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[*] posted on 7-9-2019 at 12:39 PM

BAE Systems studies production path beyond Eurofighter Typhoon

06 September, 2019 SOURCE: Flight International BY: Craig Hoyle

For the UK Royal Air Force (RAF), 2019 has been a truly momentous year for the Eurofighter Typhoon. First, the type assumed full strike responsibilities over Iraq and Syria, in a seamless transition from the service's retiring Panavia Tornado GR4s. This was enabled by the £425 million ($517 million), 70-month Project Centurion activity, which added new precision attack weapons.

Just months later, BAE Systems is poised to deliver the UK's last production example of the multirole fighter. Some 15 years after the RAF stood up its first Typhoon squadron, the final single-seat, Tranche 3-standard jet will be handed over before the end of this year.

Typhoon developments will act as bridge to future fighter
BAE Systems

Today, the type provides the backbone for the UK's air combat capability, with six squadrons based at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire and Lossiemouth in Scotland. In addition to performing combat duties in the Middle East, the fighters provide quick reaction alert cover at home and for the Falkland Islands, and, on a rotational basis with NATO allies, for the Baltic States and the Black Sea region off Romania.

Current plans call for the service to continue flying the twin-engined model until at least 2040, alongside the UK's growing fleet of Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning strike aircraft.

Despite the pending completion of contracted deliveries for the UK and its Eurofighter consortium partners Germany, Italy and Spain, current business also includes the production of a combined 52 Typhoons for export buyers Kuwait and Qatar, which will safeguard assembly work through 2024.

The four-nation Eurofighter consortium's partner companies – also including Airbus Defence & Space and Leonardo – are also eyeing additional sales prospects, which BAE's sales director air, Dean McCumiskey, believes will keep "Typhoon in production into the 2030s and beyond".

In its half-year results report released on 31 July, BAE noted: "The memorandum of intent signed between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UK government in March 2018 remains under discussion for a further 48 Typhoon aircraft, support and transfer of technology and capability." The company has previously supplied Riyadh with 72 Eurofighters, delivered between 2009 and 2017 via the government-to-government Project Salam deal.

"Final assembly of all 48 Typhoon aircraft would be in-Kingdom," the company says. "This would enable BAE Systems to continue with the industrialisation of defence capabilities in Saudi Arabia." BAE Hawk 165 advanced jet trainers already undergo final assembly in the Gulf nation as part of this process.


More broadly, "the potential pipeline for Typhoon additional orders remains positive, with opportunities both with partner nations and through exports with existing and new customers", says BAE, which is leading the Eurofighter consortium's current sales pitch to Finland. Germany, Spain and Switzerland are viewed as other near-term opportunities, with Airbus to lead the offers made to these nations.

But such prospects aside, how is BAE shaping itself to maintain its combat aircraft development and production expertise, capabilities that remain a matter of sovereign importance for the UK? And can it successfully bridge any potential gap between building further Typhoons and the emergence of a next-generation type that could secure launch approval for the nation and potentially international partners over the course of the coming decade?

The industrial footprint of BAE's air sector activities has contracted markedly over recent years, with its Woodford facility in Cheshire closed following the cancellation of the Nimrod MRA4 maritime patrol aircraft programme, and Hawk assembly relocated from Brough in east Yorkshire to its Warton site in Lancashire.

At the same time, the company's Samlesbury facilities in Lancashire have undergone dramatic change. In addition to manufacturing parts for the Typhoon, the site is the home to BAE's assembly of rear fuselage sections for every F-35 produced.

While the Eurofighter programme has over recent years slowed its delivery rate in a move to extend production activities while seeking fresh orders, BAE's pace of activity on the F-35 programme has rocketed.

"2019 production ramp-up of rear fuselage assemblies for the F-35 Lightning II aircraft programme progresses well towards 140 sets, with full-rate production levels targeted in 2020," the company says. Some 67 shipsets were delivered from Samlesbury during the first six months of this year, "bringing total rear fuselage deliveries on the programme to over 500", it adds.

BAE says that its status as a Lockheed production partner on the F-35 programme means it will secure business worth more than $1 billion through its 12th to 14th production lots, in addition to delivering electronic warfare equipment and support services.

Full-scale Tempest mock-up was unveiled at Farnborough
BAE Systems


In addition to its Typhoon and F-35 activities, other new business opportunities exist where BAE could – with approval from the UK government – offer its industrial expertise in the fighter arena to potential international partners.

Ankara appears to represent one possible such avenue for co-operation, with the company's recent financial report noting: "Progress continues on the collaboration for the design and development phase of an indigenous fifth-generation fighter jet for the Turkish air force." Some 74 BAE employees were deployed in the NATO member country in support of this activity as of earlier this year, it adds.

But last year’s Farnborough air show provided the clearest indication of BAE's efforts in new programme terms. As part of a Team Tempest organisation also including Leonardo UK, MBDA and Rolls-Royce, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the RAF's Rapid Capabilities Office, the company is at the heart of the UK's future combat air process.

The first fruit of that collaboration was unveiled within BAE's exhibit at the biennial event, in the shape of a full-scale model of a conceptual next-generation strike asset with internal weapons bays and other stealthy features.

The work is being backed by long-term investment worth around £1.9 billion, which was outlined by the MoD as part of its Strategic Defence and Security Review of 2015, including contributions from industry.

The Tempest platform unveiled at Farnborough is representative of current thinking, but is by no means sure to fly and progress into production. Instead, it is being used to help investigate key supporting technologies – including some that could be brought into use as part of a future mid-life upgrade for the Typhoon.

