23 Mar 2021

Defence and Security Industrial Strategy Publication Letter

Jeremy Quin MP, Minister for Defence Procurement at the Ministry of Defence and the other Ministers involved in the creation of DSIS have written to industry partners about the launch of the Strategy.

You can find their full letter below. 

Dear Industry Partner,


1. Today the UK Government has published a new Defence and Security Industrial Strategy (DSIS), which can be found here.

2. The DSIS will ensure that the UK continues to have competitive, innovative and world-class defence and security industries, that underpin our national security now and, in the future, drive investment and prosperity across the Union, and contribute to strategic advantage through science and technology. It will support growth and investment in the UK’s defence and security sectors, so that we are able to deliver the capabilities that we need to tackle future threats to our national security, exploiting the latest technological advances and opportunities.

3. The Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy set out the Government’s ambition for the UK and its determination to face the challenges of global systemic competition. With the additional investment of £24bn in Defence over the next four years, the Defence Command Paper outlined how we will modernise and adapt the posture of our Armed Forces. The DSIS details the framework through which we will deliver on these plans working with industry, academia and our global Allies and partners.

4. For the broader security sector, DSIS also describes how the Government will support the UK industrial base, recognising the challenges faced by its many Small and Medium-sized Enterprises. The Joint Security and Resilience Centre and National Security Technology and Innovation Exchange will ensure that the needs and concerns of this sector are reflected at the appropriate levels of the Government.

5. This new strategy involves moving away from the Government’s previous policy of ‘global competition by default’ set out in the 2012 ‘National Security Through Technology’ White Paper. It instead introduces a more flexible approach which requires that we assess the markets concerned, the technology we require, our national security requirements, opportunities to cooperate internationally, and prosperity opportunities, before deciding the correct approach to acquisition of a given capability. In the defence sector, this includes critical elements (such as nuclear) which we need to retain in the UK as strategic imperatives, or to maintain our operational independence. The security sector is mostly different, with competition working effectively in many areas, but with one element (cryptography) which is also a strategic imperative to maintain onshore.

6. The DSIS recommends changes in the way that Government and industry work together. This includes policy, process, and regulatory changes across these areas:

adapting acquisition and procurement for defence and security, including driving forward work to reform MOD’s acquisition and approvals processes, and a review of the regulations governing defence & security public procurements. These changes will improve the speed and simplicity of procurements and upgrades, provide more choice and flexibility in how we procure and support capabilities and enable innovation.

• linked to our ambition to become a Global Science Power, using R&D investments to grow industrial capability and maximise the 'pull through' of R&D into cutting-edge equipment. We will be involving companies earlier in the development and procurement process, to ensure we benefit from innovative technology, whilst bringing new entrants into the supply chain.

strengthening the productivity and resilience of the defence and security sector, encouraging foreign investment into target sectors while better protecting the supply chain from malign intervention. This includes initiatives to boost supply chain competitiveness and building national resilience through improving understanding and assurance of our supply chains.

prioritising and refocusing effort on exports, taking a whole of Government approach to driving export success. This will require investment in our international partnerships, including Ministerial commitment, as well as greater willingness to use Government-to-Government commercial agreements.

Ensuring earlier consideration of opportunities for international co-development and cooperation, ensuring the right balance between what we need to do domestically, what could or should be done by others and what we can grow together, so that we can access the best technology available.

7. The DSIS is founded on the fundamental principle that transparency and commitment to see through our investment plans can improve industry’s productivity and competitiveness, giving companies the confidence to plan ahead and co-invest early. In return, we ask that industry works collaboratively and closely with us on this agenda. We also expect companies to invest in skills and training and to work better together to tackle shared challenges. We hope that you will join us in our efforts to achieve these ambitions.

Yours sincerely,