Defence Secretary announces major cyber investment

Cyber Security at the Ministry of Defence

The UK will invest up to £265m to boost the defence of military cyber systems, the Defence Secretary has announced.

Michael Fallon said the investment, which supports the new Cyber Vulnerability Investigations (CVI) programme, will help the MOD better understand cyber risks.

Speaking at the second International Cyber Symposium Mr Fallon said it will also help the MOD ensure that resilience to cyber-attack is built-in when buying equipment in future.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: “Cyber-attack is one of the greatest challenges to our security. It’s crucial we use our increasing defence budget to stay ahead and investing in this programme will help us protect against these threats.”

The programme will complement the work of the Cyber Security Operations Centre (CSOC), the £40 million facility announced in April to use state-of-the-art cyber capabilities to protect the MOD’s cyberspace from malicious actors.

The programme has also benefited from detailed analysis across the full range of potential cyber-attacks, meaning it is dynamic and can be applied to all aspects of MOD digital systems.

The funding follows the UK and US signing a Memorandum Of Understanding to work more closely together to overcome the growing cyber risk.

Separately the UK and France confirmed greater co-operation to defeat this threat under the Lancaster House Agreement.

Today’s announcement comes on the same day that Minister for Defence Procurement Harriett Baldwin launched the next phase of a €150 million joint Maritime Mine Counter Measures (MMCM) programme alongside her French counterpart, Laurent Collet-Billon.

Working with French allies, the programme will develop cutting edge maritime mine warfare capability to keep the UK and France at the forefront of autonomous systems technology. The development and deployment of unmanned mine clearance drones will help keep our personnel safe in challenging maritime environments.

As part of our £178 billion equipment plan, the programme will be supported by a defence budget that will rise every year until the end of the decade, meeting the NATO commitment to spend two per cent of GDP on defence.

ASTi to deliver T4/SERA for RAF helicopter training programme

Advanced Simulation Technology Inc (ASTi) is to deliver equipment to be installed on a suite of full-fidelity CH-47 Mk6 Chinook helicopter weapons system trainers for the Royal Air Force.

ASTi Telestra 4 and Simulated Environment for Realistic ATC (SERA) systems will equip two flight-deck trainers and one cabin trainer with critical audio and communications capabilities. These trainers can operate in standalone or integrated modes.

ASTi’s SERA system generates artificially intelligent (AI) entities representing air traffic controllers, other aircraft and pilots who all communicate in the same simulation. Using SERA’s advanced speech recognition, pilot trainees can interact with AI controllers through all phases of flight training. This technology can replicate regional accents and eliminates the need for additional staff role players. The result is a truly immersive and fully automated ATC and external radio environment for enhanced aircrew training.

Telestra 4 operates seamlessly with SERA, providing a comprehensive communications environment and high-fidelity aural cue sound model for the CH-47. In addition to eight radios, the Telestra 4 system includes full military navigational aids, missile warning systems and more. The sound model for the Chinook accommodates a wide variety of audio-sound effects. These effects include harmonics for multiple drive shafts and transmissions unique to the tandem rotor helicopter.

IQHQ demonstrates new military wireless communications technology

Through Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) funding, IQHQ has designed, developed and successfully demonstrated a new military wireless communication wideband radio system. Later this year IQHQ will demonstrate the system to the US and French Governments in conjunction with the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).

In future, this work could provide the Ministry of Defence with more resilient, reliable, agile and capable wireless communications technology.

Founded in 2009 and based in Malvern, Worcestershire, IQHQ is an SME that develops state-of-the-art military-grade radio technologies. It has a range of patents and inventions in key technologies such as very high-resilience receiver design, spectrum management and through-wall penetration.

Neil Bourhill, Managing Director of IQHQ, said: “IQHQ’s first-ever contract was a CDE contract. From that seed-corn work the company has grown tremendously to now, where the company’s technical achievements are influencing MOD policy in the area of future wireless communications. CDE was a lifeline and a strategic platform for IQHQ, opening doors into cutting-edge research programmes under Dstl’s direction.”