"A lot of combat air engineering and capability skills in industry were a little rusty," says Clive Marrison, BAE's industry requirements director for Team Tempest, looking back to Team Tempest’s origins and initial studies in the middle of the decade. "We have been working on a broader range of capabilities across UK industry on other concepts and options, and there are quite a number in play," he says of the work performed since last year's formal announcement. However, he cautions: "It’s very early days."

In a boost for the UK, Sweden formally signalled a willingness to work with it on future combat air system technologies, with their collaboration formalised at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) in July. The pact "commits both governments to work on a joint combat air development and acquisition programme, including the development of new concepts to meet both nations’ future requirements", the MoD says.

Saab says it "will contribute with its experience of advanced technology development, system integration of complete combat air systems and related areas, including sensors, missile systems and support" during the initial one-year study phase, before Stockholm decides on further involvement.

Lightweight affordable novel combat aircraft effort is aiming to fly demonstrator by 2023
Craig Hoyle/Flightglobal


With the cost of fighter aircraft developments having risen markedly over time, Marrison notes that for Team Tempest, "whatever we do, and whatever we buy needs to be affordable". Predicting operational conditions 20 years into the future means flexibility is also key, he contends.

Using the Typhoon as a bridge to this future, by hosting new cockpit and radar technologies, for example, will "help with the art of the possible – and the art of the sensible" when considering future products, he adds.

Current funding allocations will run through 2027, but Marrison says: "we will have to go to the UK and other nations well before that" to secure the additional money required to provide an operational capability.

"There are a number of other countries that the MoD and industry are talking to," he confirms. "Having Sweden as an early aspirant partner has been hugely helpful" in driving interest.

Ensuring a future in combat aircraft production is of vital importance to BAE, Marrison notes. "For the UK aerospace industry, this is a critical point in its future – if there is nothing to follow Typhoon, it makes it incredibly difficult for us as a nation to sustain a whole-of-aircraft life capability."

For BAE human factors senior systems engineer Suzy Broadbent, the sky is very much the limit when it comes to the potential introduction of technology to help a new generation of fighter pilots. From testing advanced helmet-mounted colour displays today to the prospect of a virtual cockpit environment with gesture controls capable of providing haptic feedback, or even remote piloting, the company is exploring enabling technologies, in many cases drawing on gaming technology.

BAE is also exploring the use of eye-tracking technology and electrocardiogram equipment in the form of a "brain cap", which would monitor pilot performance and detect conditions such as g-lock and hypoxia. "I thoroughly imagine Typhoon will be a testbed for a lot of this, and if we mature things quickly enough, [we could] definitely bring them back onto Typhoon," Broadbent notes.

For the RAF, expectations go further than delivering a future fighter. The service's Rapid Capabilities Office is trying to drive innovation into operations, by also investigating innovative propulsion concepts, new weapons and the use of satellites, data links and underpinning software and mission system equipment for widespread use.

Another expected part of the UK's future combat aircraft mix are so-called "additive capabilities", such as advanced weapons and a proposed unmanned adjunct for the Typhoon and Tempest. A lightweight affordable novel combat aircraft (LANCA) demonstrator effort is planned, with bidders Black Dawn, Blue Bear Systems Research and Boeing pursuing the opportunity to build and fly a demonstrator before 2023.

To be capable of carrying sensors or electronic warfare equipment and operate in formation with manned assets, a LANCA-type system should be available for perhaps only 10% the cost of a fighter, says Peter Stockel, innovation autonomy challenge lead for the MoD's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory. A notional model of the subsonic vehicle was displayed at RIAT.

Group Captain Jez Holmes, the RAF’s programme director for the future combat air systems technology initiative and Team Tempest efforts, describes the military's relationship with industry as a "meaningful partnership". "The first thing you have to do is align the incentives," he says. "You have got to come into a relationship – if we succeed, they succeed."

Back at BAE's Warton site, associated work is already under way to investigate a so-called factory of the future, with ambitious goals including reducing programme lead times, doubling productivity and cutting manufacturing waste, while halving the time required to bring new products to market.

"We want to take time out of the design process – it's not just about the physical bits," says Andy Schofield, director of manufacturing and materials at the facility.

Study work is investigating changing production techniques, Schofield says. Building a Hawk requires 150,000 holes and fasteners, and while the Typhoon's major sections are mated using sophisticated laser-alignment technology, this requires expensive and bulky tooling.

BAE is exploring whether the use of robotics could in the future enable more precise assembly. "Robots are very repeatable, but not very accurate," Schofield notes of the performance available from the technology today, when measured against the miniscule tolerances required for assembling advanced aerospace products. The company plans to next month build a representative forward fuselage section for a Tempest platform using robots, in order to assess the technique's potential.

The 3D printing of some titanium parts is also now possible for combat aircraft. This offers clear cost benefits, when viewed against a more traditional machining process, which can result in up to 95% of the expensive material being discarded as waste.

BAE is also testing the use of jointless aluminium structural assemblies, which use no fasteners. It is also eyeing the introduction of so-called multifunctional materials – for example a composite that can also work as a battery, or to relay data within the aircraft without the need for cabling – as means of transforming future build techniques.

Another, more modest effort involves testing a "smart bench" design. This can be rapidly reconfigured to assist individual workers with varying levels of experience, and even linked via camera internationally, for example enabling a supervisor to monitor the output of an employee working for a business partner gaining skills via an offset programme.

