Minister Luff Underpins Support for UK Industry at International Armoured Vehicles Conference
Speaking at the International Armoured Vehicles (IAV) 2012 conference earlier this week, the Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Peter Luff addressed a delegation of over 550 defence industry professionals and military personnel where he underlined the importance of the UK's Small and Medium Sized Enterprises.
"We're going to make sure the MOD is more accessible," Luff said. "The new SME Forum which I chair is a realisation of that pledge. We will also do this by ensuring individual procurement strategies maximise the potential for SMEs - and I commend those exhibiting here today - at prime and sub contract level."
On Tuesday 21st February 2012 Mr Luff was given a tour of the exhibition organised by Defence IQ, which featured over 100 defence exhibitors including Abu Dhabi-based Nimr Automotive, a subsidiary of Tawazun Holding. Mr Luff also spent time learning about many of the innovative technologies on show from the strong contingent of UK SME's and discussed how government and industry can work together to better face the challenges of the future.
Addressing the recent MoD White Paper 'Defence Through Technology', Luff discussed some of the changes taking place at the Ministry of Defence which he said are aimed at improving the procurement of defence equipment and maximising efficiencies within the department.
"These will underpin the structural changes across the military. And, it's probably fair to say, change the way we work with industry. In the case of acquisition this means the MOD becoming a more intelligent and demanding customer. An end to what's been referred to as a 'conspiracy of optimism'."
In conclusion, Luff was resolute about Britain sustaining its position as a global defence industry stalwart underpinned by a government determined to support it with resources and equipment.
"We live in a dangerous world, and the future remains uncertain. Our people must be properly equipped and well supported if they are to meet these emerging challenges. However, the bottom line is that we will retain the capability to project power abroad and meet our NATO obligations. And we'll do that supported by the world's fourth largest Defence budget."