Home' Asia Pacific Defence Reporter : APDR July-Aug 2017 Contents Asia Pacific Defence Reporter JULY/AUG 2017 19
BAE SYSTEMS AUSTRALIA, CEO GLYNN PHILLIPS
BAE Systems Australia has for more than 60 years
worked with our customers, employees and the
communities in which we operate to help keep Australia
safe and contribute to creating a more prosperous and
• GDP contribution $1.3b
• 3300 employees
• National footprint across land, air and sea and cyber
• $360m spent with 1,600 Australian companies
Exports $81m / 6% of turnover
• R&D $268m over the past five years
Having a member of cabinet responsible for specific
defence industry issues has provided an avenue for
defence primes and SMEs to engage directly with
Government and this has given us the opportunity to
shape and understand defence and procurement policy.
For BAE Systems this means we can focus our
investment and ultimately deliver better solutions,
and capabilities, to meet Australia’s unique Defence
Force needs. This partnership between government
and industry will give us the best possible chance of
achieving the objectives set out in the Defence White
Paper and for establishing an enduring Australian
sovereign defence industry.
Consistent policy and behaviours are important for
providing clarity and investment assurance.
Changes in leadership or in Government add to this
uncertainty and while there has been general bipartisan
agreement on defence issues in recent years there has
still been some ambiguity.
The Defence Sub-Committee of the Parliament’s
Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence
and Trade has started an inquiry into the benefits and
risks of a Bipartisan Australian Defence Agreement
as the basis of planning for, and funding of, Australian
Defence capability which would provide a new level of
certainty to defence industry.
Inquiries like this, as well as the Government’s
commitment to growing defence budget spend, are
a positive sign for the future of defence industry
particularly in conjunction with some of the innovation
and science initiatives that are underway.
We’re currently competing for projects worth many
billions of dollars including Future Frigates – SEA
5000, the LAND 400 army combat vehicle replacement
program, the major upgrade to the Jindalee Over-the-
Horizon Radar Network as well as the world’s biggest
defence program, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
There are also a number of other projects that are
important to the business because they underpin
important defence capabilities in such areas as
security and data protection, Electronic Warfare, and
Exports deliver scale that allows industry to continue
to invest in innovation and skills for the future.
Export success relies on both Australian defence
ingenuity and government investment.
Income generated by our exports is around $80
million annually. Nulka is our most successful export.
We also develop corrosion sensors for the Joint Strike
Fighter, funded through our research and development
program and our support of JORN has led to the export
of HF sensor systems.
Our experts are already looking at the technological
challenges facing Australia’s defence industry. We’re
thinking of better ways to support defence and to bring
world-leading technologies to market.
The Defence industry employs some of the most
talented people in Australia. I believe that it’s
important to both recognise their value to our
business and to continuously look for ways to
develop the talent in our people.
And, we need to keep an eye to the future in
helping to attract people to defence industry. Industry
must nurture and inspire the next generation of
engineers and scientists.
We also have to maximise Australian industry
involvement in all of our projects. Growing the capability
of Australian industry is how we do business.
Technology exists to augment and improve human
capabilities - to overcome the physical limitations of the
human body. Today, this trend is being accelerated by
game-changing advances in connectivity, sensors, data
analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics, advanced
manufacturing, and virtual reality. These are the building
blocks of the fourth industrial revolution.
We are entering into a new era of collaboration
between humans and machines, a concept encapsulated
by the term ‘Human +’. Humans, autonomous machines
and AI software will come together to form integrated
systems that enable closer collaboration across a
range of industries, from manufacturing to healthcare.
This will improve efficiency, reduce costs, and provide
customers with better, more personalised experiences.
Human + has the potential to bring unprecedented
benefits to humanity, and it is our duty to investigate how
to maximize these benefits.
Australia’s future defence solutions and security
depends on the incubation of new technology and
To continue along this path we are committed to
maintaining a highly skilled workforce.
Through partnerships with industry and academia,
we continue to produce leading edge technologies
that demonstrate that we are internationally
competitive. Australia’s niche is in the development
of bespoke technologies.
I believe we should aim to double or triple Australia’s
defence exports. Doing so will create a larger market
for Australian industry, and deliver a more sustainable,
more productive industry and ongoing innovation in
Defence and security work can and should be
completed in Australia.
We are working to provide leading edge capabilities
in a way that increases the skills of the Australian
workforce and ensures sovereign control over the
technologies that we advance.
This supports the Commonwealth’s plan for the
country to transition to a more sustainable, stronger and
more diversified economy.
Industry’s role is to take the lead in developing and
maintaining industry collaboration and partnerships to
unlock greater value for the Australian Defence Force.
And, if we get it right, our Defence Force will get the
support, and industry capability it needs to undertake
the critical role it has to keep us safe.
BAE Systems Australia CEO Glynn Phillips
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