Mr Richard Berthon
Director Future Combat Air, UK MINISTRY OF DEFENCE
Richard took up post as Director Future Combat Air in the UK Ministry of Defence in January 2020. He is the MOD’s lead for Future Combat Air Strategy and programme delivery. As Senior Responsible Owner for the Future Combat Air Portfolio, he is responsible for the MOD’s acquisition programmes and investment plans for Future Combat Air capabilities. This includes establishing the Future Combat Air Acquisition Programme, delivering the £2Bn Technology Initiative, Team Tempest partnering with industry, and leading international partnering. Since joining the UK Ministry of Defence in 1998, he has served in a wide range of Defence policy, programme delivery and operational postings for the MOD and Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Richard served as Director Strategic Programmes (2016-19) where he was responsible for delivering a £1Bn pa portfolio of programmes including Complex Weapons and Test & Evaluation; leading the MOD’s cooperation with international partners in military capabilities and defining the MOD’s approach to key sectors of Defence industry, including creating the Combat Air Strategy in 2018 and implementing the 2017 National Shipbuilding Strategy. Before this, he was Counsellor Defence Policy & Nuclear in the British Embassy in Washington DC (2013-16), where he was responsible for pursuing an ambitious agenda of bilateral Defence cooperation. Richard has enjoyed three postings to Afghanistan as Political Counsellor in the British Embassy in Kabul (2011-13), as Director of Stability in ISAF's Regional Command South in Kandahar during the surge of 2009-10 and as Advisor to Afghanistan’s Minister of Defence in 2003-05. Richard served in Kuwait and Baghdad in 2003 as UK Political Advisor during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, before which he worked at US Central Command in Tampa, FL during the combined planning. He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2004. Other experiences in the MOD include as Deputy Director Army Resources and Plans (2007-09) responsible for programming the British Army's budget, Deputy Director Defence Policy with responsibility for the Mediterranean region (2005-07) including the UK’s engagement with Libya, Assistant Private Secretary to the Armed Forces Minister (2001-02) and desk officer for defence relations with Gulf States (1999-2000). Richard read International Relations at the London School of Economics from 1992-1995.