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The Defence Materiel Strategy and the GOCO Proposal for Abbey Wood

The RUSI Acquisition Focus Group
Briefing Papers, 25 July 2012
Defence, Industries and Society
The government has proposed a bold new plan for Defence Equipment and Support to go government owned, contractor operated. But will it work?

Download the briefing paper here (PDF)

The plan for letting the private sector run Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) as a government-owned, contractor-operated (GOCO) organisation has been a prominent element of defence reform by the current MoD Chief of Defence Materiel, Bernard Gray.

Mr Gray's proposal for DE&S is based on replicating the GOCO model of the Atomic Weapons Establishment, which safeguards the UK's nuclear warheads at Aldermaston. However, as the RUSI Acquisition Focus Group Briefing Paper warns, due to the size and scope of DE&S, such a plan cannot be easily reproduced.

About the Group

The RUSI Acquisition Focus Group comprises individuals with significant defence experience acting in a personal capacity to analyse pressing acquisition issues. Its papers can be found in RUSI Defence Systems since 2006. It comprises:

John Weston
Chairman, formerly Group Chief Executive at BAE Systems

Bob Barton
Formerly Managing Director at Niteworks

Sir Jeremy Blackham
Formerly Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff at the MoD

Sir Brian Burridge
VP Strategic Marketing, Finmeccanica UK; formerly CinC Strike Command

Hugh Colver
Formerly Group Communications Director at BAE Systems, and formerly Chief of PR at the MoD

Professor Malcolm Chalmers
Director of Research and Head, UK Security Policy, RUSI

Professor Christopher Elliott
Formerly Director of Doctrine and Strategic Analysis at General Dynamics

Graham Jordan
Formerly Science and Technology Director at the MoD

Sir Kevin O’Donoghue
Formerly Chief of Defence Materiel at the MoD

Bill Robins
Formerly Director General of Information and Communications Services at the MoD

Professor Trevor Taylor
Director, Defence, Industries and Society Programme, RUSI

The Acquisition Focus Group is hosted by the RUSI Defence, Industries and Society Programme, which aims to facilitate an evidence-based understanding of the place of industries in Western defence and wider society.

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