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MASS transformation, BAE Systems Munitions

Project of the year: 2015

Until the mid-2000s, munitions manufacture in the UK had been a story of downsizing and decline for the previous 20 years. Project management of change concentrated on site closures and outsourcing; operations continued but with only essential maintenance of the remaining factories.

However, all of this was set to change. With UK forces deep into operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) and BAE Systems Munitions recognised the need for a long-term and sustainable on-shore munitions manufacturing capability.

This called for huge redevelopment of the existing manufacturing base, but with the challenge of a greatly reduced capacity to deliver it. The MASS Contract (Munitions Acquisition the Supply Solution) was the response, and this brought about the first major transformation project for a generation.

The five-year project to modernise the UK’s munitions manufacturing business was to cover three sites with a total budget of £206 million and had to be delivered on time without disruption to the vital ongoing production, which supplied troops in action.

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