Whatever the future of the UK's combat aircraft market, the technologies and innovation now being explored via Team Tempest and other initiatives look set to change the face of its manufacturing footprint just as dramatically as the Typhoon's recent operational progress.

Typhoons have assumed full strike responsibilities over Iraq and Syria
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[*] posted on 10-9-2019 at 06:18 PM

DSEI 2019: BAE Systems Agrees to Acquire Prismatic

BAE Systems has reached agreement to acquire British company Prismatic Ltd, as the companies work to further develop their unmanned aerial systems (UAS) technology. The move forms part of BAE Systems’ strategy to develop breakthrough technologies, undertaking bolt-on acquisitions where they complement existing capabilities and provide an opportunity to accelerate technology development in key areas.

Since an initial collaboration between the two companies was announced in May 2018, engineers have been working at speed to develop two 35m solar-powered UAS prototypes, various sensor payloads and operational concepts. In just 15 months, the team has delivered two full-scale prototype aircraft, which are now undergoing integration testing at BAE Systems’ Warton facility in preparation for flight trials planned for early next year.

Nigel Whitehead, Chief Technology Officer at BAE Systems, said “The UK is a world leader in combat air technology and bringing together the best of British expertise is critically important to drive future technological innovation that will ensure we retain this enviable position […] Working together with Prismatic, we’re pushing technological boundaries to develop a revolutionary solar-powered aircraft at an incredibly rapid pace. Our investment in the company will enable us to take this technology into production, with the very real possibility that this aircraft could enter initial operations with customers within 12 months of flight trials.”

Paul Brooks, founder and CEO of Prismatic, added “We are a small, entrepreneurial team of scientists and engineers focused on designing and demonstrating novel, high value aerospace systems. This investment from BAE Systems represents a landmark in the development of Prismatic, giving our team access to world-class expertise and capacity in systems integration, productionisation and operations that will enable our developments to be fully exploited. This is a partnership built on outstanding technical experience and which exploits the very best in small company thinking and large company experience.”

As a High-Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) vehicle, the PHASA-35 (Persistent High Altitude Solar Aircraft) is powered by the sun during the day and by batteries overnight. The long-life battery and highly efficient solar technology allow the aircraft to potentially maintain flight for up to a year, operating in the upper regions of the Earth’s atmosphere. The novel aero structure design combined with the advanced solar technology makes PHASA-35 a game changer in the air and space market.

Due to being made from ultra-thin carbon fibre composite material, PHASA-35 has a lightweight build and high aerodynamic efficiency, which allows it to fly at high altitudes for extended periods of time. The aircraft has also been designed to be easily manufactured. The prototype PHASA-35 has a 35m wingspan and weighs just 150kg, including a 15kg payload.

PHASA-35, when connected to other technologies and assets, will provide both military and commercial customers with capabilities not currently available from existing air and space platforms. The UAS has the potential to be used in the delivery of 5G networks, as well as provide other services, such as persistent surveillance, disaster relief and border protection, at a fraction of the cost of satellites.

Technology and innovation are central to BAE Systems’ strategy, underpinning the continued development of its products and services. In 2018, BAE Systems spent £1.5bn on research and development, of which £222m was self-funded and included collaborative projects with leading UK universities in areas such as novel materials, advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence, air vehicles and avionics testing.

The Combat Air Strategy, announced last year, has set the tone for how the UK government sees industry evolving in a competitive market, highlighting the criticality of collaboration to optimise investment and drive pace in the development of cutting edge technology here in the UK.

As a proven lead systems integrator, BAE Systems is working with multiple innovation partners to accelerate technology and capability acquisition and insertion across its product and service portfolio. BAE Systems’ collaboration with Prismatic adds to a growing number of successful collaborations across the company in pursuit of fast-paced technological advantage. The company is working with Reaction Engines to accelerate the development of SABRE (Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine), a new aerospace engine class that combines both jet and rocket technologies with the potential to revolutionise hypersonic flight.

BAE Systems is also partnering with researchers at The University of Manchester on MAGMA, a UAS with ‘flap-free’ technologies. During flight trials earlier this year, the aircraft was manoeuvred entirely by supersonically blown air, removing the need for traditional movable flight control surfaces. An aviation history first, these innovative flow control technologies could revolutionise future aircraft design.

The very rapid development and delivery of two PHASA-35 UAS exemplifies BAE Systems’ commitment to rapid, effective and innovative development in the unmanned systems sphere. (Photo: Prismatic Ltd)

Published: 10 September 2019
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[*] posted on 13-9-2019 at 09:46 AM

BAE to acquire high-flying UAV partner Prismatic

12 September, 2019 SOURCE: BY: Craig Hoyle London

BAE Systems expects to flight test a prototype solar-powered high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned air vehicle for the first time early next year, under a newly strengthened relationship with UK technology company Prismatic.

A scale-model of the 35m (115ft)-wingspan Persistent High-Altitude Solar Aircraft, or PHASA-35, was displayed on BAE's stand at the DSEI exhibition in London, where the company announced that it had reached an agreement to acquire development partner Prismatic.


BAE and Prismatic have collaborated on the PHASA-35 since May 2018. Two full-scale prototypes have been delivered to the former's Warton site in Lancashire, where they are undergoing integration testing before flight trials due in early 2020. The partners have also explored payload options for the currently 150kg (340lb) design, which can carry equipment totalling 15kg.

