UK classed in 6th position in global defence expenditure rankings

global defence rankings


Last year the UK sat in sixth position in global defence expenditure rankings, according to IISS. News from over the past few months has highlighted many of the areas that benefit from this spend.

Read more about some of the latest investments below.


Dreadnought Investment

In December 2018, UK Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson announced the latest investment into the Dreadnought submarine programme.

£400 million has been allocated which will safeguard over 8,000 jobs in Barrow-in-Furness. This funding boost will support the development of a new academy that will upskill BAE employees to work on Royal Navy submarines over the next twenty years.



During the Autumn Budget announcement, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond announced that a further £160 million has been allocated to fund counter-terrorism policing, putting UK security high on the government’s agenda.

“It is not only our Armed Forces that keep us safe.

Our counter-terrorism police play a vital role in defending Britain against the evolving threats we face.

We committed in 2015 to spend 30% more on counter-terrorism capabilities over the current Spending Review period.”


Cyber Security

The government is taking immediate steps to target cyber threats and  provided an additional £1 billion to the MOD covering the end of last year and this year.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson says that the extra funds will provide a “substantial financial boost” to the UK’s cyber defence:

“Not only will this funding ensure we continue to have world-leading Armed Forces but will also allow defence to modernise our critical assets, such as our offensive cyber capabilities, anti-submarine warfare, and our nuclear deterrent”


Increased Defence Budget

These latest investments in defence display the government’s ever-growing focus on defence and on protecting the public from terrorism.

If you would like to find defence procurement opportunities arising from investments like the ones mentioned above, register on DCO for free now.

MOD partners with innovative firms to prepare for the “modern battlefield”

Millions of pounds have been allocated to defence firms to boost the MOD’s capability on the “modern battlefield.”

The MOD and Defence Growth Partnership (DGP) Innovation Challenge has invested over £10 million in cutting-edge technology like laser radars and Artificial Intelligence.


What is the Defence Growth Partnership (DGP)?

The Defence Growth Partnership allows the UK government to collaborate with leading companies from the UK defence industry.

The initiative was formed to meet the challenges of increased international competition for defence business.


Innovation Challenge Winners

Innovation Challenge winners will provide solutions to key strategic future demands for UK defence in autonomy and big data. Winners include:

  • Close Air Solutions with Project Hyper Real Immersion
  • QinetiQ’s Software Defined Multifunction LIDAR
  • Horiba Mira’s UGV Localisation and Perception using Deep Learning Neural Networks
  • Polaris’ Ants on Deck


QinetiQ has designed a solution with a range of high-tech capabilities. Moving forward, the MOD will have access to 3D imaging, optical communication and covert targeting thanks to the services QinetiQ provides.

Speaking about this investment Defence Minister Stuart Andrew said:

“From shrewd navigation software, AI-driven autonomous vehicles, laser radar to mixed reality training systems, today’s winners are a clear demonstration of industry rising to meet the complex challenges of modern warfare. The MOD, working with commercial partners, will see these pioneering technologies go from the drawing board to the battlefield.”


Work with the MOD

The MOD wants to encourage collaboration between large organisations and SMEs, making now an excellent time to look for defence opportunities through DCO.

Never miss defence tenders and contracts valued over £10K by registering with the official source of MOD tender opportunities.

Find MOD procurement opportunities




Be a cyber secure link in the MOD supply chain

Going into 2019, it is important for your business to assess the changes you need to make to become cyber secure.

Want to find out more about cyber security? Learn about the benefits of Cyber Essentials to MOD suppliers below.

Protecting the UK’s defence supply chain

This year the Ministry of Defence has continued to develop cyber security initiatives that aim to protect the UK’s defence supply chain.

During the Autumn Budget announcement, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond announced that additional £1bn has been granted to the MOD to cover the remainder of 2018 and 2019, to “boost” the country’s cyber capabilities.


Global Threats

Attacks in recent years have made it ever more obvious that cyber threats to the supply chain are real, not just in the UK but globally.

In July 2018, the US’s National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) warned that:

“Software supply chain infiltration is one of the key threats that corporations need to pay attention to, particularly how software vulnerabilities are exploited”

Attackers are finding innovative ways to exploit computer networks, one being that they will hack into systems through technology providers that have privileged access – such as subcontractors or members of the supply chain.


