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Chief of Materiel, Ships

Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) is currently seeking to hire a Chief of Materiel for its Ships domain to lead delivery of some of the world’s most complex and challenging equipment to the Royal Navy.

DE&S has a pivotal role in supporting the UK’s Armed Forces. Headquartered in Bristol, DE&S employs circa 12,000 staff (both civilian and military) spread across the UK and overseas. DE&S will deliver a £157 billion proportion of the Ministry of Defence Equipment Plan over a ten-year period of new equipment and in-service support to the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force. DE&S procures and supports some of the most complex and challenging equipment in the world, overseeing an extensive portfolio, which ranges from aircraft carriers, warships and fighter jets to armoured vehicles, communications systems and battlefield infrastructure. On April 1st, 2014, DE&S became a bespoke central government trading entity with significant new freedoms - delegated outside of civil service norms – creating a commercially focused business.

DE&S is currently undergoing significant transformation and wishes to appoint an experienced individual to play a key role in helping to shape its future. As DE&S moves towards its next set of targets in 2021, the Chief of Materiel Ships (CoM Ships) will secure enhanced delivery to the domain’s customer, the Royal Navy. By driving commercial thinking across the domain and broader organisation, facilitating innovation and technology, driving a culture of diversity, fairness and inclusivity, the CoM Ships will act as a key leader of DE&S, sitting alongside the rest of the Chief Executive Committee, reporting directly to the CEO. CoM Ships will be tasked with managing the domain, its 1600 staff and £3.5billion annual spend to procures and provides in-service support to 65,000 tonne aircraft carriers, right through to small harbour defence vessels.

To be successful in this role you will be an exceptional leader with substantial experience in delivering major capital and labour-intensive programmes. Underpinning a solid background in commercial and KPI-driven industrial environments, your ability to interface with governmental and public sector stakeholders, as well as experience of working within the defence arena, will be key to ensuring success in this role.

DE&S has appointed Kornferry to assist with this appointment. For further information about the role and additional details on qualifications, requirements and how to apply please email

Applications close at 23:59 on Thursday 8 November 2018