BAE Systems

With a carbonfibre structure, "ultra-lightweight" solar cells and "long-life battery technology", the PHASA-35 is projected to be able to sustain flight at 65,000ft for up to a year. Potential roles include performing surveillance and border protection tasks, and supporting disaster relief operations, its developers say.

"Our investment will enable us to take this technology into production, with the very real possibility that this aircraft could enter initial operations with customers within 12 months of flight trials," says BAE chief technology officer Nigel Whitehead.

The company adds that the acquisition supports its strategy to "develop breakthrough technologies [and] accelerate technology development in key areas".

Prismatic chief executive Paul Brooks says the deal will give his team "access to world-class expertise and capacity in systems integration, productionisation and operations that will allow our developments to be fully exploited".
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[*] posted on 14-9-2019 at 10:33 PM

NEWS FROM DSEI: BAE Sees Big Business in Light-Attack Aircraft Component Market


By Stew Magnuson

LiteHUD heads-up display
Photo: BAE Systems

LONDON — BAE Systems has cast its eye on the light-attack and jet trainer market and sees an opportunity to be a one-stop shop for the aircrafts’ electronic systems and other subcomponents, a company executive said Sept. 12 on the sidelines of the Defence and Security Equipment International conference.

Dave Harrold, the company’s senior director of business development-survivability, targeting and sensing solutions, said while light-attack aircraft are far from being a new concept, the missions they must fly and the battlespace around them is rapidly changing and complex.

The platforms “can be much more efficient and cost effective. Not everybody can afford an F-35,” he said in an interview. Their missions range from combat search and rescue to intelligence-gathering and surveillance to close-air support.

“What we are seeing in a lot of countries around the world is whether it is a light-attack, or light combat, this kind of aircraft is much more affordable,” he said. “We have sold a lot of [BAE] products on a lot of platforms. We are seeing a greater growth in that light-attack environment."

That goes for trainers as well that often cross over to being attack aircraft after “being kitted up,” he said.

The U.S. Air Force has also conducted a series of tests to look into whether it would want to acquire a light-attack platform. But that is only one of many opportunities, Harrold noted.

“What we’re trying to say is we have so many of these capabilities and longstanding success in these areas that we absolutely would like to be the partners on these programs,” he said.

There are three crucial elements required for the aircraft: survivability, situational awareness and precision strike, he added.

As far as situational awareness, BAE is offering its LiteHUD heads-up display, which is part of its Striker II helmet. It has a day-night capability, 3D audio and full-color display. “It enhances the ability of the operator to have that maximum situational awareness,” Harrold said.

The company also has interrogators/transponders to identify friend and foe and a legacy of producing the systems that goes back 75 years. Its Datalink Solutions partnership with Collins Aerospace provides the Link-16 connectivity, he said.

From the survivability perspective, BAE can offer its common missile warning system, which has 4 million combat hours on 3,000 rotary-wing and fixed-wing aircraft. It detects missile threats and deploys the advanced threat countermeasure that sends directed energy at the missile and knocks it off course, he said. Another more traditional system deploys chaff.

As for strike, the company is touting its advanced precision kill weapon system that has been fielded across the four U.S. military services since 2012. Each canister can hold up to seven missiles. With one canister on each wing, the 14 missiles can allow the aircraft to loiter longer without having to return to base to re-arm, he noted.

There is huge interest in the international market in the low-cost missile system and BAE is working to get export approvals through the foreign military sales process, he added.

“What we are trying to do is elevate the conversation to say, ‘If you really want to be good at all these mission sets that these kinds of platforms are going to be asked to do, then ... we bring a particular set of technical discriminators, products and capabilities that when put together on the platform create a more powerful combination,’” Harrold said.
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[*] posted on 3-10-2019 at 01:25 PM

Advancing World-Class Microelectronics Technology for the Defense Community

(Source: BAE Systems; issued Oct 01, 2019)

BAE Systems is working to transition short-gate gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductor technology developed by the U.S. Air Force to its open foundry service.

BAE Systems has successfully completed a Phase 1 effort to transition short-gate gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductor technology developed by the U.S. Air Force to our Advanced Microwave Products (AMP) Center. We also were selected by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) for Phase 2 of the program.

The GaN semiconductor technology comes in the form of a wafer that provides high efficiency and broad-frequency bandwidth capabilities in a compact form that can be integrated into a variety of systems to enable next-generation radar, electronic warfare, and communications.

As part of Phase 2, the BAE Systems FAST Labs™ research and development team and the AMP Center will collaborate to further develop and advance the readiness of the technology. Specifically, the project will scale the 140-nanometer GaN monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) technology to 6-inch wafers and increase its manufacturing level of maturity as part of the validation process, which will include optimizing performance, ensuring process stability, and maximizing wafer-to-wafer uniformity and wafer yields.

ENGIN-IC, a custom MMIC design company, will support the design activities, including process design kit validation. This technology will transition to a foundry service product, available through our open foundry service, at the end of Phase 2, where the technology can be leveraged more broadly across different government initiatives.

"Our foundry is a trusted partner to the defense community because it is dedicated to the design, creation, and implementation of vital technologies such as short-gate GaN," said Chris Rappa, product line director for Radio Frequency, Electronic Warfare, and Advanced Electronics at BAE Systems FAST Labs.

"GaN technology fills a unique need for the Department of Defense for low-cost, high-performance amplifier technology, and Phase 2 of this effort brings us one step closer to successfully manufacturing and bringing AFRL's technology to market."