Kahootz: a look at the origin of Defence Share

KahootzMOD Information Systems and Services recently introduced Defence Share to enable the secure storage and sharing of information up to ‘Official-Sensitive’ classification. Here MOD DCB features writer Paul Elliott catches up with John Glover, director of Kahootz whose solution powers Defence Share, to discuss the new platform, the role of Kahootz and the merits of G-Cloud procurement.

Introduced in October 2015 by MOD Information Systems and Services (ISS), Defence Share enables the Ministry of Defence to safely share information with industry and other government departments using a public cloud collaboration service, which can be accessed on demand over MOD private networks and the public internet.

It has been adopted by Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) to meet its immediate business requirements to work securely with suppliers across the defence industry, and is now being made available to the rest of the MOD.

How it works

Defence Share is built on Kahootz, a secure cloud collaboration platform which allows people to build, without the requirement for deep technical expertise, workspaces where they can share documents, diaries, tasks, discussions and questionnaires in databases.

The platform is now formally accredited for use across the MOD through the ISS service catalogue, and is improving business agility by enabling MOD project teams and business units to quickly request, deploy and pay for secure collaboration workspaces as and when they need them.

Kahootz director John Glover explained: “Basically what a lot of organisations need to do is collaborate, not only inside the organisation but externally with partners, suppliers and key stakeholders. They want to do that in as safe a way as possible. Quite a lot of the time stakeholders want to configure workspaces; it could be a deal room, it could be a committee room, it could be a special interest group in a particular area – there’s a whole range of potential purposes for the tool.”

How it Began

In 2012, when the G-Cloud emerged, Kahootz decided to make an early move regarding accreditation of security. The Government had the idea to pre-accredit systems on the cloud so that departments could use them at will.

Annually, Kahootz provides evidence of how it meets the 14 cloud security principles that the Government has set for accreditation. ISS utilised the G-Cloud digital marketplace to shortlist and select the Enterprise version of Kahootz, so it is unsurprising that Mr Glover is a big supporter of the G-Cloud.

He commented: “For us, G-Cloud was an opportunity because a lot of our business comes from the public sector. We created the self-service proposition so even our competitors can use the free trial and there’s total transparency on price and functionality.

“Because we got our security accreditation early, it really gave us a bit of a leg-up as the Government needed to put its assets in the cloud and know they were safe. We got our accreditation about a month after Microsoft, so there were only two or three in the collaboration space, which really helped us.”

Future of G-Cloud in Defence

The MOD requires commercial flexibility with security to buy what it needs, when it needs it. Kahootz is providing a test case for a consumption-based service model. More business units and trading organisations within the MOD estate are starting to take up Defence Share, and with serious interest too from the Primes, we could all be seeing much more of this innovative new platform throughout the supply chain.

For more defence insights like this in full subscribe to DCB Magazine.

Tips for SME Defence Suppliers: Rob Rolley [video]

rob rolleyDefence is an industry that thrives on innovation, making it a market well suited to SMEs. Here Defence Contracts Bulletin Magazine Editor Paul Elliot speaks with General Dynamics UK Techology Director, Rob Rolley, to discuss the opportunities available within the industry for smaller suppliers.

 

SME’s efficient business models and innovative solutions make them popular among procurement officials. It’s no surprise then that the UK MOD has set a target of spending 25% of all its procurement spend – both direct and indirect – with SMEs by 2020.

SMEs can also flourish within the defence private sector, as Rob Rolley explains:

Why General Dynamics likes to work with SMEs.

  • The dedication required to be an SME defence supplier.
  • Top tips for SMEs entering defence markets.

 

 

As defence is one of the world’s largest markets, organisations of any size can and already do successfully win new business and form strong partnerships with some of the world’s leading public and private companies.

To gain a share of this spend, you need to ensure you have access to the right intelligence to understand the market, exactly what you will receive with DCO.

Register for DCO now.

