BCB International unveil new versatile rifle stock

BCB International has launched a versatile rifle stock that enables operatives to discharge their firearms while wearing a ballistic helmet with the visor fully lowered.

The FRAMM®, an adjustable and foldable stock that allows firearms officers to comfortably discharge their firearms in all firing positions, was launched at DSEI 2017.

The FRAMM® is compatible with the following firearms: FN HERSTAL-SCAR, HK-MP5 A2, BERETTA-ARX 160, HK-MP5K-PDW, HK-G36, B&T-40×46, REMINGTON-ACR, CZ-805 A1 BREN, SIG SAUER-550/551.., B&T-APC556, HK-UMP.

BCB International’s International Sales Officer, Ben Simmons, said:  “The FRAMM® is good news for soldiers and security professionals.  It is compatible with most in service firearms. Its rubberized non-slip stock pad maximizes comfort and firing stability.  It also offers nine position settings to conform to any body and ballistic visor shapes.  The FRAMM® is the stock to fit all their mission requirements.”

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Defence Procurement in 2017 – What’s included in the Essential MOD Guide?

The Essential MOD Guide to Defence Procurement 2017 contains key insights, analysis and commentary put together across more than 100 pages to provide an essential companion for both buyers and suppliers hoping to win more defence tenders in 2017.

But what’s included in the guide? Here are four key areas which will help you take advantage of opportunities in the year ahead.

Defence Spending Analysis

The UK spends approximately £20bn on defence procurement each year, and remains one of only five NATO member states to meet the alliance’s goal of spending 2% of GDP on defence annually.

Our in-depth defence spending analysis and detailed breakdown of UK and global defence expenditure can provide you with key insights which can help you win more defence contracts.

Defence spending can be notoriously difficult to forecast due to the costs of operations and conflict prevention fluctuating significantly from year to year. Moreover, geopolitical events can have an impact on defence expenditure and dictate where money will be spent in the coming year.

However, one way to gain an insight into future spending trends is to examine where the money has been spent in the past, and this is where our spend analysis comes in.

Our detailed breakdown of UK and global defence spend includes numbers on:

  • Major equipment projects
  • Top suppliers to the MOD
  • MOD contracts with SMEs
  • UK defence and security export statistics
  • Analysis of global military expenditure

What is being spent in the industry? What is it being spent on? Who is winning the contracts?

Outlines of Ministry of Defence plans for 2017

For both suppliers and buyers, it’s essential to keep up to date with the latest developments and innovations in the industry, and being aware of Ministry of Defence plans and key priorities for the year will help your company win more Ministry of Defence tenders of all sizes.

With 2016 bringing about considerable political upheaval, such as Britain’s decision to leave the EU, it’s arguably more important than ever to gain an insight into the MOD’s agenda for the coming year. This will help your organisation take advantage of any lucrative opportunities which are likely to become available.

Our guide has information on the latest industry trends, including:

  • Technology
  • Engagement
  • Procurement
  • Exporting

Prepare yourself for the challenges ahead, and gain insights into the MOD’s defence procurement agenda which will help you adapt and innovate.

Unique content and views of key defence contributors

The Essential MOD Guide to Defence Procurement 2017 is crammed full of essential reading for both buyers and suppliers alike seeking to gain crucial insights from key defence contributors which will keep you a step ahead of the competition.

These valuable insights are absolutely vital for organisations wishing to win their slice of the pie by making sure that they keep up to date with the latest market trends. Our hand-picked contributors discuss specific topics worth keeping an eye on in 2017, as well as wider trends which you simply won’t be able to ignore.

Learn about cyber security and how to protect your organisation from cyber attacks with Simon Bowyer of QinetiQ, and gain an insight into future trends in defence acquisition and procurement with Stuart Young of Cranfield University. Elsewhere, learn about the threat that radicalisation and extremism poses to the national security of the UK with John Baker, Head of Global Operations for the National Security and Resilience Consortium.

Defence Contractors List

Our guide also features a detailed Defence Contractors List, which is a veritable ‘who’s who’ of the main players in the defence industry covering an extensive range of products, services and works requirements.

This contact list is extremely useful for those involved in the industry, and is indispensable for companies who are seeking advice on how to win more mod tenders. Companies of all sizes can identify opportunities and act on them immediately with the detailed information on all of the major players in the industry, with their most up-to-date contact details provided.

Our guide features an extensive contact list including:

  • Trade Associations
  • Agencies and Other MOD Teams and Organisations
  • Commands and Centre Teams
  • DE&S Operating Centres
  • Directory of Prime Contractors
  • MOD Key Supplier Contacts
  • Industry Contacts

This is an incredibly useful professional tool in an industry where knowing who to contact for the services you provide is key to winning more business.

