5 Questions with Walter Doran; President of Raytheon Asia for Raytheon International, Singapore
By Wendell Minnick
Q. Where do you see growth in defense procurement in East Asia, Southeast Asia and South Asia?
A. In terms of growth potential for Raytheon and other U.S. firms, India is clearly a very large market in Asia because we are relative newcomers. Raytheon has previously enjoyed commercial/civilian business success in India. Today, India's military procurement budget is large, with a major focus on modernization. With India-U.S. relations moving into a partnership phase, the stage is set for major growth in defense trade between the two countries. So the future holds promise for U.S. firms and Raytheon, which sees opportunity in a number of areas including the upcoming fighter jet competition, as well as space and air-missile defense.
Q. What are the leading security drivers pushing procurement in Asia? BMD? Maritime? C4ISR?
A. Given the geography, maritime security is central to the defense objectives of most Asian countries, whether you are talking about terrorism or piracy. A major component of that is the integration of sensors, and that's not just on the seas but on the ground and in the air, too. The ability to tie together disparate information into a cohesive, accurate, detailed picture is the linchpin of situational awareness. Everyone needs that ability.
Q. How are U.S. companies fairing against Chinese, European and Russian defense sales in Asia?
A. U.S. companies are extremely competitive in Asia. This owes largely to the strength of U.S. government relations in the region, as well as Raytheon's reputation for superior technology and after-sale support. While we experience strong competition in many places, Raytheon has long had an international presence, and we see additional growth going forward.
Q. How are Homeland Security issues driving the defense market in Asia?
A. Whether you call it homeland security or border security, the reality is that securing the safety of its people is a primary concern for countries across the board. And while the U.S. homeland security market took off somewhat quickly post Sept. 11, the reality is that many countries around the globe are putting in place similar systems intended to limit threats of all types. Studies have shown that by 2011, 60 percent of the world's homeland security budgets will be outside the U.S. and those figures certainly include Asia. We see Raytheon as well positioned to be a leading player in this market. We just won a contract in the U.K. for more than $1.4 billion to erect an advanced border-control system that is likely to be a model for other countries going forward. The idea is to put in place technology that will screen travelers before they board planes, ships or trains bound for the U.K., as well as track all departures to see who has overstayed their visas. So homeland security comes in lots of forms.
Q. How does Singapore, as a country, improve the security of the region (and how it relates to the defense market)?
A. Singapore takes a collaborative approach to security, working to develop good relationships with China, India, the United States and Japan. To provide access to advanced training facilities and territory to exercise in Singapore, the country has developed relationships with the U.S., Australia, India, Taiwan, New Zealand, France, Sweden, Brunei, Indonesia, and Thailand. It has developed scientific and technology relationships with Sweden, the United States, Russia, France, Israel, Australia, and Germany. Singapore also has a special economic and military relationship with the U.S. with several air force squadrons based there. Although technically not aligned, Singapore has always welcomed U.S. presence in the region and was the only country to offer facilities to the U.S. military when they left the Philippines.