Cubic Corporation’s new ownership has chosen a longtime San Diego executive to run the defense side of the business, including the part that makes technology to simulate battle.
Paul Shew has worked at several San Diego defense businesses for the better part of two decades. He has also been in the region long enough to know which surfing spots have the best mix of optimal wave conditions and minimal crowds.
Shew likes the place so much that he was able to keep his local residence when his previous employer, CAES, promoted him to a job in the national capital region. “I know the inside of the San Diego airport very well,” he said.
On Jan. 9, Shew took over as president of Cubic Mission and Performance Solutions (CMPS), a provider of C5ISR and LVC training solutions that is part of San Diego-based Cubic Corporation. He will also be senior vice president of the parent company and will report to Stevan Slijepcevic, Cubic’s president and CEO.
His job will be to grow the business, partnering with both existing and new customers.
The term C5ISR stands for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance. LVC is short for Live, Virtual and Constructive training.
Cubic offers a variety of military technologies that assure data access, accelerate decision-making and deliver superior readiness including those that let members of the armed forces train in a mixture of real world conditions and immersive environments. Cubic’s P5 technology was featured in both “Top Gun” movies, and is now part of the cutting-edge F-35 Lightning II fighter.
It’s the kind of gadgetry that let the pilots in “Top Gun: Maverick” practice their mission at a desert training range as if they were flying among snow-covered mountains on the adversary’s home turf. 2023 marks a significant milestone for Cubic: it delivered the first Air Combat Maneuver Instrumentation (ACMI) system to the U.S. Navy Top Gun pilot training program 50 years ago.
Cubic announced in August that it had delivered 1,000 P5 systems for the F-35. The system relays encrypted Time, Space and Position Information (TSPI) between participating aircraft and range ground stations during training flights. Pilots and those coordinating the exercise can review the data afterward to see where they did well, and where they must improve.
A related technology is called MILES, which puts sensors on soldiers’ bodies and vehicles during simulated combat. The result might be described as an advanced version of laser tag, using military hardware without the bullets. Cubic and General Dynamics Mission Systems recently tested a way to instrument an 81mm mortar for use in such war games, testing it at the U.S. Army installation at Fort Hood, Texas.
The Information Advantage
Shew said that Cubic ultimately wants to provide war fighters with the information and data they need to be successful, letting them return home to their families.
“When you think about the battlespace nowadays, if you look at a place like Ukraine, that conflict is still being fought with bombs and bullets. But in the future, it’s really going to be about information, and it’s who controls that information and the speed at which you can get that information in front of the good guys. It could be just a split second of an advantage, but that split second will be enough.
“Cubic has some pretty unique products that will allow that success going forward,” Shew said, adding that it gets him energized about taking on his new role.
He also said he was proud that Cubic has entrusted him with a business that the legendary Walter J. Zable founded.
“There’s a lot of history here,” he said.
“Paul is an exceptional leader with a track record for transforming organizations into high-performance teams, and I am excited for him to bring his expertise and capabilities to Cubic,” said Slijepcevic. “We have tremendous opportunity to grow our CMPS business and I look forward to our success under Paul’s leadership.”
There is opportunity for Cubic in the Pentagon budget that Congress recently passed, Shew said. In addition, there is considerable opportunity to serve allied militaries, including those in NATO. Shew said that many countries are realizing they have to “up their game in terms of products, and training their folks and giving their troops the advantage that they need. I think there’s a lot of activity right now coming out of Australia. I think there’s a lot of activity coming out of the U.K. and other parts of Europe.”
A separate side of Cubic’s business, which Shew’s office does not oversee, produces technology for mass transit agencies and governments.
From Dublin to the Pacific
Shew holds an MBA and a master’s degree in engineering from University College Dublin and a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Trinity College Dublin.
During his time in San Diego, he has worked for United Technologies Corporation and General Atomics. One responsibility at General Atomics was overseeing internally funded research and development efforts.
Shew was last senior vice president and general manager for the Integrated Defense Systems Division of CAES (short for Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions). His experience included leading the operations for an international, multi-site division while increasing profitability through technology investments and capacity expansions. His division covered radar, electronic warfare and CNI (that is, communications, navigation and identification).
In his off hours, Shew is fond of the beach. His LinkedIn profile photo shows him atop a surfboard. He prefers North County surf spots from Torrey Pines to Seaside.
Cubic was a publicly traded company until the middle of 2021, when Veritas Capital and Evergreen Coast Capital (the latter an affiliate of Elliot Investment Management) took the company private in a transaction valued at nearly $3 billion.