Comply with Cyber Essentials

As the MOD’s supply chain is made up of a wide range of organisations, it must have strict conditions around supplier cyber security.

The MOD requires suppliers to have a Cyber Essentials certification by a contract start date (at the latest); the certification must also be renewed annually. This requirement must flow down the supply chain.

There are a number of suppliers that can help you get started with Cyber Essentials. However, if you would like to gain Cyber Essentials using Fast Track, this can be granted within 24 hours* with Cyber Essentials Online.

* Office hours are based on the UK working time 9am-5pm Monday-Thursday and 9am-2pm on Fridays. Fast Track applications made out with these times cannot be guaranteed for a 24 hour turnaround.

Defence Procurement Minister praises suppliers from Yorkshire during a visit to Huddersfield

defence minister - stuart andrew


Last week, Defence Procurement Minister Stuart Andrew visited Yorkshire to meet with a range of companies that are currently working with the MOD.

In 2017, UK defence spent £232m with companies in Yorkshire and the Humber which supported 1,800 jobs.


UK companies offer “incredible experience and expertise” to the defence sector

The Defence Minister met with many of the suppliers currently working on projects such as HMS Sheffield and those currently developing firefighting vehicles that will soon be based in Afghanistan.

During his Yorkshire visit, Mr Andrew praised the companies working with the MOD, noting that they “epitomise the incredible experience, expertise, and ingenuity” that the region has to offer. He said:

“The spirit of Yorkshire runs right through our nation’s defence with its prestigious military history and engineering prowess. From the design and integration of warship gearboxes to the provision of NATO fire vehicles, Huddersfield is a proud supplier to our Armed Forces.”


MOD backs start-up innovation

Mr Andrew believes that “the spirit of Yorkshire runs right through our nation’s defence.” While visiting the region the Minister also went to see the work which is currently happening at the University of Huddersfield’s 3M Buckley Innovation Centre (3M BIC).

The centre is currently home to dozens of pioneering companies that want to grow their business and collaborate with others that are promoting innovation in the UK.


Work with the MOD

The MOD is investing in innovative businesses across the UK and has chosen to work with many SMEs due to their expertise and unique skill set.

If you would like to work with the Ministry of Defence, the Defence Contracts Online portal advertises tender and contracts opportunities valued over £10K.

Register for free and start receiving defence contract alerts.

MOD procurement opportunities outlined in the latest: “Doing business with defence”

doing business with defence


Over the next decade, the Ministry of Defence is committed to spending over £178Bn on equipment and support.

Learn more about the latest opportunities with MOD and Innovation in the Defence Supply Chain in the latest version of “Doing Business with Defence”.


MOD procurement activity

As one of the largest public procurement organisations in Europe, it is the MOD’s responsibility to ensure that UK security is protected.

The MOD works with suppliers from all over the world to fulfill the needs of its procurement activity. In the latest edition of “Doing Business with Defence” it states that:

“Defence has a major role to play in delivering the government’s growth and enterprise agenda – the MOD accounts for over 40% of all government spend with industry“

The organisation is responsible for many complex and technologically advanced projects, therefore it must work with businesses with unique expert capabilities when completing work in the following categories:

  • Technology: cloud and digital, network services, software, and technology products and services
  • Equipment & Support: ships, aircraft, vehicles, weapons, missiles (maintenance and repair)
  • Infrastructure: construction, hard and soft facilities management, property consultancy


Opportunities for Suppliers

The MOD wants to eliminate the challenges faced by SME businesses when looking for work with the defence sector.

The “Doing Business with Defence” brochure outlines areas of opportunity for suppliers that want to work with the defence sector – some that have already been included in the Defence Equipment Plan.

Download the Doing business with defence document.


Work with the MOD

Would you like to work with the Ministry of Defence?

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

Find MOD procurement opportunities.


How to Win New Defence and Civil Business

win MOD contracts with DCO


Are you currently bidding for work with the Ministry of Defence and would like to improve your approach? DCO and DCI hold regular WebClinics that give defence suppliers an opportunity to interact with defence procurement experts and learn how to prosper in this lucrative marketplace.

The next event is Defence Contracts International’s WebClinic “How to Find and Win New Defence and Civil Business”, which will take place on 16 October.