BAE Systems is researching and advancing world-class microelectronic technologies, including GaN, in our 70,000-square-foot Microelectronics Center (MEC) located in Nashua, New Hampshire. The MEC has been an accredited DoD Category 1A Trusted Supplier since 2008, and fabricates integrated circuits in production quantities for critical DoD programs.

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[*] posted on 10-10-2019 at 02:02 PM

Air Force research labs, BAE Systems team up on new semiconductor programme

Carlo Munoz, Washington, DC - Jane's International Defence Review

09 October 2019

US Air Force systems engineers, in conjunction with BAE Systems, are teaming to develop next-generation, short-gate gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductor technology that could prove critical to the service’s growing arsenal of radar, communications, and electronic warfare applications.

Officials from the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and BAE System’s FAST Labs research and development team are in Phase Two of an effort to transfer the 140 nanometre GaN monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) process technology to the company’s line of six-inch (15 cm) wafers, said David Brown, technology development manager with BAE System’s Electronic Warfare and Advanced Electronics directorate.

The integration of the 140 nanometre process into the six-inch wafer “will include optimising performance, ensuring process stability, and maximising wafer-to-wafer uniformity and wafer yields”, according to a company statement.

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[*] posted on 8-11-2019 at 11:21 AM

BAE Systems - Trading Update (excerpt)

(Source: BAE Systems; issued November 07, 2019)

LONDON --- The Group's guidance for 2019 remains unchanged from the 2019 interim results. Overall, we expect the Group's underlying earnings per share (excluding the one-off tax benefit) to grow by mid-single digit percent compared to the full year underlying earnings per share in 2018 of 42.9p.

The Group continues to target in excess of £3bn of free cash flow over the three-year period 2019-2021, and expects 2019 net debt to be broadly unchanged from the net debt at 31 December 2018.

Whilst the Group is subject to geopolitical uncertainties including the forthcoming general election in the UK, the above guidance is provided on current expected operational performance and remains based on an assumption of average sterling exchange rate of US$1.30.

UK and US market update

In the UK, the spending round announced in September re-emphasised the UK's commitment to strong defence and security with a 2.6% real terms increase in the MoD budgets from 2019-20 to 2020-21. In the US following the two-year budget agreement that was signed in July, Congress passed a Continuing Resolution for funding through 21 November. The Group's US-based portfolio is well aligned to customer priorities and growth areas and the business has continued to grow its backlog.

Major programme update

The production ramp up of the F-35 programme is progressing well towards c.140 aft fuselage sets in 2019 and full rate production levels targeted in 2020.

The Qatar Typhoon and Hawk contract is meeting its contractual milestones with Typhoon now aligned to the accelerated schedule. Typhoon support in the UK and Oman continues to deliver expected operational levels.

In Saudi Arabia, following the updates in September from the German government regarding export licences, we continue to work closely with industry partners and the UK government to fulfil our contractual support arrangements in the Kingdom on key European Collaborative programmes.

In our UK Maritime business , activity on the Dreadnought programme is ramping up, with the associated major programme of building works continuing to progress. On the Offshore Patrol Vessels programme, the third ship has been conditionally accepted. Schedule on ships four and five is being maintained with the programme due to complete in 2020. The Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier programme is nearing completion with HMS Prince of Wales commencing sea trials in September as planned.

Manufacturing work on the Type 26 programme in the UK continues to increase following cut steel on the second ship in August. The first formal design review with the customer on the Hunter Class programme in Australia was approved in September. Mobilisation activities on the Canadian Surface Combatant programme are taking shape.

Whilst progress is being made in US Combat Vehicles, this remains a clear area of focus as we ramp production across a number of programmes. On the Paladin M109A7 we are meeting our revised delivery plan. The first four Amphibious Combat Vehicles have been delivered to meet customer testing requirements. The Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle programme is ramping with first deliveries still expected in the first half of 2020.

Further contract awards were received in September for the M88A3 modernisation and the Bradley A4 programmes, strengthening the order backlog for the Combat Vehicles franchise.

US Ship Repair was awarded a total of $171m for the repair and maintenance of the USS Decatur and USS Stethem in September. This represents the first tandem docking in our San Diego dry dock facility as we work with the US Navy to improve utilisation levels.

The Electronic Systems business continues to perform strongly. It has received an initial $184m award for APKWS under the recently announced five year, $2.7bn, Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity production contract. Additionally, the business was awarded the $450m digital upgrade contract for the ALR-56C Radar Warning Receiver to be incorporated onto the F-15 platform. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the BAE Systems website.

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[*] posted on 21-11-2019 at 06:27 PM

Dubai Airshow 2019: SAMI, BAE Systems collaborating on HAPS

Charles Forrester, Dubai - Jane's Defence Weekly

20 November 2019

A concept model of the PHASA-35 HAPS being developed between BAE Systems and SAMI exhibited at the Dubai Airshow. Photo: IHS Markit/Charles Forrester

Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) and BAE Systems are collaborating on the development of the PHASA-35 high-altitude pseudo-satellite (HAPS) system.

"We have an agreement with BAE Systems to make this a completely Saudi indigenous programme," SAMI CEO Andreas Schwer told Jane's on 19 November.

SAMI is currently in the process of defining when and how the programme could be launched prior to formally proceeding with a decision on the system, with both technical and customer requirements being worked on ahead of a potential launch. The concept is expected to be finalised over the next year, at which point the business case will be frozen ahead of a potential procurement.

"If the customer base by that point is solid, we will start with it," Schwer said. He went on to add that the technology could mean that it is a case where Saudi Arabia could "instantly" become an aircraft or platform original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for a significantly cutting-edge technology.

