I am pleased to place in the Library of the House a copy of the 2022 Defence Equipment Plan report, which details the Department’s spending plans in equipment procurement and support projects over a period of 10 years.
This year’s Equipment Plan report comes at a pivotal point in time as the Ministry of Defence has become increasingly in the spotlight over the last year in the wake of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
The uplift received from the 2020 Spending Review meant we were able to rectify an existing deficit and produce an affordable Equipment Plan. We have retained this affordable position for the 2022 Plan and continue to hold a contingency to mitigate against emerging financial pressures.
Since the publication of the last report the Department has made significant improvements in the process and production of the Equipment Plan. We have revised guidance to improve realism judgments, strengthened our assessment of affordability and ensured closer engagement between Top Level Budget holders and Head Office to mitigate finance and capability risks.
The recent Autumn Statement has recognised the need to increase Defence spending, and we look forward to the outcomes of this once the Integrated Review is refreshed. For now, however, we are assured that the spending decisions we have set out remain in line with Departmental priorities.
The Plan is not immune to risk, we have set ambitious savings targets and made hard decisions in spending priorities across the Commands. The Defence landscape has shifted, and we must and will remain agile to those emerging threats. We are entering a new age of warfare and will face pressure from the rising levels of inflation; the Department however remains confident in the resilience of our spending decisions despite now living in a more volatile environment.