PA has won the Management Consultancies Association (MCA) Award for the best overall project for our work with the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD). PA also won the Innovation award for this project at the ceremony in London on Thursday 19 April 2012, adding to its long-running collection of MCA Awards.
The award recognised PA’s work with the MOD to urgently develop a vital new capability to protect UK troops in Afghanistan from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) hidden below road surfaces.
Read our media announcement
Working with the MOD and key industry partners, PA developed ‘Panama’, a ground-breaking unmanned vehicle-based explosive device detection system that has been saving lives in Afghanistan since early 2011.
PA’s main challenge was to find a middle path between bespoke and off-the-shelf options. While off-the-shelf solutions existed, they were only for use in manned vehicles, and customising an unmanned solution within the required timescale of under a year looked impossible. PA’s solution was to use obsolete ‘Snatch’ Land Rovers – 200 of which were awaiting disposal by the MOD – together with a proven IED-detection system.
The unmanned Panama capability keeps the crew out of harm’s way and is saving the lives of UK forces in Afghanistan. A route can now be searched for IEDs at least ten times faster. Panama took just eleven months to move from investment decision to operational use and will achieve £17M of savings.
Peter Smith, one of the judges of the awards commented: "The Innovation Award went to PA Consulting for their work with the MOD. The judging team I was part of thought it was an outstanding project in its category, but I didn’t know till the event that it was also awarded the overall top prize. Despite strong competition (and really, all 10 short listed projects I looked at were very good), it was outstanding. It relates to a project to convert obsolete military vehicles into what are effectively remote-controlled “improvised explosive device” detection units for use in Afghanistan.
"The innovation came from both the way the project (including the consulting support) was run – remarkably quickly by any measure, let alone traditional MOD, and in the technology used to achieve the aims. The overall result is that lives are being saved – while the project came in under budget as well.
At a time when consultants often get a lot of stick, as does the MOD, this was a reminder that consultants and client, working together to combine different skills and knowledge, can deliver great results – quite literally, life-saving stuff." (Source: http://spendmatters.co.uk/management-consultancies-awards-saving-lives-saving-money/)
To find out more about PA’s award-winning work on Panama and our wider innovation, technology and defence experience, please contact us now.