The lessons learned from Allied operations in Iraq will play an important part in shaping the UK's future defence policy, defence procurement minister Lord Bach said at the show yesterday.

Lord Bach was speaking in advance of the much-anticipated release on Thursday of a white paper on defence, which has been widely tipped to include cuts to programmes and troop numbers.

"The white paper was always intended to focus on policy, not on specific programmes," Bach said. "It is about how we envisage our future capabilities and it is certainly important because it is the only defence white paper in this Parliament."

Bach gave some hints about the themes to be included in the paper, highlighting the increased focus on network-enabled capability and the need for future forces to be lighter, more responsive and "expeditionary".

Responding to questions on increasing US influence in acquisition programmes in the Middle East, Bach said he still believed non-US companies had a realistic opportunity to win work here.

Source: Flight Daily News