Q&A with Steve Mathias, Vice President Global Military Sales and Strategy, Bell

Published: Friday, January 14, 2022

Three years on since the pandemic turned the world upside down, nations have become more dependent on the air transport industry to sustain people, livelihood, businesses and their economies.

In this brief Q& A with Steve Mathias, Vice President, Global Military Sales and Strategy, Bell, a former US military official who once served as the Chief of Staff of the NATO Training Mission Afghanistan Special Operations Forces, we hear his thoughts on the situation’s impact on their operations and his insights on the aviation industry’s future. The pandemic has accelerated the digitalization of everything.

What smart technologies will greatly impact the aviation industry in your opinion?

One important change is how we communicate. With traditional in-person communication severely impacted by COVID, we’ve leveraged technology to maintain consistent communication with customers and our workforce around the globe.

Leaders throughout our company have implemented telework, social distancing and other best practices which has resulted in increased productivity while keeping our workforce safe.

What challenges will impact the aviation industry’s growth in the foreseeable future?

We know that there will continue to be a balance, as we navigate through this crisis. We’ve been very fortunate in navigating the challenges in the aviation industry and have even increased productivity. We took deliberate, proactive action very early in this pandemic to ensure continuity of operations across the company, in our factories and down the Supply Chain, while also implementing
CDC guidance to keep our employees safe. Today, Bell is at work, most of our employees are on site, and Supply Chain is working well. Our employee workfrom-home program in some regional offices is also working well.

What innovative products or services is Bell highlighting at Dubai Airshow given that this is the first major aerospace event globally
since the pandemic struck. Please elaborate.

Dubai Airshow has been an amazing show and we are glad to participate this year. Bell has a wide variety of activity on both commercial and military products and has displays for both the Bell 429 and the Bell 409. Additionally, the U.S. Marine Corps brought a MV-22 Osprey, the world’s only production tiltrotor aircraft for both aerial demonstration and static display.

It was recently announced that Bell completed its first Bahrain AH-1Z Viper. Can you tell us more about this and how important is acquiring this given the continued volatility in the Middle East’s security?

The Gulf Region has a tremendous impact on the aviation market and the Viper will bring significant benefits to the Bahrain Defense force as they modernize their attack helicopters. The AH-1Z brings the most advanced dedicated capabilities to the region and helps amplify interoperability and effectiveness of allied forces.