Having all of this information in one place will save you hours of research, allowing you to spend less time searching for opportunities and more defence contracts.

Find out more about the Essential MOD Guide to Defence Procurement 2017 here.

Cyber security starts at home

As part of last year's Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) the Prime Minister announced that our ability to detect and defend against cyber attacks would be crucial to our national security, so important that it was elevated to a 'Tier 1' threat alongside issues such as terrorism and international military crises. Since then, work to embed the culture of operating in cyberspace across the defence community has been taking place in earnest with the Defence Cyber Security Programme being set up to drive the necessary changes. Now, under the leadership of Major General Jonathan Shaw, Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff (Global Issues), work on the programme is moving ahead quickly and the Cyber Security Policy Team was stood up on 1 April 2011 to develop a unified and integrated response to the threat of cyber attack.

Steve Durbin, Managing Director of the Information Security Forum, spoke recently at Counter Terror Expo 2016 on the dangers posed to businesses by cyber crime. MOD DCB features writer Paul Elliott was there to hear how businesses can protect themselves against this evolving threat.

Cyber attacks are becoming much more sophisticated, and much more targeted. Security experts will tell you that phishing attacks targeting an individual are often not just to obtain personal information but also to gain a route into a corporate enterprise. People are rarely chained to their desks at work these days. As a workforce we have the capability to be very mobile and the fact that we now move around significantly more than before is opening up new threat opportunities for cyber crime.

How many devices do people carry that allow access to both personal and corporate information? This opens up opportunities for other users to access data – for ‘man in the middle’ type attacks when using public WiFi systems, for instance. From the corporate standpoint it creates the challenge of controlling that information. It is surely unreasonable to put a process in place for a sales organisation that, say, prohibits the use of public WiFi on the road. A degree of reality has to exist in the way security professionals put in place guidelines for businesses, regardless of the difficulties. By the same token, businesses though need to protect the weakest link in their overall security chain, whatever that might be.

The key focus for a lot of cyber criminals remains corporate. No business is immune from being targeted by a cyber criminal and intellectual property (IP) theft is on the increase.

Steve Durbin is the Managing Director of the Information Security Forum and he believes we have to take a ‘business decision’ focused approach to the way we deal with these issues.

Speaking recently at Counter Terror Expo 2016 in London, Mr Durbin said: “It is about trying to understand the impact of a particular loss to your business. We’re all short of resource, so the challenge of course is to focus that resource in the areas that make the most sense – both in terms of mobility to protect the enterprise and the information, but also in the effectiveness of that. So there’s a bigger discussion to take place across the enterprise in terms of risk appetite and impact on the business.”

The so-called ‘Internet of Things’ is gaining momentum. The Internet of Things offers a lot of benefits but it also presents a lot of security challenges. Certainly, cyber criminals are very aware of it and the ability to manipulate devices should not be underestimated. Among other possibilities, the Internet of Things offers the ability to take data locating where one is at any point in time and provide it to a marketing organisation. Criminal access to such information could potentially be dangerous, particularly in the corporate environment.

The Internet of Things also allows remote access to devices in the working environment. Mr Durbin commented: “An organisation in the United States told me that they’re very dependent on devices. One day their manufacturing plant burst into life when it was in shutdown. Actually, it wasn’t an attack; what happened was someone quite inadvertently managed to access their network and the machinery burst into life – the only way they could shut it down was to disconnect it from the internet. It shows what could happen though.”

Then we come to the issue of insiders, which is probably one of the most sensitive areas for organisations today. No-one likes to think they employ someone in their organisation who is stealing their intellectual property. Mr Durbin says insiders can be split into three categories. There’s the accidental insider, the person who just makes a mistake; there’s the negligent insider, somebody who is very aware of corporate policy but decides for good reason in his or her mind to go around it; and then there’s the out-and-out malicious insider who is there for personal profit or to steal IP and so on.

Mr Durkin continued: “What probably concerns me most of all is manipulation of data. Think about the amount of code that exists in every single system we use today. Think again about the challenge in the Internet of Things, in accessing data from various locations. And then think about our decision-making that is increasingly based on intelligence from our computer networks, from our systems and software. All you need to do is manipulate and change one or two elements of code and before you know it business decisions are racing off in the wrong direction. How do you monitor that? How do you track that? That’s a significant issue.”

Of course we have to trust our employees and the people we work with, but Mr Durbin says it comes back to the fact that you need to focus on the relevance of the information that you’re using, its importance to your organisation and the way in which it is protected. The insider threat is probably one of the more difficult areas that need to be addressed from a security standpoint. On the one hand there has to be trust, and on the other recognition of the potential for a breach in some shape or form.

