Britain’s Ministry of Defense has decided to sell its equipment repair and maintenance division to a private company. Looking to transfer funds to the private sector, the sale of the Defence Support Group (DSG) will take place next month.
The DSG will most likely be sold to General Dynamics Corporation, Babcock or KBR. General Dynamics - a product of numerous mergers - is a US-based aerospace and defense firm. Babcock International Group plc specializes in infrastructure and assets in mission- and safety-critical environments. KBR Inc. is a US procurement, engineering, and construction company.
The MoD has been under immense pressure regarding budget and the deal is supposed to fetch anything between £200 million and £300 million. Struggling to recover from the financial crisis, Britain’s MoD has been suffered the most in terms of job cuts and funding compared to any other government department. Reports state that despite the MoD’s continuous involvement in the fight against Ebola and ISIS, the next parliament is most likely to declare more cuts. Currently the DSG has 2,800 employed engineers who repair and service hardware such as tanks, planes, and other military vehicles.
The move to privatize part of the DSG was first proposed in 2010. Last year, again, there was another attempt for privatization but that too didn’t work out as bidders backed out. Has the efforts been fruitful, the operational control of the DSG would have been in the hands of a private company while ownership would have stayed with the government.