After a development that could only be described as protracted, the BAE Systems Nimrod MRA 4 maritime patrol aircraft finally won a production contract yesterday. Defense minister Des Browne signed the deal and in celebration, one of the aircraft flew over Farnborough.
Boeing’s booming airliner programs are boosting the stock values of its suppliers and making them much more visible. As a consequence, first and second tier suppliers are increasingly likely to find themselves takeover targets, according to mergers and acquisitions expert Michael Richter.
Selex Sensors & Airborne Systems (Outside Exhibit 2) has flown its new PicoSAR synthetic aperture radar, demonstrating the system’s ability to map both urban and rural areas at altitudes ranging from 3,000 to 9,500 feet.
EADS plans to appoint a British board member in the event BAE Systems goes forward with its sale of its 20-percent stake in the European conglomerate, company co-CEOs Louis Gallois and Tom Enders confirmed here during a morning press conference yesterday. Nevertheless, Enders made it clear that he has grown tired of the nationalistic politics that seem so fundamental to any discussion about the composition of EADS and its board.
Yesterday’s briefing here by senior F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program officials provided some assurance that the international partners won’t be burdened in the production and operational phases by U.S. restrictions on technology transfer. Today, BAE and Lockheed Martin will add more detail, with a carefully crafted statement on the aircraft’s in-service support. Still, the devil is in the detail, as they say.
British thinking on through-life management of military aircraft and systems is already way ahead of that of most countries. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has encouraged innovative contracts that change a traditional industry stand-off role as, for example, a supplier of spares, into that of a partner committed to various packages of enhanced service. Now comes the next step–fully fledged availability contracting.
Selex Sensors and Airborne Systems UK has become the first major tenant at the new West Wales UAV Centre (WWUAVC) at the ParcAberporth technology park. On July 7, during the ParcAberporth Unmanned Systems 2006 exhibition, Andrew Davies, the Welsh Assembly Government’s Minister for Enterprise, Innovation and Networks, officially opened the center.
The UK Ministry of Defence is preparing to issue an Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) for an unmanned aerial surveillance system to help British troops fight Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan. Some–maybe all–of the likely contending systems are on display here.
Mark Ronald, president and CEO of BAE Systems Inc. and chief operating officer for BAE Systems plc, will be presented with the John Curtis Sword at the Farnborough International reception in London this evening.
BAE Systems is showing its recently-revealed Herti UAV system here for the first time, but the company’s unmanned, low-observable Raven and Corax vehicles are not on display. They have unambiguous defense applications, whereas the Herti is also aimed at the civilian market for a long-duration, low-cost observation platform.