What will the impact of all of this be on business? Mr Durbin expects we’re going to see an increase in regulation. Recently the EU reached a decision on general data protection regulation, which will come into force over the next two years. The cost of compliance with this should not be underestimated; neither should the size of the task. It doesn’t just affect people operating within the EU. If you hold information relating in any shape or form to an EU citizen then the new EU legislation will need to be observed. You’ll also need to prove you’re observing it.

Mr Durbin explained: “Increased regulation is something that is set to continue. The cost of compliance will increase. We will see more downtime – we’ve already seen the number of attacks increase. There is a huge cost associated as well with reputational damage, not just with getting systems back up and running. Look at some of the recent breaches in the UK – take TalkTalk for example. Coming off the back of that breach they lost a fair amount of their subscribers. One hundred thousand people are no longer buying from TalkTalk.

“There’s also the threat to competitor advantage. I’ve done a lot of work recently in terms of trying to position security as a key enabler of competitor advantage. Our ability to compete is clearly focused on our ability to take advantage of advances in technology. There isn’t a company that I’m aware of that isn’t dependent in some shape or form on technology. That means that you are open to cyber risk. That means that your ability to compete within your environment has cyber as a threat.”

The impact on business of all these issues is significant. To protect themselves businesses need to be focusing on the basics – reducing the risk of attack. Put malware protection in place. Mr Durbin says a large number of breaches come about because businesses don’t have the most recent malware in place across their networks. Also, monitor what’s going on in cyber space so you’re aware of changes. Mr Durbin warns if you haven’t reviewed your information security policy within the last 12 months it’s probably time to do so now. Cyber moves very quickly and if you’re taking a compliance-based approach rather than looking forward as well you could be heading for trouble.

Put in place a response team and practice. Conduct a risk assessment to identify some of the threats and vulnerabilities you might be open to and put in place the necessary control selections. And embed security at the very beginning of a business project – you don’t want to be trying to retrofit security.

Look at the people you’re sharing information with. Very often you can harden your own system but the weakest link remains the third party who perhaps can be trusted. Understand what the implications are of a breach or an attack on your business. Make sure that your legal counsel understands what the legal implications of a breach might be. You need to determine the way in which you will respond – PR is the same.

As Mr Durbin says, security has a lot to do with us as individuals. A lot of us take our work home, so continue to push security awareness and stress that security starts at home. The cyber threat will only evolve further and we all have a role to play to ensure resilience.

For more information, visit: www.securityforum.org

Quote – “There isn’t a company that I’m aware of that isn’t dependent in some shape or form on technology. That means that you are open to cyber risk. That means that your ability to compete within your environment has cyber as a threat”– Steve Durbin, Managing Director, Information Security Forum

Babcock Secures 4th Irish OPV for Appledore

L.E. Samuel BeckettBabcock International Group has been awarded a contract extension by Ireland’s Department of Defence, to provide a new Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) for the Irish Naval Service (INS).  This is the 4th OPV, in the same class, to be built at Babcock’s Appledore shipbuilding facility in North Devon.

The project will provide continuity of work at the Appledore facility for around two years, and sustain a workforce of some 280 workers.

The new vessel follows the successful build and launch of two earlier OPVs for the Irish Naval Service at Appledore: LÉ Samuel Beckett and second in class LÉ James Joyce. A third ship, the LÉ William Butler Yeats, is currently being built and is due to embark on sea trials in July 2016.

The as yet unnamed fourth OPV will be due for completion in summer 2018 and will support the Irish Naval Service for decades to come.

John Howie, Divisional CEO of Babcock’s Marine and Technology businesses said: “We are really delighted to continue to support the Irish Naval Service with these important vessels. Our firm role is to safely provide cost-effective, value for money naval platforms that underpin our customer’s increasing requirements to protect their coastline and Exclusive Economic Zone, further enhancing border control capability and maritime security.”

UK maritime capability post-SDSR

Type 45 destroyer HMS Defender arriving in her affiliated city of Glasgow.  The state-of-the-art Type 45 destroyer visited her adopted city for the first time since she was delivered to the Royal Navy. HMS Defender is the fifth of the Navy’s six state-of-the-art Type 45 destroyers – Defender was built in Glasgow which is one of her two affiliated cities (the other is Exeter). After delivery to her home port of Portsmouth in July 2012 and acceptance into the Fleet in March 2013, she is now undergoing extensive sea trials and training in order to undertake operational duties anywhere in the world when tasked.

Maritime capability and equipment has always been a significant area within defence procurement. Here, MOD DCB features writer Paul Elliott gives an overview of what the UK’s maritime capability will look like in the future, following the publication of the Strategic Defence and Security Review.

