JOURNAL OF DEFENCE STUDIES

The Long-term Effects of UK Defence Privatisation: Lessons for India?

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  • October-December 2019
    Volume: 
    13
    Issue: 
    4
    Focus

    This article argues that privatisation of defence has failed to achieve the objectives of increased competition (between producers) leading to increased choice and reduced costs (to purchasers). Instead, costs have increased, choice has decreased and much of the equipment supplied to the United Kingdom (UK) Armed Forces is now sourced wholly or partially from foreign suppliers—leaving the nation dangerously exposed to potential interferences in the supply (and replacement) of weaponry and munitions for political reasons. In effect, privatisation has replaced a national monopoly (over which the government had control) with a foreign private monopoly (over which the government has very little control). It is felt that the lessons from the UK experience may be of benefit to India which is currently undergoing similar restructuring.

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