One of the five biggest defence companies in the world
If you ever wondered what happened to the British aerospace industry after the Second World War, the answer is a three-letter acronym.
BAE Systems is part of a bloodline that stretches across British aerospace and manufacturing royalty, from the makers of the spitfire to the first destroyers and battle cruisers. Marconi; A.V. Roe and Company; de Havilland; British Aircraft Corporation; Yarrow Shipbuilders; Fairfield; Vickers. Ask your grandparents.
Its current incarnation is the result of a 1999 mega-merger between British Aerospace and Marconi Electronic Systems. Today it has a presence in 40 countries and major operations in the UK, the US, Saudi Arabia, India and Australia. It expanded its US footprint at the start of 2020 with two large acquisitions of GPS and airborne radio companies.
BAE has a special security agreement with the United States to provide services on some of the country’s most sensitive security issues as a foreign company. The company is involved in several major defence projects, such as the the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, the Eurofighter Typhoon, the Astute-class submarine and Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers.
Its values are ‘Trusted. Innovative. Bold’. Given the nature of its activities, it does not escape controversy. Although you might say, given the nature of its activities, it is involved in surprisingly little controversy.