Companies are lining up for the U.S. Navy’s medium-range, maritime unmanned aerial system (MRMUAS) requirement, a planned follow-on to the MQ-8B Fire Scout.
French hopes of an early order for Rafale fighters from the United Arab Emirates Air Force may have been dashed. A British source with knowledge of the requirement has told AIN that the Emiratis will now hold a formal competition, and had just issued a request for proposals (RfP) to the UK government for the Eurofighter Typhoon.
A slowing of the production rate of the Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft is partly responsible for new job losses in the UK and Italy. BAE Systems is trimming 1,500 workers from its employment rolls at Warton and Samlesbury in the UK. Alenia is cutting 1,200 jobs in Italy. Both companies blame squeezed defense budgets for the cuts.
Corporate versions of the British Aerospace (BAe) 146 and other variants of the regional jetliner will continue to be supported by the OEM following the $187 million disposal of the company’s asset-management division and commercial-aircraft lease portfolio.
BAE Systems named Northrop Grumman its manufacturing partner to offer the Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer System (AJTS) for the U.S. Air Force’s T-X jet trainer requirement. Northrop Grumman built the T-38C Talon jets that the T-X will replace.
Cordner Aviation Group, a newly launched Berlin-based firm, has, along with four alliance partners, launched a service for the conversion of BAE 146 and Avro RJ regional jets to turnkey executive use.
Turmoil in stock markets and the prospect of another public debt and banking crisis have done nothing to deter EADS in its expansion and diversification plans. The European aerospace and defense group has a war chest of €11 billion ($15.6 billion) for acquisitions, with CFO Hans-Peter Ring confirming on August 10 that the company expects to press ahead with more deals during the second half of 2011.
Falko, the company formed with the backing of New York-based Fortress Investment Group to acquire BAE Systems’ regional aircraft portfolio, plans to pursue a strategy whereby it will purchase regional aircraft for leasing to its customers–a complete about-face to BAE’s approach, which centered on managed disposal of a once-vast fleet numbering more than 500 aircraft.
BAE Systems completed its $187 million sale of its regional aircraft, asset-management business on July 15, marking the official launch of a new leasing entity known as Falko.
ITT Corp. will spin off its defense segment into a standalone business–ITT Exelis–later this year. The new company will be based in McLean, Va., and led by David Melcher, currently president of ITT Defense and Information Solutions, as CEO. The company’s 2011 revenue is estimated at $5.8 billion. Christopher Bernhardt will continue to lead the Electronic Systems unit in Clifton, N.J.