Chief of Fleet Support

Vice Admiral Simon Lister CB OBE

Chief of Fleet Support is the Chief of Materiel (Fleet) within DE&S and is responsible for the delivery of the maritime equipment programme and the availability of ships and submarines.

Vice Admiral Simon Lister joined the Royal Navy in 1978, and studied Naval Engineering at the Royal Naval Engineering College Manadon and Royal Naval College Greenwich before qualifying as a Nuclear Officer of the Watch in HMS Valiant in 1984.  Based at Faslane, Valiant was then the oldest nuclear submarine in commission.

Returning to Greenwich to gain an MSc in Nuclear Engineering in 1986, he was subsequently appointed as Marine Engineer Officer of HMS Odin, a diesel submarine running from the Clyde. 

A period of Russian language and specialist training led to a tour with the Foreign Office as Assistant Naval Attaché Moscow, during the extraordinary period covering the collapse of the Soviet Union and communism, and east/west military rapprochement.

In 1993 he returned to sea as the Marine Engineering Officer of first (briefly) HMS Torbay and then Trenchant, where he was promoted Commander in 1994.  A two year spell as Naval Assistant to the Chief Executive of the Ship Support Agency followed, during which the Agency was formed, the dockyards were privatised, and the first contract for Devonport nuclear infrastructure (D154) was placed. 

In 1996, he was the first Naval Officer to attend the Sloan Fellowship at the London Business School.  He specialised in consulting/change management techniques within organisations, and the future of the European Defence Industry.  Graduating with distinction in 1997, he was appointed to DN Plans in the Ministry of Defence.  In the MoD HQ he introduced a new performance management regime to the Naval Sector, working closely with the Navy Board.

Promoted Captain in 1999 Simon Lister became an Assistant Director in the newly formed Directorate of Performance and Analysis, tasked to spread performance management techniques to the MoD as a whole.

In 2001, he was appointed as Naval Attaché Moscow, leading the Naval Co-operation Programme with the Russian Federation Armed Forces, the UK Resettlement Programme, and UK’s involvement with the Arctic Military Environmental Co-operation Group for nuclear clean-up in Russia.  In 2002 he was awarded the OBE.

In February 2003, Simon Lister was appointed Team Leader of the Marine Electrical Systems IPT in the Warship Support Agency.  Promoted to Commodore in 2004 he took over as Team Leader of the DLO Restructuring Team, and completed the merger of four headquarters and formation of DLO corporate services before being appointed as Naval Base Commander Devonport in April 2005.

He moved to London in April 2008 where he took up an appointment as Naval Senior Directing Staff at the Royal College of Defence Studies as a Rear Admiral.  In March 2009, he became Director Submarines, responsible for the procurement, in service support and disposal of the UK nuclear submarine flotilla.  He assumed responsibilities as Chief Naval Engineer Officer in June 2011.

Promoted Vice Admiral in November 2013, and appointed to his current post as Chief of Materiel (Fleet), Simon Lister has also assumed the role of Chief of Fleet Support on the Navy Board.  He is responsible for all Defence Equipment & Support outputs across Ships, Submarines and Naval Bases.

My personal ambition is to leave behind me an organisation that feels much healthier in terms of it growing and importing fresh blood; an organisation that is confident in its ability

Vice Admiral Simon Lister

Providing security at sea

The UK has a responsibility to its citizens and its allies to endeavour to safeguard the high seas. This is why the Royal Navy protects home and international waters – making sure the global trade that Britain and the world depend on can proceed without a hitch.

International partnerships

As the fifth largest economy in the world, the UK has responsibilities towards its allies and partners. But Britain also has global ambitions – namely to protect the seaways underpinning the country’s prosperity. The Royal Navy plays a crucial role in fostering these enduring and lasting alliances with other nations.

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Career History

Joined Up1978

Simon Lister joined the Royal Navy in 1978, and studied Naval Engineering at the Royal Naval Engineering College Manadon and Royal Naval College Greenwich

Qualifying1984

Qualified as a Nuclear Officer of the Watch in HMS Valiant in 1984. Based at Faslane, Valiant was then the oldest nuclear submarine in commission.

Specialist Training1986

A period of Russian language and specialist training led to a tour with the Foreign Office as Assistant Naval Attaché Moscow

Return to Sea1993

He returned to sea as the Marine Engineering Officer of first (briefly) HMS Torbay and then Trenchant

Commander1994

Promoted to Commander in 1994, appointed as Naval Assistant to the Chief Executive of the Ship Support Agency

Sloan Fellowship1996

In 1996, he was the first Naval Officer to attend the Sloan Fellowship at the London Business School.

MOD Appointment1997

After graduating with distinction in 1997, he was appointed to Director of Naval Plans in the Ministry of Defence

Captain1999

Promoted Captain in 1999 became an Assistant Director in the newly formed Directorate of Performance and Analysis

Naval Attache2001

In 2001, he was appointed as Naval Attaché Moscow. In 2002 he was awarded the OBE.

Warship Support Agency2003

In February 2003, he was appointed Team Leader of the Marine Electrical Systems IPT in the Warship Support Agency

Commodore2004

Promoted to Commodore he took over as Team Leader of the DLO Restructuring Team. In 2005 he was appointed as Naval Base Commander Devonport

Rear Admiral2005

He took up an appointment in London as Naval Senior Directing Staff at the Royal College of Defence Studies as a Rear Admiral

Rear Admiral2009

He became Director Submarines in 2009 and assumed responsibilities as Chief Naval Engineer Officer in 2011

Vice Admiral2013

Promoted Vice Admiral in 2013, and appointed to his current post as Chief of Materiel (Fleet), he also assumed the role of Chief of Fleet Support on the Navy Board

Navy Board

Responsible for running the Royal Navy

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Admiralty Board

Command over officers, ratings and marines

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