The efficient procurement of defence equipment has long been a challenge for British governments. It is an extremely complex process that is yet to be mastered with vast sums of money invariably at stake – procurement and support of military equipment consumes around 40 per cent of annual defence cash expenditure. In 2013-14 Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) spent £13.9bn buying and supporting military equipment.
With the House of Commons set to vote on the “Main Gate” decision to replace Trident in 2016, the government is set to embark on what will probably be the last major acquisition programme in the current round of the Royal Navy’s post-Cold War modernisation strategy.
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