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Speech by Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt at RUSI First Sea Lord's Sea Power Conference

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Speech by Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt at RUSI First Sea Lord's Sea Power Conference

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Extract from speech by the Defence Secretary, The Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP at at RUSI for the First Sea Lord's Sea Power Conference.


What does all this mean for industry? It means we’re looking to you to match our ambition. To get the ships we need, we need the shipbuilding. That means improving the relationship between industry and Government

A few years ago, Sir John Parker’s report laid bare the challenges. The old days of changing requirements on a whim and being vague about what we need in the long-term, that must end our Recent Acquisition Review. Took a sample of live MOD programmes.

It found on average that the initial estimated cost of a project rose by 35 per cent and delivery time by 46 per cent. That’s not just costing us time and money…that is damaging our operational effectiveness.

So my challenge to industry is to become more sustainable. To do more to deliver value for money. To stick to fixed project budgets and to innovate in the way you build. To up your competitiveness…building exportability in as standard and to deliver faster…the days of taking decades to build a ship are over.

I know you’ve been told this before, but what’s different now is that both you and I recognise that the politics also needs to change.

And we have to continually learn.

Which is why I’ve commissioned work examining the lessons from the Mars tanker procurement, especially for our UK supply chain.


As we prepare the next chapter for the fleet…

As we go into the next CSR.

As we transform defence

Let’s have some honesty about what it takes.

Let’s have some honesty about what it costs.

Let’s have some confidence about its value and some rigor in the planning.

Let’s have some excellence in our partnership and some clarity in our mission.

As your Secretary of State all I ask is for your help in that task."

Added: 30th May 2019


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