25 August 2005 | Anusha Bradley
Defence manufacturers have welcomed a government review to determine what military technology should be produced in the UK and what can be sourced from foreign suppliers.
Defence procurement minister Lord Drayson, who ordered the assessment, said a white paper detailing manufacturing and technological capabilities essential to national security and competitiveness, which should therefore remain in the UK, would be produced by Christmas.
A Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesman said the review would enable UK industry to plan ahead.
Alan Sharman, director-general of the Defence Manufacturers' Association, said producers had been pushing for this review for a long time. "The industry needs to understand what the MoD wants to buy in order to determine where to make investment," he said.
He added there was a "real concern" that the MoD's spend on foreign products was growing every year. About 10 to 15 per cent of the MoD's £9 billion budget is currently spent abroad.
Meanwhile, the Defence Logistics Organisation is to manage its supply chain function in-house following a two-year review. The system is expected to save £400 million over 10 years and will mean the loss of 2,000 staff.
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