Defence and security marketplace

UK defence and security organisations work with a range of suppliers. The MOD alone spends up to £20 billion on the procurement of goods and services with industry each year.

The Defence Equipment Plan has already set out what will be spent over the next decade, and security is one aspect of that.

During the How to Win New Defence and Civil Business webinar, a defence procurement expert will provide an overview of the wider defence and security marketplace. Attendees will also be given the opportunity to ask any questions they have about the marketplace at the end of the session.


Improving your approach

There are many ways you can improve your approach to finding MOD and other public sector contracts – this will also be covered during the session.

Whether you are new to procurement and need to sign up for free DCO contract alerts or want to engage earlier with defence buyers and are unsure how to – our defence expert will discuss a number of options that will improve your approach.


Free Registration

Would you like to find opportunities within the defence, security, and counter-terrorism related projects?

Discover “How to Win New Defence and Civil Business” during the next DCI webinar. This session will take place on 16 October at 11 am and is free to attend.


Cyber Security Month: Is your business Cyber Essentials certified?

cyber essentials


Did you know that October is Cyber Security month?

This makes now the perfect time for your business to become cyber security compliant.

If you are a supplier to the defence sector, it is vital to have a cyber security solution in place as it is now a standard part of the procurement process and central to MOD supplier selection.


Cyber Security Model

The MOD and DCPP mandated that all MOD suppliers need to comply with the new Cyber Security Model in October 2017. This requires all bidding suppliers to hold a version of Cyber Essentials certification.


What level of certification is required?

It is important that you select the correct Cyber Essentials solution for your business. Every supplier is different and that is why there is a range of certification options to choose from. One of the available Cyber Essentials suppliers, DCI, offers the following options:


Cyber Essentials

  • Suitable for suppliers handling MOD contracts where the risk is “Very Low”
  • Support and advice offered throughout the application process
  • Includes Cyber Essentials branding which your business can use to promote its certification
  • 12 months’ certification upon successful application
  • No additional costs for retests or Gap Analysis


Cyber Essentials Fast Track

  • Get certified within 24 hours
  • Gain access to the online self-assessment questionnaire
  • Suitable for suppliers handling MOD contracts where the risk is “Very Low”
  • Support and advice offered throughout the application process
  • Includes Cyber Essentials branding which your business can use to promote its certification
  • 12 months’ certification upon successful application
  • No additional costs for retests or Gap Analysis


Cyber Essentials Plus

  • Required for MOD contracts where the risk is “Low”, “Moderate” or “High”
  • Includes advanced assessments
  • On-site assessment and vulnerability test
  • Gain access to the online self-assessment questionnaire
  • Support and advice offered throughout the application process
  • Includes Cyber Essentials branding which your business can use to promote its certification
  • 12 months’ certification upon successful application


Keep in mind that for all MOD contracts where the risk is classified as “Very Low”, “Low”, “Moderate” or “High” suppliers should either already have Cyber Essentials certification in place or be able to show they are working towards Cyber Essentials certification.

More information

For more information on Cyber Essentials, access the Procurement Policy Note 09/14: Cyber Essentials scheme certification or download the DCI Cyber Essentials Scheme Summary.







Supplier engagement event hopes to encourage Welsh suppliers to work with the MOD

artec - MOD Industry days


The ‘BOXER – Supplier Engagement Event’ to be held in South Wales this September aims to connect companies and organisations across the nation that are involved in the UK’s lucrative defence supply chain.

Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns, said:

“The Artec industry day provides a significant opportunity for Welsh businesses to capitalise on the supply chain opportunities presented by the Boxer programme and the wider defence sector.”

Find out more about the latest MOD procurement opportunity below.

Wales and UK defence

Wales benefits from Ministry of Defence expenditure to the tune of £300 per person, per year.

In a government statement promoting the Boxer event, Minister for Defence Procurement Stuart Andrew noted the key role Wales plays in the UK’s defence strategy:

“We spent £945m with Welsh businesses last year, supporting over 6000 jobs, as the industry continues to thrive.”


Artec industry day

Mr Cairns is leading the clarion call for Welsh businesses and organisations to register for the Artec industry event at the University of Wales’ Treforest Campus on 10 September. He believes that suppliers will gain additional credentials that will help their business break into the defence market.