The most recent Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), published last November, makes for interesting reading, particularly in the maritime domain. Investments are being made to enhance UK naval strength, as part of Joint Force 2025. But what will the UK’s maritime capability of the future look like?

One of the highest-profile programmes currently under way is the work to develop two new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, the largest warships ever built for the Royal Navy. These will enter service from 2018 and form the core of the Maritime Task Group, with one carrier available at all times.

The Royal Navy will maintain one of the most capable anti-submarine fleets in the world with the introduction of eight advanced Type 26 Global Combat Ships, which will start to replace the current Type 23 frigates in their anti-submarine role. Further to that, the Navy will maintain its fleet of 19 frigates and destroyers. There will also be the launch of a concept study ahead of the design and build of a new class of lighter, flexible general purpose frigates so that by the 2030s the UK will further increase its total number of frigates and destroyers. It is intended that these general purpose frigates offer increased export potential.

Furthermore, two new River Class Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) are to be procured to deliver a more modern and capable fleet of up to six vessels. These ships will be used to support the destroyers and frigates in delivering routine tasks and to enhance the UK’s contribution to maritime security and fisheries protection.

Since 1969, the Royal Navy has delivered the UK’s nuclear deterrent under Operation Relentless, with at least one of four nuclear-armed submarines on patrol at all times. The Vanguard Class of nuclear-armed boats will begin to leave service by the early 2030s. The headline grabber in the SDSR is that it has been decided that the UK is to make the necessary investment to sustain a Continuous At-Sea Deterrence. The Government says that four boats are needed, in order to give assurance that at least one will always be at sea, undetected, on a Continuous At-Sea Deterrent patrol.

Submarines on patrol will continue to carry 40 nuclear warheads and eight operational missiles. The UK will retain no more than 120 operationally available warheads, and by the mid-2020s will reduce the overall nuclear weapons stockpile to no more than 180 warheads, meeting the commitments set out in SDSR 2010.

The Vanguard Class of nuclear-armed submarines will be replaced with a new class of four submarines, currently known as Successor. It is one of the largest government investment programmes undertaken in recent times, equivalent in scale to Crossrail or High Speed 2.

The design phase started in 2011, and since then the Ministry of Defence has worked with its main industrial partners – BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and Babcock – to deliver the submarine programme. The Government’s ambition is to create a world-class, enduring submarine enterprise, and this will require sustained long-term effort from the MOD, Government and industry. The project is massive – it will be a 20-year acquisition programme and the latest estimate is that manufacturing the four Successor submarines is likely to cost a total of £31 billion (including inflation over the lifetime of the programme), with the first boat entering service in the early 2030s. There is a contingency of £10 billion.

The SDSR states that a new national shipbuilding strategy will be published in 2016, which will lay the foundations for a modern and efficient sector capable of meeting the country’s future defence and security needs. It also says the acquisition of the Type 26 Global Combat Ship will be crucial to the future of the UK’s warship-building industry and form a central part of the strategy. It is intended that the manufacturing phase for the first ships will start once the design has further matured. Businesses should also take note that the MOD says it will compete elements of the manufacturing work so that the programme delivers on time and to cost.

In 2011 the UK National Maritime Information Centre (NMIC) was established to coordinate information about maritime security, both nationally and with international partners. The MOD says it will enhance joint working between law enforcement agencies and the Royal Navy to increase patrolling in the UK’s territorial waters. It will also improve aerial surveillance operations and information-sharing across government.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon MP recently said that the UK will increase its maritime commitment to NATO exercises and activities in 2016. The announcement was made at the NATO Defence Ministerial in Brussels. In light of the SDSR, the UK will continue to commit significant funds to the NATO Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) network, as well as supporting research and development initiatives and multinational engagement through the UK’s Missile Defence Centre (MDC). Investment will be made in a ground-based BMD radar, which will enhance the coverage and effectiveness of the NATO BMD system. Further investigations will also be made into the potential of the Type 45 destroyers to operate in a BMD role.

Going forward, the MOD will continue to upgrade its maritime helicopters by enhancing the Merlin Anti-Submarine Warfare platform, equipping some of the aircraft for airborne early warning and control missions under the Crowsnest Programme. The new fleet of Wildcat maritime attack and utility helicopters will also be brought into service; and Merlin Mk4 Commando helicopters are to be introduced, adapted to operate from ships.

Investment is also to be made in Logistic Support. In order to sustain the Maritime Task Group’s ability to project power across the globe for extended periods, there will be the procurement of three new Fleet Solid Support logistics ships, to enter service from the mid-2020s. From 2016, four new Tide Class tankers will also be brought into service to supplement the two existing Wave Class vessels. The UK will continue to employ the civilian-manned Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), which delivers worldwide logistical and operational support for the wide range of tasks the Royal Navy undertakes including warfighting, counter-piracy, humanitarian and disaster relief, and counter-narcotics operations.