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[*] posted on 18-12-2019 at 05:07 PM

BAE Systems to get new CEO in April

By: Jill Aitoro   13 hours ago

WASHINGTON — BAE Systems Chief Executive Jerry DeMuro will hand over leadership to Tom Arseneault next year, the company announced Tuesday.

Arseneault will transition from chief operating officer to CEO of the U.S. subsidiary of U.K.-based BAE Systems plc in April, with DeMuro taking on a newly created role of executive vice president of strategic initiatives. DeMuro will also continue to serve on the board of directors.

“I think it is one of the primary responsibilities you have, as a CEO, to develop the talent,” DeMuro told Defense News when asked about succession planning in an exclusive interview Dec. 7, during the Reagan National Defense Forum. “And leadership succession, in particular CEO succession, isn’t always smooth. I think this is a natural progression, making it smooth for our customers, our shareholders, all stakeholders and our employees.

“It’s just about progressing to that point where we on the board feel it’s time to hand that baton off.”

DeMuro has served as CEO since 2014, when he succeeded Linda Hudson. Among his key priorities during the last five years has been unifying a business primarily born out of acquisition. With Tom’s April appointment, Jerry will transition to an advisory role, providing advice and counsel to leadership with both BAE Systems Inc. in the U.S. and BAE System plc in Europe on a number of priority programs. Within the scope of his responsibilities will be chairing the internal program reviews for several key international pursuits. He will also continue to advance the defense industry’s positioning regarding evolving cybersecurity requirements.

Arseneault, who in May also added “president” to his title and was elected to the company’s board, is currently responsible for delivering business and functional performance across the company’s three sectors. He’s been with BAE for 22 years, having previously served as president of the company’s electronic systems sector and executive vice president of the product sectors.

“If you’ve been watching, we had him as the COO [chief operating officer] for several years. I also had him doing strategy and corporate development, and rounding out his portfolio" across the various business units, DeMuro said. “[I]t’s just about getting him prepared, and making sure our stakeholders are comfortable.”

BAE is currently in low-rate production for the U.S. Army’s Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle to replace the M113 armored personnel carrier and family of vehicles. It’s also scheduled to deliver its prototype for the Mobile Protected Firepower vehicle program by 2021 — required ultimately to be a 105-120mm cannon and a tracked vehicle that can withstand a classified level of enemy fire.

DeMuro has pointed to electronic warfare as another key priority area for the company, delivering capabilities to the F-35 and all other fifth-generation fighter jets, as well as precision-guided munitions and technologies that support space resiliency.

Parent company BAE Systems in the U.K. ranked seventh on the Defense News Top 100 list of the largest defense companies in the world. Defense revenue has dropped from $25.45 billion in 2015 to $22.48 billion in 2018. The U.S. subsidiary oversees one of the companies largest operations from Arlington, Virginia.
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[*] posted on 20-1-2020 at 08:19 PM

Proposed acquisition of Collins Aerospace’s Military GPS business and Raytheon Airborne Tactical Radios business

Posted On Monday, 20 January 2020 09:04

BAE Systems announces that it has entered into a definitive Asset Purchase Agreement to acquire Collins Aerospace’s Military Global Positioning System business for $1.925bn in cash, subject to customary closing adjustments. As an asset purchase, there is an expected tax benefit of c.$365m. The Company has also entered into a definitive Asset Purchase Agreement to acquire Raytheon’s Airborne Tactical Radios business for $275m in cash, subject to customary closing adjustments. As an asset purchase, there is an expected tax benefit of around $50Mn. The completion of both acquisitions is subject to the successful closure of the Raytheon-United Technologies Corporation (UTC) merger, as well as customary regulatory approvals and conditions.

These two proposed acquisitions represent a unique opportunity to purchase high-quality technology-based businesses with market-leading capabilities and long histories of pioneering innovation in their fields. These assets have come to market as part of the regulatory process relating to the merger of Raytheon and UTC. Both businesses are highly complementary to our US-based Electronic Systems business and on completion, they would be integrated into our Electronic Systems division.

Both businesses have strong growth outlooks driven by close alignment with the priorities outlined in the US National Defense Strategy, Congressional mandates to upgrade existing capabilities and a presence on a substantial installed base of products and platforms in the US and with allied nations. Both transactions would be expected to be immediately earnings and cash accretive.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Charles Woodburn, Chief Executive of BAE Systems said: “These proposed acquisitions present a unique opportunity to add high quality, technology-focused businesses to our Electronic Systems sector. It’s rare that two businesses of this quality, with such strong growth prospects and close fit to our portfolio, become available. The strategic and financial rationale is strong and these proposed acquisitions, which are focused on areas of highest priority defence spending, will further enhance the Group’s opportunity for continued growth in Electronic Systems. We look forward to welcoming the employees of the two businesses to the Company, as we work together to help drive our business forward successfully.”

Proposed acquisition of Collins Aerospace’s Military Global Positioning System business (“GPS business”)


* Global leading provider of mission-critical military GPS receiver solutions
* Installed base on over 280 different platforms across ground, air and individual weapon systems
* High growth potential from strong positioning for next-generation technology development
* Revenue CAGR of 10% + over the next four years with sustained margins expected
* Margins, earnings and cash expected to be immediately accretive
* ROIC > WACC expected in 3rd full year post-completion
* Highly complementary fit to enhance Electronic Systems technology and existing capabilities
* All cash consideration, to be funded by new external debt

GPS business

The GPS business is the leading provider of mission-critical military GPS receiver solutions and has been a pioneer in military GPS receiver markets for over 40 years. Today it designs and produces advanced hardened and secure GPS products that include next-generation M-Code technologies.

