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Defence capabilities: delivering what was promised

The Ministry of Defence’s (the Department) need to deliver new defence capabilities quickly and in full is becoming more urgent due to pressures on resources and rapid developments in technology. Failure to deliver will see capability gaps, overextended use of old assets and extra costs from delays to delivery. Delivering a capability is about more than just delivering the equipment, and it is the combination of equipment, trained personnel and support that gives the armed forces the ability to fulfil their given tasks when required.

This report will examine the Department’s challenges in delivering new capabilities in a timely fashion and the underlying causes for delays. This study will complement the NAO’s ongoing work to examine the affordability of the £190 billion Equipment Plan, by looking at the capabilities being delivered for that money. As part of the work we will examine a sample of projects to provide detailed insights, and look at how far proposed improvements by the Department offer scope for better outcomes.

In particular, the report will consider whether the Department is achieving value for money by:

  • examining the system in place to monitor the delivery of capabilities;
  • assessing whether the Department identifies and manages the challenges to delivering required capabilities into service; and
  • reviewing the appropriateness of the arrangements the Department is putting in place to transform its capability delivery in the future.