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07 Nov 2022

Strategic Opportunities for Primes and SMEs Across Global Tri-service Investment Programmes.

Strategic Opportunities for Primes and SMEs Across Global Tri-service Investment Programmes.
Shephard Media

With a myriad of advanced innovative programmes being demanded for state acquisition throughout the tri-service markets of the world, there are significant opportunities for SMEs to synergise the development of defence projects, which are yet to be awarded.


Of the top nine procurement programmes yet to be awarded (totalling approximately $827.2bn), all are US-based, with award dates ranging up to 2035. Leaving over 12 years of opportunity where SMEs and Primes can demonstrate their unique abilities to contribute to multi-billion dollar defence programmes.


Opportunities outside the US are also plentiful, with Canada embarking on its largest shipbuilding initiative since 1945 ($52.7bn), Australia, India and Saudi Arabia pouring billions into land-based programmes ($44.7bn collectively) and Spanish, German, French and Italian efforts to create the Eurodrone UAS ($8.56bn) programme.




The development of Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicles (OMFV), puts the US in a strong position to drive innovation across land programmes more generally, with a thus-far undisclosed procurement effort being required to replace 3,800 M2, M3 and M7 Bradleys. Shephard predicts a cost of around $45bn, including in development.  Whilst, in the most expensive project ever for the Australian Army, the Land 400 programme (launched in 2018), has seen initial Investment predictions moved from $7 to A$10.4bn to around $13 to $19.5bn by 2020. The increased valuation of this programme is understood to have been contingent upon government adjustments to land-based investments, seen in the Force Structure Plan (2020).


Interestingly, Saudi Arabia's LAV 700 programme, which has been largely undisclosed, appears to be back on track after a series of setbacks. Shephard suggests that at least 742 vehicals may be being produced and the size of the contracts awarded (if correct), may total $14.8bn, implying additional technological support is to be integrated. These programmes suggest that whilst naval and aerospace programmes dominate investments in defence, innovative land-based additions to the market are still very much in demand.




Aside from the Eurodrone programme, the US and Canada dominate fixed wing drone programmes, with Canada’s RPAS programme valued at $3.9bn and the continuing USAF MQ-9A Reaper drone programme totalling $7.7bn. Furthermore, in a spectacularly large opportunity for contractors, the announcement of $157.3bn programme to continue the procurement of the F-35A Multirole Fighter is followed by $129.2bn for Penetrating Counter Air fighters to replace the aging F-15 and compliment the F35. When combined with the $78bn allocated to the B-21 Raider programme, set to be awarded in 2022, this totals $364.5bn of USAF expenditure, a feast for contractors who are able to provide software, parts and infrastructure-based solutions to the production and development of these advanced programmes.


The removal of Turkey from the F-35 programme presents a challenge to the initially conceived supply chain/s, which are involved in the total acquisition of 1777 F-35 aircraft. Whilst problematic, this may present an opportunity for specialised SMEs to help re-structure the supply chain to maintain its integrity in the US and amongst contributing allies.




Perhaps the titan-project of all the global defence programmes undergoing development, is the US SSN(X) Naval Programme. This programme is intended to replace the Virginia-class of submarine and explore potential capability and capacity increases which could befit the US Navy’s Nuclear Submarine systems into the upcoming decades.


The $179.8bn, 31 nuclear attack submarine programme invites specialisms in anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and demands greater payloads, speed and maintenance of sophisticated multi-mission capabilities. This is a momentous opportunity for SMEs and contractors to help develop under-sea defence systems and provide industry-leading expertise.



Source: Shephard (06/2022) White Paper "Global Defence Market, Key Programmes and Opportunities". Since 1981 Shephard has led the way in business information in the Defence sector. Shephard helps Identify opportunities with Defence Insight, keep decision-makers in-the-know with News, lead the minds of the industry with our digital publications.


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