The business operates across a broad base of customers and platforms and is well-positioned in the highly attractive, US-focused defense electronics and weapon systems end markets. The GPS business has fielded over 1.5 million units and currently has a presence on over 200 ground, 40 airborne and 40 weapons platforms and is a key provider on the two highest volume weapons programmes for the US Air Force.

The GPS business brings both industry-leading GPS receiver products and a broad platform footprint, based on its long track record of technological innovation that has led to increasing product performance whilst simultaneously reducing size and cost.

The business is based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, with approximately 675 employees and post-acquisition, which would be integrated into our Electronic Systems division.

Strategic rationale

Driven by the secure geo-positioning needs of the modern battlespace, we expect the business to see continuing strong customer demand for its product portfolio as precision munitions are expected to play an increasingly critical role in military operations.

The GPS business is developing the next generation M-Code GPS technologies for the US military. Utilisation of M-Code increases security, integrity and availability with US Congress having mandated M-Code for all military GPS user equipment after October 2020. The GPS business is well-positioned to provide the M-Code upgrade to its existing product base, which includes some of the highest volume Air Force and Army programmes. In total over 700 platforms are anticipated to be transitioned to M-Code.

The GPS business will be highly complementary to our priority growth area of precision guided munitions in our Electronic Systems division. It has high growth potential as a result of its technological strength and is well positioned to participate in the next cycle of generational upgrades across its sizeable installed base. As it complements both BAE Systems’ defence electronics capabilities and has pan domain systems presence there are significant opportunities for our respective product lines in this growth area.

Financial impact

The GPS business is expected to achieve revenues of approximately $359m and adjusted EBITDA of approximately $127m in 2020 and has strong future growth potential with an expected revenue CAGR in excess of 10% over the next four years, with continued growth expected thereafter. EBITDA margins are expected to be sustained.

The gross acquisition price of $1.925bn represents a transaction multiple of 15x estimated 2020 EBITDA or 12x when adjusted for the tax benefit (1). The proposed acquisition would be expected to be immediately earnings and cash flow accretive, and would be expected to achieve a return on invested capital in excess of cost of capital in the third full year post completion.

The proposed acquisition would be funded by new external debt.

The proposed acquisition of the GPS business constitutes a Class 2 transaction for the purposes of the UK Financial Conduct Authority's Listing Rules. During the full year ended 31 December 2018, the GPS business generated total revenue of $254 million and EBITDA of $98 million. As at 30 September 2019, the GPS business had gross assets of $106 million.

Proposed acquisition of Raytheon’s Airborne Tactical Radios business (“Radios business”)

The Radios business and strategic rationale

The Radios business is a leading provider of airborne tactical radio solutions. The business designs, manufactures and supplies a broad range of mission-critical communication systems to the US Department of Defense, allied governments and large defence aircraft manufacturers. The business has a long history of innovation which has resulted in development of valuable intellectual property to support its secure communications, leading to a significant installed base of radios across a number of allied countries.

The Radios business is a strong strategic fit, adding complementary positions in the airborne communications domain including software-defined radio capabilities and a catalogue of waveforms. The acquisition provides the business with a certified indigenous encryption capability, an essential part of secure communication.

These systems feature robust anti-jamming, multi-band, multi-channel and encryption capabilities. It is differentiated by its industry-leading and battle-proven performance in challenging environments.

The combination of the Radios business’s robust existing order backlog and strong positioning for the continued modernisation of secured communication technologies underpins its long-term growth potential.

The business is based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Largo, Florida, with c.100 employees and post-acquisition, would be integrated into our Electronic Systems division.

Financial impact

The Radios business is expected to generate revenue of approximately $125m in 2019 and has strong growth potential underpinned by US Department of Defense and NATO mandates for cryptographic and anti-jamming modernisation of software defined radios. The proposed acquisition is expected to be immediately earnings and cash flow accretive, and achieve a return on invested capital in excess of cost of capital in the first full year post completion.

The proposed acquisition would be funded by existing cash on the balance sheet.

Analyst and investor presentation

A presentation, for analysts and investors, will be available via webex at 9.00 am GMT today (20 January 2020). Details can be found on, together with presentation slides and this announcement.
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[*] posted on 21-1-2020 at 05:23 PM

BAE buys up GPS, radio units divested by UTC, Raytheon

By: Aaron Mehta   17 hours ago

WASHINGTON — BAE Systems announced Monday that is has reached an agreement to buy two subsidiaries being divested for antitrust reasons by Raytheon and UTC as part of the merger between the latter two companies.

The agreement includes Collins Aerospace’s military Global Positioning System business, a UTC subsidiary, as well as Raytheon’s Airborne Tactical Radios (ATR) business. The GPS sale involved $1.925 billion in cash with an expected tax benefit of approximately $365 million; the ATR deal will cost $275 million in cash, with an expected tax benefit of approximately $50 million.

“As militaries around the world increasingly operate in contested environments, the industry-leading, battle-tested products of these two businesses will complement and extend our existing portfolio of solutions we offer our customers,” Jerry DeMuro, CEO of BAE Systems, said in a statement.

“This unique opportunity to acquire critical radio and GPS capabilities strengthens our position as a leading provider of defense electronics and communications systems, and further supports our alignment with the modernization priorities of the U.S. military and its partners,” added DeMuro, who will be retiring come April.

