Launch of the New Defence Support Group

Launch of the New Defence Support Group

Today (Tuesday, 1 April 2008) sees the launch of the Defence Support Group (DSG), which brings together the ABRO business units with those of the Defence Aviation Repair Agency (DARA) into a single new Government-owned organisation.

As one of the Ministry of Defence's Trading Funds, DSG's primary focus will be in providing expert in-house maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade services for the through life support of key land and air based platforms and equipment for the UK Armed Forces. It draws together many unique capabilities that have been developed over several decades for the direct benefit of troops and their equipment at both home and abroad.

The combined businesses will turnover in excess of £200m, with a workforce of around 3500 strategically located throughout the UK. Directly responsible to Ministers and Parliament, the Chief Executive of the new organisation is Archie Hughes who previously held similar positions in both ABRO and DARA.

Speaking today Mr Hughes said; "The reputations of ABRO and DARA for delivering quality services to our Armed Forces are recognised and acknowledged throughout the world. It is not uncommon for our employees to be right up at the Front Line supporting our troops and making sure the equipment on which they rely is fit for purpose and fully serviceable. DSG staff are out there in Theatre to do a job and do it well, which is readily acknowledged by our military customers."

"In creating DSG, Ministers and the MoD have a clear idea of what they expect from us, we must focus our skills and expertise on supporting our defence customers. Diversification into non-defence markets is a distraction we can no longer afford and our vision is unequivocal - we will excel in supporting defence."

Ministers announced in May 2007 that ABRO and the retained DARA businesses would merge to create a new organisation along with some other defence engineering activities previously carried out by the Defence Storage and Distribution Agency (DSDA) at Stafford.


Notes to Editors
1. Launched on 1 April 1999, the Defence Aviation Repair Agency (DARA) brought together the RAF Maintenance Group Defence Agency (MGDA) and the Naval Aircraft Repair Organisation (NARO). DARA was established as a Trading Fund on 1 April 2001, offering expertise and ability to completely strip, replace, repair and rebuild everything from systems, components and equipment to whole aircraft, to both military and commercial organisations.

2. ABRO was also a Government Trading Fund but it was established in 1993 to repair and maintain military land equipments and gained Trading Fund status on 1 April 2002. 

3. DSG's Head Office is located in Andover and provides strategic direction to the main sites in Bovington, Catterick, Colchester, Donnington, Sealand, St Athan, Stafford, Stirling and Warminster. Smaller support sites located in Aldershot, Bicester, Edinburgh, Kinnegar, Sennybridge and York further enhance DSG's geographic coverage. Small support teams are also permanently embedded in other UK military sites.

For further information about DSG, contact the Press Office on -
Tel: 01264 385799 during normal office hours
Out of hours - call 07710 789853

Issued:  31 March 2008
Reference: 01/08