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''The comprehensive skills and experience of the PA team helped us execute the role with confidence, and we have achieved results, many

both within and outside of the team, thought impossible at the outset.''

GROUP CAPTAIN PAUL RIDGE OBE, MANOEUVRE SUPPORT TEAM LEADER, UK MOD

UK MOD - Using innovative procurement techniques to rapidly deliver an explosive device detection system to protect UK forces

To protect soldiers in Afghanistan, the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) urgently needed a vehicle-based system to detect improvised explosive devices hidden below road surfaces. Off-the-shelf solutions existed but were considered unsatisfactory. Customising a solution, however, would extend the timescale and leave soldiers at risk for longer.

PA resolved the MOD’s dilemma, finding a middle path between an off-the-shelf solution and a full development programme. We met the urgent timescales without compromising performance by applying an innovative approach to both the solution design and its procurement. Our work included assessing a wide range of candidate systems and subsystems to help the MOD select the right solution and secure buy-in from senior stakeholders. We then provided support to enable the MOD to work directly with empowered and incentivised suppliers without the usual prime contract arrangements.

It took just 11 months to move from investment decision to operational use. The system has been saving lives since early 2011. The procurement approach saved an estimated £9 million of upfront costs plus projected lifetime costs of a further £8 million.

Our work with the UK MOD on Panama was awarded the top 'Platinum' prize at the 2012 Management Consultancies Awards. Find out more.

To find out more about our work on Panama and our wider defence expertise, including programme, commercial and procurement advice, please contact us now.