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DE&S to review strategy in response to Ukraine

Andy Start, the new CEO of DE&S, pictured at DE&S Ashchurch – the primary vehicle storage and distribution site for all types of armoured and soft-skinned vehicles. (Crown Copyright 2022)

Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) – the procurement arm of the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) – will review and refresh its strategy in light of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and evolving geopolitical threats.

In an exclusive first interview since taking over as the CEO of DE&S in September, Andy Start informed Janes that he will renew the strategy to recognise the changing global landscape since DE&S 2025 was published in May 2021.

Its updated objectives will also reflect and learn from the UK's response to Ukraine to extrapolate methodology and good practice across the defence enterprise. For instance, in response to the Ukraine crisis, DE&S has awarded 89 contracts, some in as little as 48 hours, and helped to procure approximately GBP1.1 billion (USD1.2 billion) worth of weapons, equipment, and supplies, either from existing defence stockpiles or as part of a procurement programme.

This response “to Ukraine and the Covid-19 pandemic have demonstrated that we can scale up at real pace. There are lots of little things we can do both within MoD and across our supply chain to make it more robust, more responsive, and more integrated”, Start said.

“Defence therefore has an opportunity to refresh the strategy and take into account some of the changes we've seen,” he said. “To that end, it is appropriate to review, by the end of the year, the existing strategic objectives, which include pace and agility, and delivery through people and partners,” he added.

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