Australia's defence industry transformation

Australia's defence industry transformation

Air Warfare Destroyer Mk32 weapons system, one of Babcock's projects

Australia's typically conservative defence industry has undergone a huge shift in the last year, transitioning to one where innovation and forward-thinking is crucial, according to Babcock Australia and New Zealand's CEO.

David Ruff joined the Defence Connect podcast where he praised a much-welcomed revolution Australia's defence industry since the release of the 2016 Defence White Paper.

"Only 12 months ago when I arrived here, what I saw in the defence industry landscape was very much a traditional landscape," explained Ruff.

"You had the OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) who were responding to the Commonwealth's requirement for platforms. It was very much a platform-centric focus on procurement, relatively light-touch focus on sustainment and sustainability."

The transformation, or "fundamental shift" that Ruff has identified, now has a sharp focus outside of acquisition, now better encompassing sustainment, and most importantly, performance.

"What I've seen in the last 12 months is a fundamental shift. I think the Commonwealth's defence industrial policy alongside CASG's reform program and other underpinning activities like that have really driven a focus towards asset management, availability, and performance," said Ruff.

"If you talk to service commanders and they talk about providing lethal effect, what they also now talk about in the same sentence is guaranteeing that lethal effect at maximum availability at minimum cost."

To hear more Babcock Australia & New Zealand's CEO David Ruff, tune in to our exclusive podcast here.      

Australia's defence industry transformation
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