Strategy and security were the focus of Singapore summit: Raytheon exec
John Harris, vice president of business development and CEO of Raytheon International, joined dozens of defense industry representatives, military leaders and heads of state from across the Asia-Pacific region for the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore in early June. The summit marked a time of uncertainty, due to dynamic tensions in the region. Ahead of the event, Harris shared his thoughts on the strategic overview of the security environment.
Q: You've participated in both the Munich Security Conference and now the Shangri-La Dialogue. How are the two events similar and different?
JH: The Munich Security Conference in Germany and the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore are similar in that world leaders, including ministers of defense and foreign affairs, attend these events, as well as a number of industry partners. The difference is that at Shangri-La, we see a greater focus around Asia-Pacific and the specific threats there. Little to no discussion happened around that region at Munich.
In Europe and in the Far East, there’s a keen interest around infrastructure protection and border security…with the added focus on the maritime domain in the Far East. There are a lot of similar demands with respect to integrated air missile defense, command and control, cyber, mission support, training — all are areas where we have made significant investments.
Q: What is top of mind for Shangri-La attendees, including our allies and partners in the Asia-Pacific region?
JH: Our allies are concerned with peer threats and unpredictable rogue regimes. We have never lived in a time with such a broad range of threats. Consequently, each issue requires a unique solution. The unpredictable nature of new threats and challenges to our global security architecture means that allied countries must be equally dynamic and adaptable.
We have heard from our customers in the Pacific region about their need for next-generation sensing capabilities, infrastructure protection, missile defense, maritime defense, effects, the ability to defend from surface, airborne, space-borne and undersea challenges. There is demand around cyber, and the ability to defend networks and products from outside intrusions. And mission support, ensuring our allies can support, sustain and upgrade their capabilities going forward. We look forward to building on our partnership together to help make the world a safer place.
Q: Why are forums like the Shangri-La Dialogue invaluable in connecting with customers?
JH: Our global security community convenes in Singapore to discuss our shared concerns. We hear firsthand from ministers of defense, from prime ministers, and presidents. Their unfiltered perspectives help make sure we have not only an informed, but a clear, understanding of their challenges.
Our relationships in the region represent longstanding, strong industrial partnerships and government-to-company partnerships, such as with Japan, and countries where we have emerging opportunities.
Q: How does the U.S. National Defense Strategy relate to Raytheon’s strategy for the region?
JH: The National Defense Strategy underscores the U.S. security need for urgent change at significant scale, with speed of relevance, based on three pillars: the first pillar focuses on bringing to bear high-end capabilities to defend and defeat peer threats, in particular from China and Russia; a second pillar relating to building strong alliances and strengthening interoperability with our allies; and a third pillar centered on reforming the Department of Defense for greater performance, agility, and speed.
Given these priorities, we can connect investments we have made in emerging areas such as hypersonics and undersea, to new high-tech security solutions. We also see the common threats among allies necessitating the need for cooperative capabilities, complementary resources and partnerships to preserve our collective global security interests.
Q: How are cybersecurity challenges shaping the security environment in the Asia Pacific region?
JH: All governments need to remain resilient in the contested cyber domain. Cyber is not a one-size-fits-all approach including for the nations in the Asia Pacific region. Each nation faces different cyber threats that can be solved with robust responses from vulnerability assessments to cyber hardening.