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Meet the judges: Richard Berthon 

Richard Berthon, Director Future Combat Air in the UK, Ministry of Defence

Richard has been the Director Future Combat Air in the UK MOD since January 2020. He is the MOD’s lead for Future Combat Air strategy and programme delivery, responsible for the acquisition programmes and investment plans for future Combat Air capabilities. This includes establishing the future Combat Air Acquisition Programme, delivering the Technology Initiative partnering with industry, and leading international partnering.

Since joining the MOD in 1998, he has served in a wide range of Defence policy, programme delivery and operational postings for the MOD and the FCDO. Richard served as Director Strategic Programmes (2016-19) where he was responsible for an annual £1bn portfolio of programmes, the MOD’s cooperation with international partners and defining the approach to key sectors of the Defence industry, including creating the Combat Air Strategy in 2018 and implementing the 2017 National Shipbuilding Strategy. Prior to this he worked in the British Embassy in Washington DC (2013-16) and enjoyed three postings to Afghanistan (2011-13, 2009-10, 2003-05). He served in Kuwait and Baghdad in 2003 during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, before which he worked in the US during the combined planning. He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2004.