WB America at SOFIC 2018
WB Group is Poland’s largest private concern in the defence sector. The company offers state-of-the art solutions for international armed forces in: communications; command, reconnaissance and weapons control systems; various classes of unmanned systems; IT systems and cyber security solutions; and the fitting-out and modernisation of military vehicles. WB America was established to obtain business opportunities in North, Central and South America using parent WB Group’s competencies. Jim Curtin, the CEO of the new entity, pointed out in the case of North America, “we don’t want to be viewed as competitors to people, we want to be viewed as complementary to people. We have great products and are proud of our products. What we would rather do is form strong partnerships with companies, to help them understand our technology and build end-to-end systems that enhance and help commanders visualize the battlefield.”
Poland’s entry into the US defence market place reflects the European nation’s status as a “qualifying country” under US DFARS (Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement), meaning a country with a reciprocal defence procurement memorandum of understanding or international agreement with the United States, in which both countries agree to remove barriers to purchases of supplies produced in the other country or services performed by sources of the other country, and the memorandum or agreement complies, where applicable, with the requirements of section 36 of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S. Code. 2776 and with 10 U.S. Code. 2457).
Asked about early partnerships, Mr. Curtin initially offered that in the UAV space, some vehicle providers are “radio centric” – wanting to use their radio or broader communication systemme. Not so with WB America. “In our case, we view ourselves as a ‘radio delivery platform’. For us, the UAV becomes the opportunity to become a repeater or range extender, and enhance the capabilities of the ground forces on the radio. For radio providers here in the US, for example servicing US Special Operations Command, we can serve as a radio extender, a delivery platform, to enhance their capabilities.”
And beyond the defence sector, WB America senses new business opportunities in the adjacent homeland security sector – in border control, for instance. While border patrol personnel may not use military radios, they are nonetheless using public safety radios, and “still need repeaters – to obtain elevation. It’s easy to put one up in a drone and cover a border, so a border security guard, out of range and in a valley in Texas, unable to communicate, can do so with a high elevation drone – not with satellite communications,” the newly minted CEO observed.
WB America’s headquarters are in Alexandria, Virginia.