Strategic partnerships and corporate social responsibility play a key role
Securing the supply of military materiel, maintaining the Finnish Defence Forces’ (FDF) equipment and related systems, and ensuring their performance requires seamless collaboration between the entire defence administration and various industries. This represents the core competence of the Patria Group which, due in part to its history, plays a natural and major role in the activities of the various Finnish defence branches. In addition, we have found new and interesting markets by offering our services to a wider range of customers, including also security authorities. On the international market, our Land Business Unit in particular has established itself and we aim to deepen the related know-how by engaging in international projects with various partners.
Our subsidiary, Millog, is the FDF’s strategic partner, providing life-cycle support services for Army and the Navy materiel, in both normal and crisis time conditions. In other words, under normal conditions we are a corporate organisation that has precisely specified duties in crisis time. In early 2015, all Army garrison repair shops and Navy maintenance centres were transferred to Millog. Our agreement with the FDF will expand and deepen our existing strategic partnership. In collaboration with our customer, the FDF, we have managed to develop the Millog concept into a functional and cost-efficient model which can be easily applied to other countries, including our neighbour, Sweden. We have, after all, been operating for years in Sweden, where we maintain equipment such as helicopters, the most recent example being the signature of an agreement on the maintenance of HKP-16 Black Hawk helicopters.
In early 2015, Patria’s Aviation Business Unit strengthened its partnership with the Finnish Air Force (FAF), by signing a strategic partnership agreement on the provision of life-cycle services for military aviation systems. This agreement specifies the procedures and terms of the decade-long collaboration between the two parties, strengthening the position of our strategic partnership in all situations. Via this collaboration, an aircraft maintenance concept has been created in Finland which is viewed as being more cost-effective than a system under which OEM suppliers provide the same services.
In addition to collaborating with the FDF, Patria is playing an increasingly important role in the security sector. An example of this is an agreement, signed in early 2015, on a field command system to be primarily used under mobile conditions by various authorities. This system will enable a range of activities, including the management of operations conducted by various authorities in the field, the maintenance of situational awareness, the entry of data into various systems, the real-time exchange of information between public authorities, and communications. The system will be used by the police, the rescue services, the social and health services, the Boarder Guard, the FDF, Customs, as well as any other authorities that join the system later.
On the international market, Patria will set its sights in the coming years on regions such as Australia and the Middle East. BAE Systems and Patria are joint participants in a highly important tendering process arranged by Australia for the procurement of armoured reconnaissance vehicles. As the market leader in modern 8x8 wheeled armoured vehicles, Patria makes an excellent partner for BAE Systems in Australia in the delivery of a suitable wheeled vehicle. With KONGSBERG, we have signed a partnership agreement on participation in projects focusing on the delivery of vehicle and weapon systems in the Middle East. In addition to wheeled vehicles, Patria is also the market leader in turreted 120mm mortar systems. Both kinds of systems are already in service in the Middle East, as are Kongsberg’s RWS weapon systems. Together, we form a powerful team in terms of meeting future customer needs.
Changes are also taking place in the ownership of the company. Patria’s owner, the Finnish state, has announced that it is looking for an industrial partner to assume the role of a Patria’s shareholder, following Patria’s decision to redeem the shares owned by Airbus Group NV after the end of the 2014 financial year. This issue is likely to be resolved during the current financial year.
Patria bases its profitable business operations, development and future on frictionless partnerships. A good partnership is based on responsible practices, which means going far beyond zero tolerance of corruption.
Have a wonderful summer. I hope to see you at the DSEI event in London in the autumn, where Patria will again showcase some of its unmissable, amazing high tech.
President and CEO