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Martin Hill

NATO United Kingdom

Mr. Martin Hill

Future Forces Forum Future Forces Exhibition 2016 Military Advanced Robotic Systems (MARS) Conference 2016

Chairman of NATO Industrial Advisory Group, Senior Consultant for Thales for NATO and EDA


Generic Policies and Actions we Need Address today to Ensure we have the Knowledge, Skills and Infrastructure Produce Advanced Systems in the Future

Early industry engagement in capability development.  Industry has consistently requested to be allowed to make early inputs to NATO capability development.  Typically industry advice on technology roadmaps, investment choices and industrial partnership can affect the timing and scope of future requirements.  There has been some reluctance from NATO to allow this as differences in national rules mean some nations are opposed.  Some nations do not accept that industry has valid inputs in the early stages.

Discussion point:  Can we define the content of industry inputs that will be acceptable to nations and be within existing national regulations?

Defence Technology and Industrial Base (DTIB).  Lack of investment in defence R&T and in programmes is eroding the DTIB.  Investment several decades ago gave us the lead in technologies, skilled people and sophisticated systems on which today’s capabilities are built.  If we do not invest today we will not be able to produce the required level of capability in the future. 

Discussion Point:  How can nations be persuaded to invest in spite of other national budget priorities?  Can NATO/EU relations be developed to allow complementary investments?  Are there new challenges that might persuade nations to increase investment?

Defence Programmes.  The gestation and execution of defence programmes is very slow and tortuous. From an industry perspective this adds significantly to risk and cost and means that only the largest companies can afford to participate.  There are many companies who decide not to participate at all.  This is especially true for non-traditional defence industry although their inputs, especially in the IT and cyber domain, may be vital.

Discussion Point:  How do we engage with industry at a senior level about programmes to ensure senior executives support the investment needed?  How do we engage with senior executives form non-traditional companies?

Cooperation (including Transatlantic Defence Cooperation).  Cooperation is necessary to avoid duplication in research programmes, to achieve economies of scale in production and to ensure effective support in operational environments.  Cooperation has to consider the institutional environment, regional cooperation, European cooperation and Transatlantic cooperation.. 

Discussion point:  Defence export regulation, technology sharing, work share, imbalance of investment between nations, security of supply.

Curriculum Vitae

In 2013 Martin Hill was elected Chairman of the NATO Industrial Advisory Group (NIAG) after having spent four years as the Vice Chairman.

Martin Hill has been in Brussels since 2003 working on the NATO and European business development for Thales.  During this time Thales has become one of the major suppliers to NATO, particularly in the Command and Control.  He is currently senior NATO Advisor supporting the Vice President EU, NATO and UN in managing group relations and business development with the institution. 

In 2000 he was in Paris with Thales Naval France where he was responsible for the US market and implementing a sale of a Thales radar to an export customer under the FMF programme.

In 1996 he became Managing Director for Thomson CSF (now Thales) in Malaysia until 2000.  He was responsible for order intake and overseeing the industrial interest of the Group in country. 

In 1987 Martin Hill joined Shorts Brothers in Northern Ireland and worked in the in the sales and marketing and strategy departments of their missile division.  He was part of the Shorts team, which conducted the joint venture negotiations with Thomson CSF in 1991 to 1992.

Martin Hill was educated in the UK and served in the Royal Navy for some eighteen years.  He served in nuclear and conventional submarines.  His last job was teaching at the School of Maritime Operations.

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