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Bringing the defence industry vision to life: Glynn Phillips

glynn philips bae systems australia

Delivering on the vision of the 2016 Defence White Paper and expanding the nation’s defence exports will be no easy feat, but BAE Systems Australia CEO Glynn Phillips says we should not be deterred. 

Speaking at a conference in Canberra, Phillips argued that, despite the market size of defence and the difficulties it faces, there is no reason that Australia's vision for defence cannot be achieved.

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"Defence often has unique requirements and limited demand, and this means achieving economies of scale can be difficult. Our market is quite simply, small," he said.

"Yet this should not deter us. There is no reason why we can't deliver on the vision the Minister for Defence Industry outlined last year. There is no reason why we can't double or triple our defence exports, and in doing so create a larger market for Australian industry, and deliver a more sustainable, more productive industry."

Phillips said that focusing on building exports within the industry is not only good for innovation within Australia but also important for building stronger relationships will allies.

"Export markets promote innovation, skills, technology development and employment," he said.

"And they help build our relationship with allies through partner country capability and interoperability. We must seek to seize Australia's piece of the action."

Phillips also stressed that building this export market will change the story of the defence industry to one of nation-wide success, not one where states are constantly competing for contracts.

"If we do this, it will be a positive story for the defence industry. Not one dominated by which state wins which contract," he said.

"If we do this, it will be a positive story for Australia, where we are supplying a greater proportion of the world's defence needs."

The potential job opportunities from this industry expansion is also something Phillips outlined as a positive.

"We potentially need anywhere between four and five thousand employees over the next five years – many of these will be scientists and engineers those with the dedicated training and experience the industry needs. Many will be blue collar jobs as well those highly skilled technicians who ultimately make up the bulk of our workforce," he said.

Bringing the defence industry vision to life: Glynn Phillips
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