The Analysis for Science & Technology Research in Defence (ASTRID) framework will be the primary mechanism for providing wide-ranging decision support, analysis and advisory services to the MOD for up to seven years, with a contract value of up to £350m.
The contract was placed by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and will be delivered by BAE Systems’ analytical consultancy, CORDA, which has provided analysis and decision support services to the MOD for over 30 years.
ASTRID will be the successor to the £120m Analysis Support Construct (ASC), Dstl’s current flagship framework for defence and security analysis which has been managed by BAE Systems since 2015.
Under the ASC, BAE Systems manages a 150-strong supply chain of defence companies, SMEs, consultancies and universities to deliver more than 300 separate analysis activities. This approach will continue under ASTRID, with a large, diverse supply chain delivering the majority of the work. The framework will be open to all government departments with defence and security decision support requirements. BAE Systems will source and select the best supplier from its specialist supply chain to conduct analysis and inform decision-making. ASTRID will therefore help ensure, for example, that investment decisions provide the best value for money.
Suzanne Harrison, Director BAE Systems CORDA, said: “We are excited to continue in our role as the MOD’s partner of choice for analysis and decision support, working closely with partners across the supplier community to deliver this.
“It has been fantastic under the ASC to see collaborative teams from across industry and government working to deliver essential support to defence and security decision-makers. Our approach to ASTRID will build on the many strengths of ASC, while bringing in new innovations to keep improving on the successes of the last five years.”
Dstl Divisional Head Rob Solly commented: “The ASTRID contract will maintain the provision of high quality analysis to underpin decisions across MOD and our partners in wider Government. It will build on the successful collaborative approach of ASC, providing access to the best talent in the UK and overseas. We also aim to progressively and significantly exceed the MOD target of awarding 25% of the work to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) including non-traditional defence suppliers.”