Defence equipment and procurement

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on defence equipment and procurement. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

17.05.2016The French Nuclear Deterrent
The French nuclear deterrent is the one that is most often compared to the UK's nuclear forces. While there are similarities in terms of policy, posture and size, there are also significant differences in terms of industrial support and cost. All of the major political parties in France also support an independent nuclear deterrent, in contrast to the UK; while domestic support is also high. This paper examines the French nuclear deterrent in greater detail.
01.04.2016Defence nuclear convoys
Nuclear convoys transport defence nuclear material, including nuclear warheads and nuclear fuel, around the United Kingdom. This briefing explains what the convoys are and why some MPs are calling for them to be stopped.
01.03.2016Replacing the UK's Nuclear Deterrent
After nearly a decade of work on a programme to replace the UK's nuclear deterrent from the early 2030s, a decision on taking that programme forward will be made shortly. The Government is expected to seek the approval of Parliament for this decision. But what are the arguments for and against doing so? How much will it cost? And are there any other alternatives?
12.02.2016EU referendum: impact of an EU exit in key UK policy areas
This paper looks at the current situation in a range of policy areas and considers how it might change if the UK left the EU: would UK citizens benefit? This would depend on how the Government filled any policy gaps left by withdrawal.
12.01.2016The 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review
This Commons Library briefing paper examines how the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review will affect the armed forces.
19.11.2015A brief guide to previous British defence reviews
This note is a short guide to the main recommendations of the defence reviews that have taken place since the end of the Second World War, and whether those recommendations subsequently lived up to events.
19.11.2015The 2015 SDSR: a primer
A short introduction to the forthcoming 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review and the Armed Forces.
16.11.2015Social Indicators 2015
This Research Paper summarises a wide range of social statistics. Subjects covered include agriculture, crime, defence, education, elections, environment and energy, health, housing, local government, population and migration, social security and transport.
16.11.2015Defence expenditure: Social Indicators page
Defence expenditure: Social Indicators page. By Rob Page. SN/SG/2623.
05.11.2015The 2015 SDSR: a reading list
This paper is a reading list for the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) due to be published later this year

Lords Library Notes

12.05.2016Queen's Speech 2016 Day 2: Foreign and European Affairs, International Development and Defence
The House of Lords is due to debate the Queen's Speech over four days between 19 and 25 May 2016. This briefing is one of four prepared by the House of Lords Library to cover the themes of each day of debate.
06.12.2013Defence Reform Bill
This Note provides background information on the Defence Reform Bill, which is due to have its second reading in the House of Lords on 10 December 2013.
01.11.2013Debate on 7 November: The Armed Forces and Legal Challenge
This Note looks at some of the issues raised by legal challenges to the Armed Forces.


22.10.2015Automation in Military Operations
Automated technology is increasingly used in military activities such as intelligence gathering, navigation and weapons delivery. The most widespread use of automated technology to date has been remotely piloted air systems. However, each of the main military domains - air, land and sea - make use of automation. This POSTnote outlines current and potential future applications of automation in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and in combat. It then summarises debate over legal, ethical and societal issues, including debate over whether a pre-emptive ban is needed on future lethal autonomous weapons systems.
01.09.1999Military Use of Satellite Imagery, September 1999
Technological developments are continually improving the resolution of remote sensing from planes and satellites. Such techniques can provide 24-hour global surveillance in all weathers and are thus of crucial importance to national defence and military operations. But despite all the high technology, human operators remain of paramount importance in interpreting the data. This briefing note reviews the technical challenges and other issues facing the UK in maintaining this military 'high ground'.

Select Committee Reports

18.07.2011The use of information to manage the Logistics supply chain.
Public Accounts Committee report [Commons]
04.04.2011Management of the Typhoon project.
Public Accounts Committee report [Commons]
22.03.2011Defence equipment 2010.
Government response. Defence Select Committee; Ministry of Defence report [Commons]
01.12.2010The strategic defence and security review.
Government response. Defence Select Committee report [Commons]
27.07.2010The contribution of ISTAR to operations.
Government response. Defence Select Committee; Ministry of Defence report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

That this House expresses profound concern at the proposed appointment of a commercial management company to partner Defence Business Services; believes that allowing a private sector ...
That this House welcomes the international treaty to ban the use, manufacture, sale and storage of cluster munitions that came into force on 1 August 2010; is concerned that the American ...
That this House isshocked at the comment reportedly made in an interview publishedin The Times on 24 June 2010 by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence responsible ...
That this House celebrates the important and longstanding historical ties between the UK and the US and the two nations' important strategic relationship in defence, security and trade; ...
That this House welcomes the successful completion of the first flight of the Airbus Military A400M transporter; notes that Britain has ordered 25 A400Ms to provide the Armed Forces ...


  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses