BAE Systems is a UK-based defense, aerospace and security company with a long, rich history. The company was formed in 1999 by the merger of Britsih Aerospace and Macronic Electronic Systems with both having long histories of their own. British Aerospace was formed following the 1977 British Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Act that called for the nationalization of said industries. The company was formed from the merger of several key aircraft companies that date back to the 1930s and early in some cases.
Ironically, a new bill passed only a few years later called for privatizing the newly formed company. On January 2, 1981, the company became British Aerospace plc which existed in good name until a merger in 1999. At that time, the company purchased and bought Marconi Electronic Systems and became BAE Systems, the company we know today. Marconi Electronic Systems was the defense arm of GE, purchased by them in 1968, and its history dates back to the earliest days of the radio.
Today, BAE plc provides defense, aerospace, and security products worldwide. It’s core markets are the US, UK, and EU and their traditional allies. BAE plc is the largest manufacturer in the UK, the largest defense contractor in the UK, and the 7th largest worldwide. It is the 6th largest contractor for the US Department of Defense by dollar value and it includes names like Denmark, Australia, Japan, and Saudi Arabia on its client list.
The company operates in five key segments that are broken down into industry and use groups. The core segments are Electronic Systems, Cyber & Intelligence, Platforms & Services (US), Air, and Maritime.
The Electronic Systems segment offers a wide range of electronic-based equipment and technology to governments. These include but are not limited to fighter aircraft, missiles, unmanned aircraft, communications equipment, and personal combat equipment.
The Cyber & Intelligence segment provides technology solutions for national, state and local governments to prevent and detect security threats. These range from radar-based anti-missile and aircraft systems to anti-fraud and enterprise-level digital services.
The Platforms & Services segment is the primary segment serving the US government. It manufactures military equipment including vehicles and aircraft, combat systems and munitions, and defensive products as well as outsourced management of munitions facilities.
The Air segment manufactures mission-critical aircraft of all varieties. Its products include the Eurofighter Typhoon which is a multi-mission fighter/bomber and a core asset of the UK defensive program. The Maritime segment manufactures a wide range of naval technologies including submarines, weapons and radar systems. The company operates multiple sites around the UK including the Barrow-in-Furness submarine shipyard in Cambria.