FIRM FO­CUSES ON

BAE Sys­tems hop­ing to grow em­ploy­ment ros­ter at its cy­ber se­cu­rity arm to 1,000 peo­ple

New Straits Times - - News -

LANGKAWI

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.”

PIX COUR­TESY OF BAE SYS­TEMS

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.

Alan Gar­wood

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