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ADS President addresses key challenges at 2012 Annual Dinner

Posted 8 February 2012 · Add Comment

Speaking at the ADS Annual Dinner held last night at the London Hilton, new ADS President Robin Southwell outlined a number of key issues that require immediate attention by Government and industry.

Highlighting the need for support from all ADS members and ADS itself, Robin Southwell CEO of EADS UK, indicated that his intention over the year as ADS President was to focus on three areas of work:

  • Demonstrate how Aerospace, Defence and Security is core to this country’s - and our Government’s - growth agenda
  • Enhance UK industrial growth and competitiveness by removing choke points to enterprise
  • Increase exports by harnessing the gold-standard perception of UK products, services and capabilities

Emphasising the need to build on this country's illustrious engineering heritage, Mr Southwell (above) said: "I note that our competitors do enjoy joined up aerospace and defence industry strategies and if we don’t, then by default, we will adopt theirs.

"That’s why the Government should be right alongside us, reducing that skills gap, investing in R&D and committing to a true partnership."

Addressing an audience that included several guests who were involved with last year's Libya operation, Mr Southwell said: "Whilst the decision that enabled our forces to give the Libyan people back their country was taken on 19 March 2011, the ability to enforce that decision was formed 30 years ago.

"Without that R&D investment back in 1970s and 1980s, there wouldn’t have been any British Tornados or Typhoons to fly the missions and dominate Libyan airspace.There wouldn’t have been any Brimstone or Storm Shadow missiles to fire. We also wouldn’t have had the astonishingly versatile nuclear attack submarines able to loiter undetected for months at a time off an enemy’s coast, hoovering up intelligence data and we wouldn’t have the cyber or crypto expertise to turn this data into battle-winning knowledge or to protect our own nation’s data, institutions and vital assets.

"Without that foresight and an industry strategy to focus such investment, we might not have delivered the accuracy that was so essential to Operation Ellamy’s outstanding success."

For the full speech, see the document below.

 ADS President speech.doc


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