BAE Systems is arguing the case for the Australian defence sector to apply a much stronger focus on highly specialised technological innovation – which it casts as a core strength of the local industry.
Speaking to Defence Connect’s Phillip Tarrant, BAE Systems Australia CEO Glynn Phillips expanded on the point, saying the nation’s capability challenges would – inevitably – continue to be in a state of flux.
"Because they're ever-evolving … you can never stand still, which means you've got to continually be investing," said Phillips. "The focus for me is how do we invest in those sovereign capabilities here in Australia by Australians for the nation's security, how do we nurture them [and] how do we grow them?"
"Ultimately, it's those technological developments and innovations that really give us the foundation for things [linked to] future exports as well," he said, noting that BAE Systems had been most successful in "those technological, cutting-edge niche innovations where Australia has quite a strong knowledge economy already in defence".
He said being able to build on that core strength and expand it would provide the ADF with the tool set they require to do their job.
"[It] can equally be a stimulus for economic growth here in Australia, both for the national economy and for jobs and skills development for the sovereign industry. I think that’s the most important thing … we do," Phillips said.