Published 3 May 2024

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The Royal Navy will soon have improved digital technology systems, as a new contract will see significant upgrades on the current arrangements that are used on high-risk operations around the globe.

DE&S have awarded Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) – Mission Systems UK, the two-year contract, with an optional further two years. It will see the new innovative digital technology be supported, scaled and enhanced at pace. 

The Ministry of Defence own the current design of the technology, but in an innovative new approach, has brought in an industry partner to help further enhance its capability. SNC Mission systems UK will work closely with the Future Capability Innovation (FCI) team in DE&S.

A key focus of the new Integrated Procurement Model, this collaborative team will enable the delivery, support, and spiral development of digital technology to front-line users across the Royal Navy, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and the Royal Marines whether operating at home or deployed on operations abroad.

Minister for Defence Procurement, James Cartlidge said:     

“Establishing closer partnerships between industry and defence is a key part of my drive to integrate and procure equipment, capabilities and services better in the future.  

“It will see our highly trained personnel maintain capability whilst keeping pace with technology innovation.” 

The new contract is expected to create up to 13 new highly-skilled jobs and support the sustainment of a further 25 roles across a range of Small to Medium Enterprises in Wales and the South-West of England.

The contract was placed by the FCI team who has recently stood up as part of the DE&S Gateway with the support of the MOD’s Commercial X. The ‘Mission Partner’ is an example of Defence’s new approach to delivering procurement faster and more efficiently under the recently released Integrated Procurement Model.

James Gavin, FCI Head at DE&S, said: 

“The Royal Navy, DES FCI and MODs Commercial X worked collaboratively to bring the innovative ‘Mission Partner’ concept into being. We are looking forward to working with SNC Group UK to not just bring innovative digital technology to the front line, but to prove the value of the Mission Partner concept for other parts of the MOD.”

Rear Admiral Ivan Finn, Director Navy Acquisition, said:

“This partnership will further accelerate Royal Navy in-house developed technology to the warfighters on the front line whether they be at sea, on land or in the air. The support enabled through the Mission Partner will have a significant positive effect on our people, delivering a better capability.”