Raytheon and UTC announced plans to merge into the newly named Raytheon Technologies Corporation in June. It is expected the merged company will become the second-largest defense player in the world, behind only Lockheed Martin, even as company executives are hoping for a roughly 50-50 split of defense and commercial sales.

The Collin’s GPS business is based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Per a BAE statement, the company “designs and produces advanced, hardened and secure GPS products to include M-Code, anti-jamming, and anti-spoofing technologies,” with an installed base of “over 1.5 million devices on approximately 280 platform types around the world, including ground, airborne, and weapon systems.”

The ATR business is based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Largo, Florida, and “has leveraged its innovative technologies to develop secure communications solutions that are installed on a broad range of military airborne platforms," per the release.

Should the deal be approved by regulators, both groups will join BAE’s Electronic Systems unit.
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[*] posted on 29-1-2020 at 08:37 PM

29 January 2020 News

BAE Systems wins DARPA contract to develop mixed-signal electronics

BAE Systems will build next-generation advanced electronics under DARPA’s T-MUSIC programme. Credit: BAE Systems.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded a contract to BAE Systems to build the next generation of mixed-signal electronics.

Under the $8m contract, BAE Systems FAST Labs research and development team will design and develop wafer-scale technology on a silicon foundry platform in collaboration with programme foundries.

The technology could enable new Department of Defense (DoD) applications, including high capacity, robust communications, radars and precision sensors.

Furthermore, it can lead to solutions that improve situational awareness and survivability for troops.

DARPA created the Technologies for Mixed mode Ultra Scaled Integrated Circuits (T-MUSIC) programme to enable disruptive radio frequency (RF) mixed-mode technologies with the development of RF analogue electronics integrated with advanced digital electronics on the same wafer.

A mix of wide spectral coverage, high-resolution, large dynamic range, and high information processing bandwidth are next-generation capabilities that could be made possible with this programme.

These capabilities are expected to provide leap-forward mission-critical performance.

Developments can be integrated into electronic warfare, communications, precision munitions, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms.

BAE Systems FAST Labs Radio Frequency, Electronic Warfare, and Advanced Electronics product line director Chris Rappa said: “T-MUSIC will incorporate analogue and digital signals on a single chip for high-performance data converters and digital processing and intelligence.

“The advanced electronics we are developing under the T-MUSIC programme could create the foundation for greatly enhanced Department of Defense capabilities in advanced RF sensors and high-capacity communications.”

The T-MUSIC contract is based on investment on various programmes with the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), US Army, and DARPA, including DARPA’s CONverged Collaborative Elements for RF Task Operations (CONCERTO) and DARPA’s Radio Frequency Field Programmable Gate Arrays (RF-FPGA) programmes.

BAE Systems will complete the work for the contract at its US facilities located in Merrimack, New Hampshire; Lexington, Massachusetts; and Manassas, Virginia.
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[*] posted on 13-2-2020 at 07:36 PM

13 February 2020

BAE Systems to create new technology to detect WMD activity

BAE Systems will develop advanced analytics technology to assist in the detection of mass destruction activity. Credit: BAE Systems.

The BAE Systems FAST Labs research and development team is set to partner with Barnstorm Research and Washington State University to create a new technology called Multi-info Alerting of Threat CBRNE Hypotheses (MATCH) to detect and deter weapons of mass destruction (WMD) activity.

BAE Systems has received funding from the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Defense Sciences Office to develop the new analytics technology.

The technology will also be capable of identifying indications of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNE) threats by leveraging multiple data sources.

Additionally, it will use data fusion, adversary modelling, pattern matching and machine learning techniques.

As part of DARPA’s SIGMA+ programme, the partners will create the MATCH advanced technology solution that will automatically populate a world graph using sensor and multi-source data to enable analysts to detect threat activities in a metropolitan region.

MATCH will use the graph to create hypotheses that identify and characterise threatening CBRNE activity.

BAE Systems Autonomy, Controls, and Estimation group product line director Chris Eisenbies said: “Our technology aims to help analysts close the loop between the analysis of information and the collection of new information to fill in the gaps and provide a comprehensive picture of a potential threat.

“Most importantly, our solution automates a process that is currently manually intensive, improving an analyst’s ability to quickly and accurately identify CBRNE activity and ultimately, helping to protect our country from these significant dangers.”

Under Phase I research on the SIGMA+ programme, BAE Systems’ expertise will be used in data fusion, advanced analytics and resource management as part of its autonomy technology portfolio.

This phase also leverages the company’s mature All-Source Track and Identity Fuser (ATIF) and Multi-INT Analytics for Pattern Learning and Exploitation (MAPLE) technologies.

BAE Systems will complete work for the programme at its US facilities located in Burlington, Massachusetts, and Arlington, Virginia.
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[*] posted on 18-2-2020 at 12:46 PM

Army Chief Praises BAE’s Efforts After Signing Off on Howitzer (excerpt)

(Source: Bloomberg News; published Feb. 14, 2020)

By Anthony Capaccio

The Army approved full-rate production for BAE Systems Plc’s $10 billion self-propelled howitzer program after “very encouraging” cooperation with the contractor to fix production problems, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said.

Army officials worked with BAE at its York, Pennsylvania, facility to improve production processes, McCarthy said after speaking Friday at the National Press Club in Washington. He said the company “changed leadership and moved a lot of different people in place” while “making more investments in the tooling necessary.”

“We felt good that there was a lot of energy there in their leadership,” McCarthy said. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the Bloomberg website.

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