The subject of outsourced defence services has a long and varied history, but in recent times the sheer costs of keeping the latest aircraft, ships and military assets serviced, upgraded and free from obsolescence has seen a huge expansion in the range of services on offer commercially, or on a government-to-government basis, to customers worldwide. The rationale for outsourcing is not just the possibility of saving money through competitive pressures, compared to providing these services in-house, it now also extends into detaching even some operational services from the armed forces to provide a complete turnkey solution. In such case the customer nation"s military retain ultimate control over how such assets are deployed on their behalf, with embedded uniformed specialist personnel within the organisation, and direct responsibility remaining with the armed forces.
Outsourced solutions come in a variety of different forms, but a key advantage of switching in-house provision to an external contract-based solution is that such agreements can include regular upgrading of equipment, or the selection of completely new equipment. Within such packages a large proportion of the costs and effort involved in negotiating a value-for-money solution can often be achieved far quicker than through traditional government-run equipment-selection procedures, which often suffer from major delays and subsequent cost increases. In the outsourcing example the government customer specifies the military support requirement but then puts this out to tender and considers the offers that result. By leaving the bidder to submit detailed proposals concerning how the requirement can be met, and that can include aspects of training, equipment selection, repair and maintenance, and upgrades during its time in service, customers can have a clear choice of the best solution to meet their needs.
In the era of the internet, social media, cloud data storage and universal wi-fi, many armies have struggled to keep up with the breakneck speed of technological developments. Military research and development time lag, as well as bureaucratic procurement processes, mean that many armies often purchase communications and computer systems that are obsolete by the time they are actually delivered to frontline soldiers.
The subject of outsourced defence services has a long and varied history, but in recent times the sheer costs of keeping the latest aircraft, ships and military assets serviced, upgraded and free from obsolescence has seen ...