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.
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.
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 hopes that up to three important UK contracts will be confirmed when British defense minister Des Browne visits the show tomorrow. Production deals for the Royal Air Force (RAF) Nimrod MRA.4 maritime patrol aircraft and the Hawk Mk128 Advanced Jet Trainer are overdue. BAE is also seeking government funds for a British unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) technology demonstration program that it would lead.
Leading UK defense firms and two defense trade associations have joined forces to establish the UK Defence Industry Anti-Corruption Forum. Representatives met for an inaugural meeting of the new forum on May 18.
Record numbers of orders last year indicated a short supply of available aircraft as the world’s airlines began to recover from the global recession of the early 2000s. This was good news for those with used aircraft on their hands–at least until most demand had been met, at which point placing remaining capacity became a challenge.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has certified BAE Systems’ Matador infrared heat-seeking missile jamming system for fixed-wing aircraft as an approved product for national defense. Currently the system is the only one of its kind to receive DHS approval. The Matador system has been installed in a number of corporate jets since it received FAA certification in 1987.
Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita last month announced it is acquiring BAE Systems’ aerostructures division. To be known as Spirit AeroSystems Europe, the enterprise will produce structural components for Airbus and Boeing airliners, as well as for the Raytheon Hawker 800XP.