 

SMEs can thrive in Defence: Jim Pennycook [video]

Jim PennycookThe UK Ministry of Defence spends approximately £23bn on the procurement of goods and services with industry each year, making it one of the UK’s single largest buying organisations. At DPRTE 2016, MOD DCB Editor Paul Elliott met with Centre of Defence Enterprise (CDE) Head of Operations, Jim Pennycook, to discuss the opportunities this market presents to SMEs.

Defence buying isn’t restricted to military supplies and materiel; its contracts include transferrable technologies such as civil transport, research and development, blue light services, cyber security solutions, and communications to name but a few.

It’s no surprise then that Dstl’s Centre of Defence Enterprise seeks to engage with suppliers of all sizes to provide its goods and services. Here Mr Pennycook explains:

How SMEs can engage with CDE.

And what CDE seeks from its SME suppliers.

 

 

As defence is one of the world’s largest markets, organisations of any size can and already do successfully win new business and form strong partnerships with some of the world’s leading public and private companies.

To gain a share of this spend, you need to ensure you have access to the right intelligence to understand the market, exactly what you will receive with DCO.

Register for DCO now.

 

 

Defence Supply Chain Tips: Steven Morgan [video]

Steven Morgan
The UK Ministry of Defence spends approximately £23bn on the procurement of goods and services with industry each year, making it one of the UK’s single largest buying organisations. Here MOD DCB Editor Paul Elliott discusses the MOD supply chain with Commercial Director of the MOD, Steven Morgan, at DPRTE 2016.

In this interview Mr Morgan discusses SMEs, early engagement, and offers tips to businesses hoping to win MOD contracts.

Defence buying isn’t restricted to military supplies and materiel; its contracts include transferrable technologies such as civil transport, research and development, blue light services, cyber security solutions, and communications to name but a few.

 

Have you ever wondered what the MOD looks for in its diverse supplier base?

How it is modernising its procurement?

How it works with SMEs?

Or how it sees the defence marketplace progressing?

In this video Mr Morgan explains the MOD’s procurement strategy and plans for the future.

 

 

As defence is one of the world’s largest markets, organisations of any size can and already do successfully win new business and form strong partnerships with some of the world’s leading public and private companies.

To gain a share of this spend, you need to ensure you have access to the right intelligence to understand the market, exactly what you will receive with DCO.

Register for DCO now.

 

Budget 2016 Review

Budget 2016 ReviewThe UK Budget 2016 saw a continuation of the Conservative Government’s commitment to austerity, with a further £3.5bn of efficiencies forecast to be made by 2020. However the Chancellor also outlined measures to boost business growth; here BiP Solutions reporter Julie Shennan examines their implications.

Justifying the Budget cuts, Chancellor George Osborne explained that the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) had reduced its 2016/17 forecast for UK GDP growth to 2% (down from the 2.4% growth rate predicted in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement).

This reduction in growth forecast was explained as a result of ‘global uncertainty’, to which Mr Osborne said the Government would react with ‘sound public finance’, aiming to get the UK into a budget surplus by 2019/20.

More specifically, the Chancellor outlined plans to:

 

  • Reform the business tax system;
  • Devolve power to local communities; and
  • Commit to national infrastructure projects.

 

Taxes

Mr Osborne’s business tax system reforms include:

  • Supporting a £1bn tax break for the oil and gas industry, including abolishing Petroleum Revenue Tax.
  • Cutting business rates for all small businesses that occupy property with a rateable value of £12,000 or less, as of April 2017.
  • Cutting Corporation Tax to 17% in 2020.
  • Scrapping Class 2 National Insurance contributions (NICs) for self-employed people from April 2018, meaning that the self-employed only have to pay Class 4 NICs if their profits are over £8,060 per year.
  • Class 4 NICs will also be reformed so self-employed people can continue to build benefit entitlement.
  • Introducing a tapered rate of relief on properties worth up to £15,000.
  • Reducing Capital Gains Tax from 28% to 20%, and the basic rate from 18% to 10%, as of 6 April 2016.
  • Adding an 8 percentage point surcharge to be paid on residential property and carried interest (the share of profits or gains that is paid to asset managers).
  • Maintaining National Insurance on redundancy payments above £30,000, from April 2018.
  • Changing stamp duty rates for commercial property from 17 March 2016, so that tax bands will be 0% for the portion of the transaction value up to £150,000; 2% between £150,001 and £250,000, and 5% above £250,000.
  • Reduction of stamp duty for buyers of commercial property worth up to £1.05m.
  • Introducing a new 2% stamp duty rate on leases with a net present value over £5m.

