Xtek chief executive Philippe Odouard has sounded an upbeat note on the overall health of the Australian defence sector, hailing in particular the federal government’s support for an overarching innovation focus.
Odouard – who assumed to role as CEO at Xtek in October 2016 – told Defence Connect he was very optimistic in terms of where the Australian defence industry was heading.
"It's looking very good," he said. “The budget ... was announcing an increase … to 2 per cent of GDP, which we haven't reached for years and years now. That is very positive of course, it's an increase which is very significant over the next three years."
In addition, Odouard noted that the budget spend increase took into account that this growth derived not just from imported products.
"It's also by including more value adding from the Australian industry on one side. Australian industry that can bring manufacturing into other products, but also very much the emphasis is on the intellectual property created in this country," he said.
"In terms of research and development [and] new products that are created [we’re seeing] a lot of support from the government to get those new products [on stream] … and a willingness to adopt those products into assets that are being used in defence, which we've never seen before."
Odouard highlighted that previously, when firms had a product that was mandated onto a platform, it tended to be under some type of US mandated legal configuration.