There will be a reduction, meanwhile, in the number of Mine-Countermeasures Vessels (MCMVs). By 2025, three of the oldest Sandown Class ships will be decommissioned, leaving 12 MCMVs in the fleet. The UK is also working with France to develop a Maritime Mine Counter Measure Demonstrator.

What is clear following the Strategic Defence and Security Review is that the maritime domain is an area which will see considerable investment continue to be made in the years to come. Whether through new programmes, modernisation efforts or the Government’s wider pro-business strategy, many fresh opportunities for the defence supply chain in maritime are set to appear on the horizon.

For more information, click here.

Encryption: addressing the cyber threat to UK defence

Ahead of last year’s Strategic Defence and Security Review, Chancellor George Osborne announced plans to double spend on cyber security by 2020. MOD DCB features writer Gemma Gaughan spoke to Dr Phil Jones, Head of Cyber Security and Richard Goodall, Head of Cyber Security Engineering at Airbus Defence and Space UK about the importance of encryption to cyber security and how businesses can work with government to address the cyber threat.

Cyber security has become one of the UK’s top security priorities, and continued investment in this domain remains an essential part of the nation’s wider counter-terrorism efforts. Ahead of last year’s Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), Chancellor George Osborne announced plans to double investment in cyber security by the end of parliament in 2020, taking total government spend to £1.9 billion.

Mr Osborne’s announcement highlighted the importance of cyber security for the protection of UK businesses, infrastructure and the general public. It is crucial that the services essential to the economy and the safety of the public remain uncompromised which is why so much resource will be invested into countering the growing cyber threat.

Equally importantly, both large enterprises and SMEs should be looking to adopt a strong cyber security strategy to help protect their commercial interests. British industry needs to be aware that every British company is a target, that every British network will be attacked, and that cyber crime is not something that happens to other people.

From 1 January 2016, the Ministry of Defence will require prospective suppliers for all new requirements to have obtained certification from the Government’s Cyber Essentials scheme by any potential contract start date at the latest, and for such certification to be renewed annually. This requirement must further be flowed down the supply chain.

Cyber Essentials is a Government-backed initiative launched in 2014 to guide organisations in protecting themselves against the cyber threat. In order for businesses to work with the MOD or central government more widely, they must demonstrate they have measures in place to guarantee the integrity of their cyber activity. Government guidance documents, cyber security awareness campaigns and major funding have been made available over the last year with the aim of helping to educate businesses of all shapes and sizes about the importance of keeping their business safe from cyber attacks and security breaches.

Recognising the help available, Dr Phil Jones, Head of Cyber Security at Airbus Defence and Space UK, commented: “With my colleague Richard Goodall I attended the launch of the Cyber-security Information Sharing Partnership back in March 2013. CiSP is a government initiative that aims to promote cyber security awareness across industry. I think this kind of initiative and some of the other ones included in last year’s SDSR announced at GCHQ are very good. It shows the UK Government is being proactive and trying to figure out how it can best influence the environment in which people are conducting cyber activity.”

The latest government-commissioned Information Security Breaches Survey conducted in 2015 found that the average cost of the most severe online security breaches for big business started at £1.46 million rising to £3.14 million, a huge increase from the previous year. For SMEs, the most severe online security breaches can now cost as much as £311,000, more than double the previous year. These rising costs are important to the national economy as well as individual organisations.

There are a variety of methods that government and the military use to ensure their confidential data is kept secure. One of those methods is encryption. Encryption is considered the most effective way to achieve full data security. It involves the conversion of electronic data into another form called ciphertext; this cannot be understood easily by anyone except authorised parties. The purpose of this action is to protect the confidentiality of digital data that may be transmitted via the internet or other computer networks.

Encryption does not prevent the interception of data but it does deny the message content to anyone who may be trying to intercept it. An encryption scheme usually uses a pseudo-random encryption key which is generated by an algorithm. Authorised recipients can easily decrypt the coded message with the key provided by the sender.

Richard Goodall, Head of Cyber Security Engineering at Airbus Defence and Space UK, explained: “Good encryption will protect your data, keeping it secret between two points. In order to minimise exposure to a cyber attack, it is important for us to develop an architecture which is appropriate and minimises customer risk. Encryption is one component of the overall architectural design.”

Airbus Defence and Space has a substantial history in the UK in both encryption and key management, the elements that make up its ‘trusted infrastructure’ offering of high-grade solutions to mainly government customers. The company is using this expertise to expand its products and services to provide protection for organisations that are considered part of the Critical National Infrastructure.