 

Tax Avoidance Crackdown

Mr Osborne also outlined plans to raise £8bn over the next five years by closing the loopholes which allow large companies to legally avoid tax. He plans to do this by:

  • Capping relief on interest payments at 30% of UK earnings (with exceptions for groups with legitimately high interest payments).
  • Legislating against hybrid mismatching tax avoidance.
  • Taxing outbound royalty payments better – increasing multinationals’ UK tax payments.
  • Tackling suppliers storing goods in Britain and selling them online without paying VAT.
  • Ensuring offshore property developers are taxed on their UK profits.

 

Devolution

 Just as Mr Osborne said he was making UK taxes work for UK businesses, he said he would put the power to spend those taxes into the hands of local governments. This means:

  • Devolving local government business rates by the end of the Parliament.
  • Starting the devolution of business rates in London, with the deadline of April 2016.
  • Backing elected mayors in Manchester, Liverpool, Tees Valley, the North East and Sheffield and the West Midlands.
  • Establishing mayors across English counties and southern cities.
  • Transferring new criminal justice system powers to Greater Manchester.
  • Introducing a single powerful East Anglia combined authority, headed up by an elected mayor and almost £1bn of new investment.
  • Agreeing a West of England mayoral authority and pledging almost £1bn to the region.
  • Giving Greater Lincolnshire new powers, new funding and a new mayor.

 

  • Implementing a new fiscal framework in Scotland.
  • Negotiating a City Deal for Edinburgh.

 

  • Devolving new powers to the Welsh Assembly.
  • Starting a £1bn City Deal for Cardiff.
  • Negotiating a City Deal for Swansea and a Growth Deal for North Wales, so it’s better connected to the Northern Powerhouse.

 

  • Planning the devolution of Corporation Tax in Northern Ireland.
  • Enhancing capital allowances to the enterprise zone in Coleraine.

 

National Infrastructure

To back this ‘devolution revolution’, the Chancellor laid plans to boost national infrastructure by:

  • Approving development of High Speed 3 between Manchester and Leeds.
  • Commissioning Crossrail 2.
  • Finding new money to create a 4-lane M62.
  • Developing the case for a new tunnelled road from Manchester to Sheffield.
  • Upgrading the A66 and A69.
  • Accepting the Infrastructure Commission’s recommendations on energy and on London transport.
  • Setting out measures to speed up the planning system, zone housing development and prepare the country for the arrival of 5G technology.
  • Increasing the standard rate of Insurance Premium Tax by half a percentage point, and committing the £700m extra revenue raised to flood defence spending.
  • Backing flood defence schemes for York, Leeds, Calder Valley, Carlisle and across Cumbria.
  • Backing community development grants projects from Truro to Hull.
  • Extending the Cathedral Repairs Fund with an extra £20m.

Concluding his Budget 2016, George Osborne said it put ‘the next generation first’. With business rate relief, infrastructure investment and plans to strengthen devolution it is also a budget which supports businesses of all sizes, across all sectors, in the immediate months and years ahead.

Behind the Scenes at DSS Yearbook [Video]

An official Ministry of Defence publication, the DSS Yearbook contains everything you need to know and grow within the defence industry.

Here BiP Solutions journalist Julie Shennan interviews DSS Yearbook Editor Paul Elliott to find out what goes on behind the scenes at DSS Yearbook.

The DSS Yearbook 2016 will allow you to align your strategy with proven industry trends and solid market analysis for the year ahead. This is a must-have resource for any firm working directly or indirectly within defence.

Not only does it detail who is buying what, where and when with a detailed breakdown of UK MOD and global defence spending, it contains up-to-date contact details for those all-important contract and sub-contracting opportunities in a comprehensive directory.

Order your copy of DSS Yearbook here….