Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson has said NATO and industry partners can maintain their technological edge through sustained investment, interoperability and talent development.
Hewson said Wednesday at the NATO-Industry forum in Brussels alliance members should provide consistent and sustained defense spending to support operational readiness and the industry’s research and development efforts.
She added alliance members’ pledges to allocate 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense within 10 years will help industry partners engage in long-term investments and R&D projects to create new technologies.
NATO members should also work to expand interoperability between military technologies to address geopolitical and budgetary challenges, Hewson stated.
Lockheed’s F-35 fighter jets are designed as an interoperable platform and eight of the program’s nine partner nations are NATO members.
Ballistic missile defense also opens opportunities for NATO's industry partners in Europe to collaborate on the development of open architecture systems, Hewson said.
Hewson added NATO should reform its procurement process to boost interoperability and collaboration.
Joint program development can help partners plan in advance, establish long-term partnerships and achieve economies of scale, Hewson noted.
NATO governments, industry and social institutions should support efforts to promote science, technology, engineering and math careers among students to address the shortage of workers needed to perform “essential” jobs, Hewson said.