Trends in the market and Rheinmetall’s plans
Taking the opportunity of the simulation and training community’s luminaries assembling in one place is one of the aspects of I/ITSEC that makes it not only an essential venue but also an educational one. Mönch took the opportunity of a quiet moment to discuss trends in the market and company plans with Ulrich Sasse, Managing Director of Rheinmetall Defence Electronics (RDE).
One recent development that has been largely unreported is the signature of a teaming agreement with Lom Praha, a Czech defence company with a finger in most high technology pies in that country. Under the terms of that agreement, RDE will contribute technology, knowledge and expertise to Lom Praha’s developing bid to equip the Czech Army with state of the art live training facilities. “Every strategic development starts with a single project and this seems to be a good opportunity for us to begin developing into a new market,” Sasse told Mönch on 29 November. A requirement is expected to be finalised and issued in the first half of 2017.
Another area worthy of greater investigation (and a more in-depth interview with Sasse, to be published in an early 2017 issue of Military Technology, will expand on the theme) is the extent to which RDE may be moving further into the service provision market. “It is a good question, but you will remember that we started in Australia with support services before product and we already have a track record in countries in the Middle East and in South East Asia. Clearly, service provision will play a far greater role in the future and you can count on RDE to be fully involved where it makes strategic sense for us,” he said.
Sasse also confirms his belief that even unexpected and apparently damaging events can be taken advantage of with the right attitude. Through the execution (and later the cancellation) of the Rheinmetall Mulino contract, to provide Russia with the first of potentially four modern combat training centres, “we have learned some very valuable lessons and have been able to develop efficiencies and better solutions as a result of this experience,” he confided to Mönch.
Rheinmetall has a considered and pragmatic view of the developing market – a market in which the customer’s rapid development of a deeper understanding of the benefits of integrated, well founded solutions has accelerated in recent years. “New customers are very important to us, especially in the competitive environment in which we now operate. We balance our effort between preservation of what we have already achieved and starting a new customer development cycle,” Sasse explained.