gas emissions in 2017-18 (carbon dioxide equivalent) came from the MOD.
  • The report also shows that 1.8 million tonnes of emissions from military activity such as operating defence equipment fall outside the scope of the GGC targets, and these emissions are reducing at a slower rate.
  • 9% reduction in the Department’s non-GGC greenhouse gas emissions since 2015-16 (GGC emissions reduced by 26% in the same period) (carbon dioxide equivalent).
  • 169 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) on MOD land (3.5% of Great Britain’s total). 48% of MOD-owned SSSIs are in a ‘favourable’ condition.

Although the MOD is on course to achieve some of its sustainability targets, it is struggling to improve its efforts on waste recycling, the use of paper and reducing domestic flights. The NAO  report states that:

“The MOD’s energy mix has not changed significantly over the last 10 years, and the Department has made little progress in increasing the proportion of its energy drawn from renewable sources.”

If you are interested in learning more about the MOD’s sustainability journey, download the full report here.

Work with the MOD

By working with the MOD, your organisation can help streamline effective procurement strategies and make environmentally conscious decisions.

Are you part of a SME business that wants to win work with the Ministry of Defence?

Our portal advertises tender and contracts opportunities valued over £10K. Gain access to the official source of MOD contracts by registering for free with Defence Contracts Online.

What DASA is doing to support the COVID-19 Response

The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) is a cross-body organisation established to help the UK Government access innovative ideas, equipment and services.

The organisation has played an integral part in the procurement of services required to tackle the Coronavirus pandemic. Gabriella Cox, DASA security competition lead, said:

“Innovation has never been more important as we play our part in the national effort against Coronavirus.”

Defence Contracts Online (DCO) is the official defence contracts portal for the Ministry of Defence – here DCO outlines DASA’s Coronavirus response.


Ambulance cleaning

At the end of March DASA announced that it was looking for partners that could supply rapid sanitising technology that would speed up the time it takes to clean ambulances, as it can take up to 45 minutes to clean an ambulance that has transported a patient suspected of having COVID-19.

The organisation announced at the end of April that more than 200 ideas were submitted in just seven days following the appeal.

DASA’s partner Dstl has so far seen good results from trials. Dstl scientist Steve Mitchell, who led the trials, has said:

“The trials have shown some really promising ideas ranging from fogging techniques, sprays, and using a decontaminant vapour to give a thorough and deep clean in the quickest time possible.”

Innovation fund

On the 8 April 2020 it was announced that DASA would launch a £1 million fund to fast-track innovation to aid the Armed Forces in the fight against Coronavirus, as the organisation wants to work with suppliers that can and support the national effort against Covid-19.

Director of Defence Innovation Clare Cameron said:

“Innovators and industry have stepped up to the plate with a remarkable response to the Coronavirus outbreak. This investment will unleash the power of innovation to rapidly help us in the national effort against Coronavirus.

“Coronavirus is not just a health emergency, but also one that affects many other aspects of the way we live. That is why £1 million has been allocated to launch this rapid response call today seeking the very best ideas from innovators.”

The first wave of applications closed on 15 April. However, DASA will continue to accept proposals after 15 April for consideration.


How your organisation can help

If you think your business might be able to help with the response to Coronavirus (COVID-19), register your details here.

All information provided in this article is given in good faith. However, to the extent that any actions taken in relation to matters concerning procurement, the above article does not constitute legal advice to you. The contents of these articles are not to be construed as legal advice or a substitute for such advice, which you should obtain from your own legal advisors if required. We are not and shall not be held responsible for anything done or not done by you as a result of the information provided.