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Defence: Procurement

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN HL4770, tabled on 18 January 2017

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the answer by Earl Howe regarding the A159 Wildcat Helicopter on 9 January (HL Deb, col 1728), whether they believe that there is a strategic requirement for the UK to design, develop and build (1) complex surface warships, (2) nuclear submarines, (3) military fast jets, and (4) military helicopters, and whether this subject has been considered by the National Security Council.

Answered on

26 January 2017

The National Security through Technology White Paper 2012 explained that, while meeting defence requirements through open competition delivers the best value for money, the Ministry of Defence would take action to protect our freedom of action and operational advantage on national security grounds. For example complex warships and nuclear submarines are built in the UK. We are principally concerned with how we access the skills and technologies which underpin our critical capabilities. The 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) committed us to take a more vigilant and systematic approach to the most sensitive components. It also committed to refresh Defence industrial policy and outline the further action we will take to help UK industry to grow and compete successfully. SDSR implementation is kept under review by a Ministerial sub-committee of the National Security Council.