Northrop Grumman chief urges US-UK co-operation on procurement
By Matthew Bell
The changing global defence and security environment has made US-UK and wider international co-operation a crucial factor in future defence procurement, according to the head of Northrop Grumman.
Wes Bush, chief executive officer and president of the US group, described the US and UK defence industrial bases as "global resources" that can "no longer be managed as stove-piped systems hermetically sealed from the efficiencies of better co-operation".
Speaking at an International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) conference in London on 3 May, Bush highlighted the threat of cyber attack on civil and defence computer infrastructures as an example of "the diminishing relevance of such traditional peace-keeping bulwarks as deterrence through scale, national borders or even treaties".
"No member of the community of free, law-abiding nations can afford to go it alone," he said. "Technology will remain at the heart of our ability to defend ourselves. And the development and application of those new technologies must represent a broad, concerted effort among nations with common interests and with the intellectual capital and industrial base to contribute."
Agreeing beneficial technology transfer terms during implementation of the US-UK Defense Trade Co-operation Treaty, which received final US approval in late 2010, would "help reduce the barriers to the exchange of defence goods, services and information-sharing, which will speed up the response to operational requirements," he added.
The ongoing US reform of export controls looked set to erect "higher walls around fewer things" and thus benefit allied interoperability and the US defence industrial base, said Bush.251 of 826 words
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