FIRM FOCUSES ON
BAE Systems hoping to grow employment roster at its cyber security arm to 1,000 people
BAE Systems is a company that is well known for its military equipment history, but its focus at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace exhibition (Lima) this time around is something not quite militarily-inclined.
The focus is on something needed round-the-clock, every day of the week, though the vast majority of people are likely not to realise this.
It is cyber security that the company is emphasising at Lima, something for which it recently won an award.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his deputy, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, as well as International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed all showed interest in Applied Intelligence, the cyber security company which has some 400 Malaysians working in Kuala Lumpur, according to BAE Systems group business development director Alan Garwood.
He said Applied Intelligence had been successfully providing cyber security for a large number of companies, including about 100 of the world’s top banks.
Garwood also spoke about the wealth of talent found in young Malaysians.
And, it’s not just that. In a male-dominated industry in which BAE Systems usually works, cyber security was something different.
“The defence industry is usually dominated by men. But that facility in KL (Applied Intelligence) is about 50-50 (where gender is concerned),” he told the New Straits Times.
Realising the gem it has now with Applied Intelligence, BAE Systems is looking to expand even more. The company is hoping to grow its employment roster at its cyber security arm to 1,000 people, all Malaysians.
Over the decades working in partnership with Malaysian security forces — all three services of the armed forces use equipment manufactured by the company — BAE Systems has created more than 20,000 jobs for Malaysians.
It is something that it is keen to add to even more with the sale of the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft, should the Malaysian government decide to procure them for the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) replacement programme.
The Typhoon is one of two aircraft said to be in the shortlist for the RMAF’s MRCA replacement programme and Garwood believes that this would be the best choice.
“It will involve a massive offset programme. We’ve put together a great package which hasn’t changed. The Typhoon has a high 90s (per cent) availability rate, it is in use in eight countries and has a better radar (than any other aircraft),” he said.
BAE Systems managing director (Southeast Asia and India) John Brosnan agreed, saying that the company recognises the financial situation affecting Malaysia and many countries in the world.
“That is why we look for more affordable solutions. Any upgrades to the Typhoon are more affordable and the aircraft will remain in service for 30 or 40 years, so the value is actually more than the aircraft costs,” he said.
Affordability was also one of the reasons the RMAF’s fleet of Hawk advanced jet trainers are being upgraded.
“It’s an affordable solution (instead of replacing the aircraft fleet). The deal (for the upgrades) has been concluded, in principle,” said Brosnan.
Apart from cyber security and the Typhoon, BAE Systems is also touting other equipment, such as its Bofors naval guns, the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System, which can turn unguided missiles into guided ones and the Captor radar, which would be included in any Typhoon Malaysia procured.
The company announced that it had received a US$542 million (RM2.39 billion) contract from the United States Department of Defence to provide 145 M777 ultra-lightweight howitzers to the Indian army through a foreign military sale between the US and Indian governments.
“We look forward to working with the Indian army and providing the only battle-proven 155mm ultra-lightweight howitzer in the world. The M777 will give the Indian army superior artillery capability,” said BAE Systems vicepresident and general manager of weapon systems Joe Senftle.
India will join the US, Canadian, and Australian forces in using the M777, which delivers rapid reaction capability and decisive and responsive firepower in sustained combat conditions.
Deliveries are scheduled to begin in June 2017.
The company also announced that a further series of flight trials of the Typhoon with the lowcollateral, high-precision MBDA Brimstone air-to-surface weapon were successfully completed at its site in Warton, Lancashire.
The trials are part of ongoing development work on the Phase 3 Enhancement (P3E) package for Typhoon, which will also deliver further sensor and mission system upgrades as part of Project Centurion, the programme to ensure a smooth transition of Tornado capabilities on to Typhoon for the Royal Air Force by the end of next year.
BAE Systems military air and information business chief test pilot Steve Formoso said the flight trials included Aero Data Gathering flights to test how the addition of the Brimstone weapon and other assets interacted with the aircraft’s flight control system software.
“The detailed results of these trials will now be analysed and further testing carried out ahead of firing trials. The low-collateral Brimstone will provide the Typhoon pilot with the ability to precisely attack fast-moving targets at range, further enhancing the aircraft’s already potent airto-surface capabilities.”
RMAF’s fleet of Hawk aircraft is being upgraded.
The Typhoon is one of two aircraft said to be in the shortlist for the RMAF’s MRCA replacement programme.