Ahead of DSEi 2019, Raytheon UK CEO Richard Daniel talks about his strategy for building on recent successes and positioning the company as a leading industrial partner, investing in the economy and regional communities while pursuing contracts beyond the UK.
Q: DSEi 2019 looks set to be the largest yet with the highest number of visiting delegations on record. How important is this exhibition to Raytheon UK?
All the big trade shows are important to us because it gives us connection with the various delegations both from the UK and abroad. For me, DSEi is a good opportunity to delve into some of the requirements that customers have for the future. It’s about having very focussed conversations to understand where their challenges are and where they’re going, aspirations and so forth.
Q: You have talked recently about how Raytheon UK is proposing a “prosperity framework ” with Britain in order to boost investment and provide technology transfer. What is behind this initiative and where is it going?
We recognise that the UK is facing a generational challenge. And we are ready to build on our UK heritage by establishing a strong manufacturing and technology base with a skilled workforce across the fields of cyber security and defence. The best example of this is the Sentinel aircraft. We created a workforce that adds value to the UK economy and supports the extended supply chain. For instance, the Sentinel programme includes some 90 SMEs in Wales.
We are ready to support the UK government as they secure new trade deals that benefit everyone, both now and into the future. But we also know that delivering all of this will require us to be different. The UK taxpayer should benefit when the UK government invests in us. Real, upfront, investment from Raytheon UK in everything from security, to training, innovation and knowledge transfer and trade. It will give communities across the UK the ability to thrive. And as this business model moves forward, it will be a partnership making every choice, every contract and every investment count. A partnership where the UK’s taxpayers, workforces and armed forces work together with Raytheon in the national interest.
Q: Operational sovereignty is a key driver for UK acquisition policy. How does Raytheon meet that?
It’s really all about what I call affordable sovereignty. The UK is very focussed on operational sovereignty but that comes at a price. What we do differently is leverage investment that has already occurred and then develop skills and capability around it, here in the UK. It’s a different approach to providing sovereign capability and control that doesn’t then force the government to have to pay a premium to get that level of capability. And don’t forget, we’re also creating our own UK intellectual property. For instance, we’re one of the world leaders in GPS anti-jam technology and all of that IP is developed here in the UK. We develop our own IP, we bring it in from the US when it makes sense, and then we go into the supply chain — particularly with SMEs — and make sure there is a route there to market.
Q: Raytheon is set to sign the Women in Defence Charter during the DSEi exhibition. Similar efforts by industry in the past have amounted to not much more than grandstanding. What is Raytheon’s commitment to diversity in the workforce?
Diversity and inclusion is an integral part of our overall strategy to create the workforce we need for the future. Gender diversity is one part of that. I am very happy to be able to sign the Women in Defence Charter because it is completely aligned with what we trying to do within our organization. Providing an environment where everyone can develop, grow and meet their career aspirations irrespective of gender, race, ethnicity, or past experience.
Q: What do you see as your biggest business challenge over the next few years?
The biggest challenge as I see it moving forward is the lack of budget to satisfy what is being asked for. Customers want more for less. At the same time, the customer is going through a transformation process to become more agile. Industry has to be able to respond to support that. And in the future, intelligence as a force multiplier will become even more crucial – that means we must be able to collect, disseminate and exploit data. We also need to consider how we connect people across organizations and teams. Analytics, machine-learning, and artificial intelligence will all be critical components moving forward. Finally, the right control environment — the rules of engagement — will have to be developed alongside the technology at the same time, hand in glove.