Raytheon is a company with a truly global footprint and with 2,500 employees in Europe, of which over 1,000 are in Germany alone. Perhaps more importantly, according to Chris Lombardi, VP European Region Business Development for Raytheon International speaking to MT at Eurosatory 2016 in Paris, “we have well over 500 European companies as partners or suppliers, which represents fully two thirds of our corporate supply chain.”
As might be expected of the developers and manufacturers of the Patriot missile, Lombardi, based in Brussels at the heart of European defence decision-making, has well developed views on what the most important issues are confronting the continent’s national armed forces. With the NATO Summit coming up in around a month, and with effective missile defence an issue of increasingly grave concern to almost all NATO members, he sees the debate on ballistic missile defence as being an ongoing and contentious one.
The need for such defensive measures are well understood against a continually evolving threat environment. However, the perception that they come at a price that may be unaffordable in the current environment of budget austerity means that debate runs the risk of becoming circular and fruitless.
“Our view is that nobody can afford going down the path of new national investment in technologies that don’t yet exist. Far better, surely, to exploit existing technologies, adapt them to new circumstances and thereby engender a solution that is both effective and affordable as well as being one that can be implemented in a reasonable timescale. The key message is that investment needs to have a clear direction in order to optimise its effects. We need to be smart for all the right reasons.”
From your mouth to the ears of decision makers in all Europe’s capitals, Mr. Lombardi.