Dr Jones said: “Our main business here in the UK is information assurance. We’re one of a very small number of UK companies that provides encryption capability to all the high-grade levels as accredited by CESG, which is the technical arm of GCHQ. We provide encryption capability to government in all of its forms but we also provide key management. Keys are long strings of information which effectively enable our military platforms to operate.”

Airbus Defence and Space is the only company in the UK that has both encryption expertise and key management capability in its portfolio. Their successes in securing key management systems include the Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft and the Airbus A400M military transport aircraft.

The most recent solution from Airbus Defence and Space is Ectocryp Blue; an updated version of an existing encryption device. This is the next generation of the Ectocryp which has been refreshed to comply with the latest set of CESG standards. The company is also releasing V2.0 of Ectocryp Yellow, which provides cost savings by minimising the number of routers required in the customer’s network.

Mr Goodall detailed the capabilities of the new product range: “We’ve developed a generic standard platform which can then be tailored to multiple products. We’ve taken a design-based view of the way we can build a product like that, so now we have a portfolio of products with Ectocryp Yellow and Blue which both abide by the same standards. The Blue is our core product; with a speed of 1GB per second it is one of the fastest high-grade encryption devices on the UK market. The Yellow has a speed of 100MB per second; however, it has a much smaller form factor, ideal for use on desktops. Both solutions can secure up to TOP SECRET level and remove the inconvenience of air-gapping or the cost of expensive private infrastructure.”

Products such as Ectocryp can help prevent cyber attacks and the mass loss of confidential data. Organisations could potentially save millions of pounds by investing in cyber security products and services to help safeguard their businesses against the many different cyber threats. Companies that invest in cyber security can demonstrate that they are serious about adopting a strong cyber security posture, and may help them to gain Cyber Essentials certification thereby enabling them to confidently pursue new business opportunities with both government and the MOD.

For more information, visit: www.airbusdefenceandspace.com 

Introducing the best way to connect with defence decision makers

jigsaw_1017387MedThe DSS Defence Suppliers Service Yearbook 2016: the very best way to connect with key decision makers in one low-cost investment!

The Defence Suppliers Service (DSS) Yearbook contains the most up-to-date contact points for UK defence decision makers and influencers in one convenient guide, plus expert analysis from thought-leaders and experts in defence procurement.

With contributions from leading MOD Agencies, Project Teams and Prime Contractors, the Defence Suppliers Service Yearbook 2016 will provide an authoritative overview of the UK defence sector, including:

• The key events from 2015 and how they will affect the market in 2016
• An overview of major projects and initiatives affecting both buyers and suppliers
• Contact information for all MOD Agencies and PTs that require your products and services

Promote your solutions to the right decision makers in defence spending,  from key organisations including:

MOD Abbeywood
Submarine Operating Centre, DE&S
Land Equipment, DE&S
BAE Systems
Logistics Commodities, DE&S
Defence Clothing Team, DE&S
DE&S Weapons
Air Support, DE&S
Acquisition and Commercial Team (ACT), DE&S

The DSS Yearbook is the most useful publication, to connect you to this market and is a must for anyone looking to grow their business and profile in UK defence.

For details on our special offers for early bookers, please contact Roberta Brady on 0141 270 7354 or email roberta.brady@contracts.mod.uk

Hestia: saving hard cash through Soft FM

DIOSoft facilities management services are essential to the everyday functioning of the Armed Forces and the wider Ministry of Defence. Here, MOD DCB features writer Gemma Gaughan provides an overview of Project Hestia, the Soft FM initiative launched by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation to save on estate costs, drive efficiencies and provide a smoother contracting process.

Formed in April 2011, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) is an operating arm of the Ministry of Defence responsible for all of the Department’s property and infrastructure requirements across its built and rural estate. As such it controls some 2400 square kilometres, about one per cent of the UK’s landmass.

The DIO ensures strategic management of the defence estate, optimising investment and supporting military capabilities. It also has responsibility for the majority of MOD infrastructure expenditure, management and delivery activities. The organisation is composed of several operating divisions covering Hard Facilities Management, Soft Facilities Management, Major Projects and Land Management Services.

In the past, Soft Facilities Management (Soft FM) cost the MOD around £250 million a year. Soft FM covers a variety of services including catering, cleaning, waste management, retail, leisure, and hotel and mess services. The DIO formerly provided Soft FM services throughout the defence estate via at least 80 contracts; a less than ideal way of procuring services.

In 2013, a document entitled Project Hestia was published to provide guidance on a new initiative being implemented by the DIO with the aim of harmonising the provision of Soft FM across the UK defence estate. Hestia’s main target was to reduce the number of contracts down to around seven regional contracts in a cost and efficiency saving measure. These regions were laid out as Scotland, North, Wales & West Midlands, East, South West, South, and South East. It is expected that the South region will be the first contract signed, with award provisionally set for 2017.

