11 Nov 04. “We need to encourage companies such as Raytheon Systems limited to develop their businesses in the UK. Big companies such as these create a totem pole around which smaller business grow and develop. The UK is among few European countries to recognise that to prosper you need a strong brand, new and advanced products and R&D, as what is new today in Europe will be a commodity from China in three years,” said Digby Jones, Director-General of the CBI on opening Raytheon Systems’ (RSL)new London Headquarters last night.
Chairman of Raytheon Systems Limited, Sir Robert Hayman-Joyce reinforced Digby Jones’s remarks by stating that, “We intend to build Raytheon Systems Limited as a strong UK defence company standing on its own, delivering to its Customer One (he suggested the US acronym of ‘Warfighter’ was more appropriate) and exporting across the world; indeed we now only have three Americans in the company. To do this we can leverage the huge U.S. R&D budget through our U.S. parent and offer our MoD and European customers a clear understanding of UK problems, customs and practices, with a solution soured and supplied domestically.”
The Editor asked him whether the current ITAR impasse was going to prove a barrier to these intentions, “No,” Sir Robert continued, “These problems are certainly not insurmountable and we expect more progress to be made now that the election is over.”
Digby Jones reinforced these views by stating that, “Since the opening of our new Washington office it has become perfectly clear that the US and the UK are excellent trading partners and the response there has been fantastic. We must globalise to survive and the British know how to trade globally. I hope by the end of my tenure we may have an office in Peking.”
“But, does the Government recognise the need to have a strong industrial base in the Uk and not to rely on the Service Sector,” the Editor asked Malcolm Howe of the CBI, “The problem is, that manufacturing industry is in a gradual decline, now accounting for only 17% of GDP. If there was a sudden rapid decline, that would make the government sit up and take notice. The message must be broadcast at a very early stage in the school curriculum to broaden the possibilities of pupils away from the City, Law and Accountancy to a broad range of industry careers” The Editor agreed, citing his wish to develop his strong blood ties with engineering which had fallen on deaf ears whilst he was at Eton. But with the majority of the Government being lawyers and seeing the ability of their colleagues to make 25% of the £25bn world-wide fee income from legal work, do they see a need to have factories making products using workers who might go on strike!? The pickings from the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, now over £100m only go to demonstrate how fat fees can be earned with no buildings or infrastructure requirements.
Jack Cronin, the new Managing Director of Raytheon Systems Limited gave an upbeat round up of the company’s activities this year, “We are pleased to announce today the formation of a new ISR business under Ian Denholm. This has been made possible by the combination of US and UK technology, giving the UK Company the unique ability to offer the Ministry of Defence a complete range of intelligence systems and precision strike weapons that can be used to locate, identify and engage targets rapidly with precision guided weapons.”
“This business will consolidate our existing contract wins this year in PGB and JETTS and together with ASTOR, develop a business capable of giving our MoD and export customers the ability to bring targets directly from sensor to effector. This will collapse the battlespace and reduce fratricide, an essential element of NEC. To support these moves we have established a team at the battleab in Warminster and twenty five personnel are moving from Greenville, Texas to RAF Waddington, the Sentinel base, to establish a centre of excellence.”
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