Originally published in 2004. This incisive work reveals the causes of escalating costs and delays in British defence procurement from 1945 to the present. Tackling a complex subject in a straightforward and readable manner, it considers how successive British governments reacted to this problem, why they adopted the reforms they did and why these reforms failed to have any meaningful effect on the operation of this process. The study draws upon a number of disciplines such as economics, politics and science and engineering to provide a broad synthesis that allows the reader to understand the technicalities of the process. The conclusion reached is that there is no apparent solution to the problem of intergenerational costs of weapons, but that a key to controlling the growing cost of projects during their development lies in the construction of a more effective research and development strategy, a path followed by Margaret Thatcher's predecessors and one that is also being advocated today.
Contents: Introduction; The demise of commercial practice in defence procurement: changes in state and military industrial relations in the Cold War; Defence procurement and competition policy: 1945-79; Explaining the failure of the British defence procurement process and the rise of competition in the 1980s; The impact of technological innovation on the British defence market: 1979-97; The rise of international competition in British defence procurement: 1979-97; The impact of better commercial practice on the operation of the defence procurement process: 1979-97; Conclusion: the future of British defence procurement; Bibliography; Index.
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