Hestia does not cover sites operated by Public Private Partnerships (PPP), Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) or the Defence Training Estate; housing sites which have Total FM contracts in place, such as MOD Abbey Wood and US Visiting Forces (USVF); or those sites with established Soft FM contracts in place that outlive Hestia.

In the current climate of tight government budgets and spending transparency, it is essential that Project Hestia can demonstrate that aggregated regional contracts are able to meet the modern estate needs of the Armed Forces. The tendering process has accordingly been refined to ensure that successful bidders have the right culture of continuous improvement and value for money ethos to be able to achieve this.

Besides reducing the number of current contract arrangements within Soft FM services, it is hoped that Hestia will also deliver contracts that are flexible enough to work with in relation to future defence needs and the greater focus being placed on customer needs; will introduce a simplified and effective procurement model that sits well with wider defence policy and initiatives; and will enable effective joint working with delivery partners and suppliers, rolling out projects in phases so that lessons can be learned as progress is made.

The contracts themselves are being designed by the Hestia team to be flexible in order to be able to respond to the emerging impact of wider change programmes on the future size and shape of the defence estate. The use of output specifications will allow DIO expenditure to be better controlled to ensure the new estate contracts are affordable and within budget.

Looking to the future, the project aspires to provide commercial opportunities through the procurement process for a vast array of potential prime contractors, sub-contractors and supply chain businesses across the UK and within the EU, regardless of size or specialisation.

Hestia hopes to open the supply chain up to SMEs, an ambition which should be assisted by the creation of regional Soft FM contracts, and the team will work with industry to seek options for the greater involvement of smaller and local businesses.

The staff for this ground-breaking initiative have been recruited from across DIO as well as the wider public sector and industry. The Project Hestia team thus hold a variety of professional qualifications and have the range of experience of both current DIO arrangements and contracting arrangements within other organisations required to deliver a successful outcome for all concerned.

For more information, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/defence-infrastructure-organisation

Atos and Airbus sign strategic cyber security agreement

Evert Dudok-AirbusDS  Philippe Vannier-AtosAirbus Defence and Space, a reference player in the cyber security market in Europe, and Atos, an international leader in digital services, have agreed to join forces in response to the growing demand for cyber security solutions. The two companies have signed a strategic partnership agreement on research and development and the provision of a complementary range of products, services and solutions designed to counteract cyber attacks.

Today, organisations are targeted by an increasing number of sophisticated attacks designed to steal sensitive information or intellectual property from them or to disrupt their operations. In this context, the security needs of organisations are escalating and require the most innovative security solutions.

To address this demand, Airbus Defence and Space and Atos – which benefits from the security expertise of Bull – have decided to complement their portfolios in order to provide a larger and more effective range of cyber security products, services and solutions.

By combining their respective expertise and R&D knowledge in Europe, the two partners will work on areas such as the development of security solutions for extended enterprises (group, subsidiaries and supply chain).

The partnership includes a worldwide distribution channel partner agreement. It addresses a broad range of businesses and industries including banking and insurance as well as the public sector, notably the defence market. Together, Atos and Airbus Defence and Space will have the opportunity to better benefit from the growing cyber security market, estimated to be worth $84 billion by 2016.

Evert Dudok, Executive Vice-President Communications, Intelligence & Security at Airbus Defence and Space, said: “This agreement paves the way for a highly innovative business model. Putting together our expertise will enhance our cyber security offer for governments, critical infrastructure and strategic industries and will also ensure a strong growth potential thanks to the international presence of Atos.”

DSEI 2015: the global defence market on display

F1_BAE (2)Defence and Security Equipment International is a major global event in the military and national security equipment sales calendar, and the recent 2015 show once again attracted thousands of visitors from both trade and the military to London’s ExCeL exhibition centre. MOD DCB features writer Paul Elliott was there to see what the global defence market has to offer.

It’s hard to put into words the sheer scale of Defence and Security Equipment International, the biennial trade fair held at London’s ExCeL exhibition and conference centre. Organised in association with the Ministry of Defence and UK Trade & Investment’s Defence & Security Organisation (UKTI DSO), DSEI is the world’s largest fully integrated international defence exhibition featuring land, sea and air products and technologies. It’s simply colossal.

DSEI 2015, held from 15 to 18 September, was a who’s who of the global defence industry. All the main players were there as well as many innovative SMEs, and some new businesses you’ve probably yet to hear of. All manner of equipment and technology was on display and a variety of expertise and information-sharing opportunities were on offer at the conference’s many seminars.