Supplier engagement events are an excellent opportunity for businesses to learn more about the defence sector. David Pile, Sales and Business Development Director at Rheinmetall Defence UK, plans to develop his supply network at the event.

Mr Pile has noted that Artec, Rheinmetall and KMW are all looking forward to meeting new contacts at the event:

“The organisations recognise the level and diversity of capability, skills and know-how within the UK supply chain, and look forward to meeting many more organisations that we can work with to deliver the best solutions to the British Armed Forces.”


Find out more about defence procurement

The MOD holds industry days across the UK. The purpose of these events is to allow suppliers to engage with buyers before the formal procurement process begins.

Suppliers can ask questions face to face at this type of event, helping them to understand buyer requirements in depth.


If you would like to find out more about MOD procurement or MOD industry days, follow the link; or to sign up to the BOXER – Supplier Engagement Event industry day, click here.


Promote your business as cyber safe with Cyber Essentials

cyber essentials


Backed by the UK Government and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), Cyber Essentials certification is a key requirement for any defence supplier that wants to work with the Ministry of Defence.

Having this certification or not could potentially make or break your chance of winning defence and wider public sector contracts.

Find out more about Cyber Essentials and how your business can become certified below.


The MOD’s Cyber Security Model

If your business wants to work with the MOD it is vital that you understand the associated Cyber Risk profiles MOD contracts may contain.

The Cyber Security Model introduced by the Defence Cyber Protection Partnership (DCPP) within the MOD recommends Cyber Essentials certification. In fact, under the Defcon 658 notice suppliers will need to know what level of Cyber Essentials certification their business must have to comply with MOD cyber requirements throughout their supply chain.


Promoting Cyber Essentials

When a business becomes Cyber Essentials certified it can then be promoted as cyber secure up to the Cyber Essentials standard level.

Businesses that receive the Cyber Essentials certificate also receive the relevant Cyber Essentials branding to use on collateral such as tender bids.


Secure your business

Protection is another benefit of Cyber Essentials.

This year, the Cyber Security Breaches Survey revealed that over four in ten businesses (43%) have experienced a cyber security breach or attack in the last 12 months.

If you want to protect your business from the ever-increasing cyber threat, the controls that need to be in place to achieve Cyber Essentials certification can help to protect your business from around 80% of common cyber attacks.


Find out more about Cyber Essentials

If you would like to learn more about cyber security, download a free Cyber Essentials Scheme Summary.

This will give your business a clearer picture of how cyber attacks can affect your business and what is involved in the certification process.


How to get started with MOD procurement

get started with MOD procurement


Businesses across the UK want to work with the MOD because of the volume of procurement opportunities the Ministry has to offer.

As UK industry’s single largest customer, the MOD works with businesses of all sizes, purchasing everything from military fighting vehicles to facilities management services.

If your business wants to get involved with MOD procurement, find out more below.


Defence Contracts Online

Our portal should be the first point of call for all businesses looking for MOD procurement opportunities.

It is free to register for Defence Contracts Online. Users who register can opt in to receive daily MOD contract alerts. Businesses can tailor their profile so that they only receive MOD procurement alerts that are suited to their business area.

DCO Webinars

Take thirty minutes out of your day to learn how to “Create a Winning Alert Profile”. Whether you are already a DCO user or are just getting started with MOD procurement, this session will teach you how to use MOD DCO to its full advantage.

Our defence experts will help your business to select the right keywords and CPV codes, increasing your chances of winning MOD procurement opportunities.

The next event will take place on 7 August 2018 – register for free now.


MOD Guide to Defence and Security

This publication gives suppliers an insight into key trends within the defence market and updated contact details for MOD procurement decision makers.

It contains everything a defence supplier needs to get started, including guidance on how to engage in defence procurement and key contact details from across all the major defence bodies.

The 2018 edition can be purchased online now for £75.


Register for free to DCO

If you are not currently registered to DCO, then start accessing MOD published contracts for free today. The UK defence budget currently sits at 2% of GDP (£40 billion). As the official source of MOD contracts, we give our users access to MOD procurement opportunities valued at £10,000 and over.


Join Defence Contracts Online now and get started with MOD procurement.