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Global Aerospace Summit in Abu Dhabi

Leading African industrialist to call for more affordable defence solutions at Global Aerospace Summit in Abu Dhabi

Art: Confronting divisions

March 2016

Leading African industrialist Ivor Ichikowitz will be participating at the 2016 Global Aerospace Summit in Abu Dhabi and give his analysis of contemporary defence challenges and call for an affordable industry response.

Mr Ichikowitz is one of Africa’s most successful and influential businessmen: Paramount Group is the largest privately owned defense and aerospace company in the southern hemisphere. Its capabilities are renowned for their affordability, adaptability and responsiveness.

In his panel discussion ‘Making Defence Affordable’ Mr Ichikowitz will describe how macro-economic and geopolitical trends—including declining oil prices, the changing nature of conflict and global population growth— are increasing demands for affordable defence technologies. Mr Ichikowitz will also discuss how asymmetrical warfare and violent extremism are necessitating more agile responses from national security and police forces.

Mr Ichikowitz will be sharing the platform with other industry leaders namely the Managing Director of BAE Systems, Chris Boardman and the President of Textron Systems, Ellen Lord.

Mr Ichikowitz will argue that if the defence industry is to meet its customers’ present and future requirements, it must adapt its business practices accordingly. He will discuss the importance of strategic partnerships, multi-role platforms and innovative manufacturing in delivering affordable solutions.

Drawing on Paramount Group’s extensive experience in developing nations, Mr Ichikowitz will discuss the merits of portable manufacturing and indigenous aerospace manufacturing. He will describe how both systems deliver knowledge transfer and job creation in the customer countries in addition to customised, affordable defence solutions.

Mr Ichikowitz will also advise how innovative technologies such as robotics and unmanned systems can deliver cost-effective defence solutions. He will articulate why nation states should embrace these technologies judiciously, without forgetting the merits of modernizing and maintaining their existing equipment. He will advise against procurement of systems which are over-specified for requirements and threats.

Finally, Mr Ichikowitz will urge greater collaboration between nation states and their air forces as a means of conserving budgets. He will call on world leaders to strengthen and extend multi-national defence pacts such as NATO which provide joint responses, planning and training. He will also offer examples from both Europe and Africa of where air defence can be strengthened through joint air force operations.

Read More - Forbes Middle East