True to form the biggest names in the defence marketplace made their presence known with enormous attention-grabbing stands. It was easy to feel dwarfed by the BAE Systems stand in particular, with its dramatic moving parts and numerous levels, or by the MBDA stand which resembled a block of high-end flats. Raytheon also took its share of floor space as did Saab, Lockheed Martin and Airbus Defence. The competition for stand marketing among the big players was as fierce as ever; heavy investment had clearly been made in an attempt to impress the industry at DSEI.

Small businesses are the core of the defence supply chain and they were also strongly represented on the floor at ExCeL. Attendees taking the time to stop by the more modest SME stands were privileged to discover a showcase of spectacular technology solutions, confirming that innovation is thriving within the UK value chain in particular.

It’s important to emphasise that DSEI isn’t all about armaments – for example, fantastic dual-purpose technology was to be found everywhere at the event. Virtual Reality, which is probably more commonly associated with the gaming world, was prevalent throughout the exhibition. One of the more impressive virtual solutions on display was offered by BMT Group. At the BMT stand delegates could wear a cutting-edge Oculus Rift headset and immerse themselves in the company’s F35 Lightning II flying simulation environment. As the fighter ‘took off’ you had the sensation of your body rising in the chair. Likewise in their Chinook VR simulator, you felt you could reach out and physically touch the frame of a real helicopter, so convincing was the immersive experience. It is very easy to grasp the training opportunities presented by such technologies and why the MOD and defence businesses have been showing a healthy interest in developing VR solutions.

One interesting sight on the DSEI exhibition floor was an exhibitor wearing a body thermal suit in an ice bath. White Glacier’s immersion suit attracted much attention; the image of grown men floating around in bright orange suits with their ties protruding from their necklines will assuredly be a long-lasting one. It was, however, another example of the diversity of the defence supply chain and the variety of products pioneered by the industry. Aside from the novelty of the White Glacier stand, their Arctic 25 protective suit is setting new standards in maritime safety and hypothermia protection. It shows that style can also have substance at events where every exhibitor is competing for attention.

The Defence Electronics and Components Agency (DECA) was also clearly visible on the exhibition floor, although it’s a name that some in defence may not be overly familiar with. DECA is an executive agency sponsored by the MOD and was formed in April 2015 from the air division of the Defence Support Group, which was retained when the rest of the group was sold to Babcock International. DECA was strategically retained to provide MOD with assured on-shore access to an avionics capability as well as through-life specialist avionics maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) and obsolescence management capability for the future support of UK defence. MOD ownership maintains DECA’s unique position with IPR/ITAR neutrality and Government to Government market access and maximises opportunities for achieving ‘best value for defence’ through focusing on delivery, cost reduction, quality and efficiency on in-service and future platforms. Their appearance at DSEI gave businesses the perfect opportunity to engage with a resource that they may not previously have been aware of. DECA is certainly keen to lay out routes where they can work with businesses in defence.

DSEI is always keen to showcase the very best the UK defence supply chain has to offer. Built by a variety of defence businesses, the Bloodhound land speed record attempt vehicle is in many ways emblematic of UK industry’s capability, with the vehicle again a star attraction at DSEI 2015. Another iconic platform was docked outside ExCeL in the Royal Victoria Dock. HMS Iron Duke was built in 1993 but is still operating and contributing to the UK’s naval capabilities. The warship has been involved in illegal drugs interception, sea patrol and humanitarian efforts. Tours of HMS Iron Duke could be booked at the event for those keen to see what an active Royal Navy ship looks like on the inside. Lieutenant Commander Paul Laidler was our guide as the inner workings of the vessel were displayed to an appreciative group of delegates. On the bridge and in the command centre, the latest defence tech is visible everywhere. Seeing equipment on a stand is one thing; seeing it in its intended setting offers a whole new understanding of how equipment is designed and operated.

Elsewhere, the latest announcement by the Defence Growth Partnership (DGP) was well attended, with representatives from throughout the defence industry listening with intent curiosity. Along with the launch of the new DGP prospectus and policy statement Customer Ready, the inaugural DGP Innovation Challenge winners were also announced.

With DSEI having drawn to a close for another two years, the defence supply chain will be looking keenly towards the next big event in the defence procurement calendar. 16 March 2016 sees the fourth edition of Defence Procurement, Research, Technology & Exportability (DPRTE) take place at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena, with senior defence buyers and procurement professionals as well as high-profile partners from both industry and government coming together to facilitate networking and knowledge sharing on the day.

The defence and security industry is one of tremendous breadth and depth, as the stands and displays at DSEI 2015 amply demonstrated. While it was easy to be swept up on the day in the whirl of business, marketing and spectacle found throughout the event, nonetheless every attendee is sure to have left deeply impressed by the range of innovation, ideas and solutions on display and confident that the industry will only go from strength to strength.

For more information, visit: www.dsei.co.uk