Innovations In The Defence Market

As a leading high-tech defence and security company, Saab is of course always very interested in how people outside of the defence industry view the innovation in our market.

Dr. Michael Raska, Research Fellow at S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, gave Saab representatives his opinion on this.

In the 21st century, with the convergence of conventional, low-intensity, asymmetrical and non-linear security challenges, modern military organizations are ever more required to field multi-mission capable forces. Military innovation will increasingly depend on four mutually-reinforcing attributes: 

  • Integration of military activities within and across different levels; 
  • Degree of responsiveness to internal constraints and to the external environment; 
  • High skill in the motivation and basic competencies of personnel, and 
  • High quality in the weapons platforms, technologies, and equipment.

Historically, military innovation has reflected a seemingly perennial paradox. On one hand, military organizations have been traditionally resistant to change; preserving tried and tested strategies and structures to foster continuity given the fact that the cost of error in the face of ubiquitous strategic uncertainty may be exceedingly high. On the other hand, today's modern armed forces recognize that failure to achieve advances in the ways and means of war may result in defeat, and thus are motivated to seek developments that could revolutionize military operations.

In this context, military innovation has been portrayed largely in the context of major military change - from the development of new or different instruments (technology), practices (doctrines and operational concepts), to formation of new organizational force structures.
However, in a historical perspective, most military innovations have arguably followed a distinctly less transformational pattern - a sustained spectrum of innovation - ranging from a small-scale to large-scale innovation that have shaped the operational conduct of armed forces. While technological breakthroughs are often emphasized as key drivers to military innovation, equally important are the means by which they are designed, developed, tested, produced, and supplied – as well as the organizational capabilities and processes by which hardware is absorbed and employed that determines the direction, character, and magnitude of military innovation.
Anders Dahl, Head of Saab Singapore says, "It is very interesting to hear Dr. Raska’s opinion, and at Saab we can see that. For example, the decreasing availability of manpower in some armed forces are creating a demand for more automated and efficient solutions, driving the development and implementation of new technology."