DVD2013: partnering to drive defence transformation

DE&S_logoDefence Vehicle Dynamics returns for another year, with DE&S Land Equipment and the Army coming together to run the showcase for the first time. MOD DCB spoke to Brigadier Peter Rafferty of DE&S about this new partnership, and the theme of transforming support for land equipment, ahead of the event.

Defence Vehicle Dynamics (DVD) 2013, being held over 19 and 20 June, will once again see defence organisations and industry innovators in the land equipment sector come together at Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire.

And in an event first, DVD2013 will be sponsored jointly by Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) Land Equipment and the Army, recognising the new capability role assumed by the Army as part of the Defence Transformation Programme.

Commenting on the new ownership model for the event, head of operational support programmes at DE&S Brigadier Peter Rafferty said: “While it has previously been managed solely by DE&S with the Army attending, this year DVD will be a joint venture, which I think will have a huge impact on the event.

“I am anticipating greater interest from industry as Army HQ cements the triangle between stakeholders, industry and the front line.”

The theme of this year’s event is ‘Transforming Support for Land Equipment to Deliver Army 2020’ with coverage centring on the changing focus of the military. As the combat mission in Afghanistan reduces in the next two years, the focus for support and equipment planning will start to return to contingent operations and delivering the new Army 2020 structures.

This transition will require innovation in the way in which equipment can be prepared for the Army’s upcoming new roles. DVD2013 will provide an opportunity to reflect on this challenge and allow industry, DE&S and the Army to review the equipment capabilities, technologies, processes and requirements essential for delivery of this transition.

In January 2011, then Minister of State for the Armed Forces Nick Harvey said that the force structure set out in the recent Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) and the remodelling of the Ministry of Defence would amount to the most significant defence reform programme for a generation.

The Minister said: “To be successful, transformed Armed Forces require a transformed Ministry of Defence.

“We must recognise how immensely complex and wide ranging the business of defence is, and, while the MOD knows it needs to change, it is worth reflecting on the vast amount of work that the Department carries out quietly and effectively.

 “Under the leadership of Lord Levene, the Defence Reform Unit is working through how to create an MOD that is simpler, more effective, better led and less wasteful of time and resources.”

Now that Defence Vehicle Dynamics is delivered through a joint partnership between the Army and DE&S, industry will be in a better place to set realistic requirements that will ensure delivery of the correct products, at the right price, to the right people and at the right time.

Commenting on the partnership, Brigadier Rafferty said: “In the past, front line command, as the end user of equipment, felt divorced from the decision-making process.

“With DE&S and industry engaging in discussions to decide on the equipment and infrastructure of choice on their behalf, front line officers previously had very little input and therefore largely ended up with the equipment they were given.”

However, with the forging of this new partnership, DVD will be more focused on the real requirements of the land equipment industry.

Brigadier Rafferty continued: “This year’s DVD will have a major emphasis on the Army’s development in engaging feedback from the front line, and I would commend Army HQ in recognising this and taking important steps forward to work with government and industry on sharing best practice and strengthening relationships.

“Another key point to make about DVD2013 is the opportunity that visitors will have to see and experience a broad range of land equipment, not just vehicles, but hand-used equipment and camp infrastructure too.

“Seeing all of the elements of land equipment in the one setting helps increase understanding and synergies between them.”

DVD2013 will be attended by visitors across all areas of defence acquisition and support, along with military and industry stakeholders. Senior defence staff from front line commands, heads of capability and other military users will have the opportunity to meet and share ideas affecting current and future equipment issues involving support and sustainment.

Commenting on the success of the annual land equipment showcase, Brigadier Rafferty said: “DVD has become the pre-eminent forum for discussions and decisions around land requirements, particularly for UK industry but also for worldwide partners.

“Although DVD is a much more niche event than the likes of DSEi, the level of intimacy and demonstration opportunities at DVD has seen it remain the flagship event for defence land equipment over the past ten years.

“The frank dialogue and coherent meetings with users, which have continued to take place since the launch of the event in 2003, have been key drivers in its ongoing success.”

Defence Vehicle Dynamics remains crucial within the industry as it enables visitors to see real equipment deployed in the environment it operates in.

Brigadier Rafferty concluded: “The emphasis on support at DVD2013 and the change in ownership will, for the first time, put the user in the driving seat, and 2013 is the right time to make the most of this opportunity.”

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