Case study, Defence
Operational readiness in chemical warfare detectors
Download case study
Case study, Defence
Operational readiness in chemical warfare detectors
Download case study
Fifteen years of partnership between UK’s Ministry of Defence and Smiths Detection defending against Chemical Warfare (CW) threats

The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) is responsible for implementing the defence policy set by the UK government, and works tirelessly to protect the people, territories, values, and interests of UK citizens at home and overseas. The MoD manages the full range of UK defence responsibilities, including maintaining operational readiness of their chemical warfare detection equipment.

To enhance its operational readiness, Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) partnered with Smiths Detection to establish a new, end-to-end service model designed specifically to deliver and fulfil their needs.


DE&S has partnered with Smiths Detection in a service contract known as ChemSense for the past 15 years, designed to maintain the operational readiness of in-service chemical warfare detection devices across five product lines to protect UK ships, vehicles, and personnel.

DE&S needed a service solution that would deliver a higher level of throughput for devices that had previously been achieved and also provide the flexibility required to meet ad hoc repair and service requests.


In order to support the DE&S’s latest requirements, Smiths Detection formed a cross-functional team of over 40 experts to design a program that would address today’s challenges. At the core of Smiths Detection’s service delivery model was the creation of a new dedicated facility—the Service Hub—with new layout and processes that can be adapted and expanded to cover future service opportunities.

The multidisciplinary team of experts and specialists worked closely to formulate a strategy to bring the Service Hub to life. This included infrastructure planning, facility enhancements and modelling of a new service delivery solution.

The team overcame barriers and implemented additional measures to be able to deliver the project on time and on budget, despite COVID-19. As a result, the Service Hub began operations in record time and demonstrated it was able to deliver DE&S’s needs and more within one month. With this new Service Hub, DE&S now has dedicated workshop areas, bespoke threat calibration and test equipment, and dedicated service staff with broader service expertise on hand to improve processes and efficiencies.

Boosting DE&S’s chemical warfare detection equipment readiness has required the application of Service expertise committed to delivering a new service model despite challenging COVID-19 circumstances. This timely collaboration re-enforces our relationship with the UK MOD where we listened, reacted and delivered. This hopefully paves the way for more collaboration in and outside the UK to protect national security interests.
— Simon Barr, Head of Global Service Commercial and Strategic Projects, Smiths Detection

Since the Service Hub began in early 2021, it has already demonstrated that the new integrated model will achieve the higher throughput required by DE&S and that it can also deliver the flexibility to service ad hoc repairs on demand. This new model has ultimately helped DE&S boost the operational and defence capabilities of its CWA detection fleet, and they are looking towards more potential value-added services and upgrades from Smiths Detection.