The Modernising Defence Programme, a review of the military capabilities and spending, has now been made public.
The Modernising Defence Programme was touted as aiming to further strengthen and modernise Defence in response to more complex challenges, however, most of the work is likely being held off until the post-Brexit environment can be assessed, leaving only 28 pages available to the public.
The Modernising Defence Programme can be found here.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said regarding the MDP:
“Through the work over the past year the MDP has identified three broad priorities, supported by the additional £1.8 billion invested in Defence.
Firstly, we will mobilise, making more of what we already have to make our current force more lethal and better able to protect our security.
The UK already has a world-leading array of capabilities. We will make the most effective use of them.
We will improve the readiness and availability of a range of key Defence platforms: major warships, attack submarines, helicopters and a range of ISTAR platforms. We are adjusting our overseas training and deployments to increase our global points of presence, better to support allies and influence adversaries.
To improve the combat effectiveness of our Force, we will re-prioritise the current Defence programme to increase weapon stockpiles. And we are accelerating work to assure the resilience of our Defence systems and capabilities.
We can mobilise a full spectrum of military, economic and soft power capabilities. And, where necessary and appropriate we will make sure we are able to act independently.
We will also enhance efforts with our allies and partners, aligning our plans more closely with them, acting as part of combined formations, developing combined capabilities, and burden-sharing. And we continue to invest in, and grow, our global network of Defence personnel and the education and training we offer in the UK and overseas.
Secondly, we will modernise, embracing new technologies to assure our competitive edge
Our adversaries and competitors are accelerating the development of new capabilities and strategies. We must keep pace, and conceive of our joint force as consisting of five domains, air, land, sea, cyber and space, rather than the traditional three.
We must modernise, targeting priority areas. A major new step will involve improved Joint Forces Command that will be in a better position so that defence can play a major role in preventing conflict in the future and improve our cyber operations and capabilities across the armed forces but also across government as well.
This year Defence’s Innovation Fund put £20 million towards projects in areas including unmanned air systems, virtual reality training, and enhanced digital communications for the Future Commando Force. The fund will grow to £50 million next financial year, increasing the scope, ambition and value of the projects it can support.
We will launch new ‘Spearhead’ innovation programmes that will apply cutting-edge technologies to areas including sub-surface threats to our submarines, our intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability, and command and control in the Land Environment as well.
And to drive innovation and change through the Department I am launching a Transformation Fund. Next year, I will ring-fence £160 million of MOD’s budget to create this fund available for innovative new military capabilities. I will look to make a further £340 million available as part of the Spending Review. This fund will be available for new innovative military capabilities which allows us to stay one step ahead of our adversaries.
Together these and other steps will enable the acceleration of our modernisation plans.
Thirdly, we will transform, radically changing the way we do business in Defence.
We need to improve markedly the way we run Defence. To sustain strategic advantage in a fast-changing world, we must be able and capable of continuous and timely adaptation. We will embrace modern business practices and establish a culture that nurtures transformation and innovation.”