International investment in Australia’s defence industry has been on the rise since the release of the 2016 Defence White Paper, and one leading defence prime has said Australia will act as its hub for targeting contracts and exports in the Asian market.
Defence Connect spoke with Iain Farley, QinetiQ’s managing director – international, who is confident the business’ decades of experience as a key solutions provider to government and Defence will play an integral part in the expansion of the company in Australia.
“From a QinetiQ perspective, Australia is our largest growth market outside of the UK and US,” explained Farley.
“Over the past 10 years we have delivered significant benefits and savings to our customers forming trusted and established partnerships with numerous Australian defence and government organisations.
“As QinetiQ expands into south-east Asia, I see a unique opportunity for QinetiQ Australia to export some of its specialist capabilities, such as our structural integrity and integrated logistics expertise, into the broader Asian market.
“This journey is only just beginning, as we are in the process of opening our first office in Malaysia just now.”
While QinetiQ has already played key roles in a wide range of Australia’s defence projects, ranging from the future frigate and submarine programs, the acquisition of the P-8 aircraft, Hawkei and Bushmaster projects, as well as a strong and enduring partnership with DST Group, Farley said the company is well on the way to playing a bigger role in Australia, conducting increasing research and development activities, looking at further acquisitions and strengthening its program management and engineering capabilities.
“Ultimately, we are looking to make investments in the Australian business and along with the specialist expertise we are known for, would like to manufacture products here that could be exported into the Asian region. Australia is, therefore, key to the support and development of our business within the Asia-Pacific region,” Farley explained.
“The growth of the industry in Australia, strong defence budget and requirement for companies to step up and innovate, have provided the perfect environment for us to invest, develop some of the industry’s best talent and solve some of the industry’s most complex problems.”