"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Thursday, February 21, 2008

BAE Systems profits look good, Carriers still very much in the air, unlike the "navalised" Typhoon - French JV in the running to use Rafale fighters ?

See Black Knights website

The Indian Airforce have now taken delivery of 2 more Hawk advanced jet trainers at the IAF Bidar base which means they have taken delivery of 6 from their order for 66 aircraft.

42 are being built under licence by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd in Bangalore. and a total of 24 Hawks are being built in the UK at BAE Brough - the 22nd of which made its maiden flight this month.

BAE profits growth

BAE Systems PLC reported a 22% rise in annual pretax earnings on a 14% sales growth for last year from £13.7 Bn to £15.7 Bn.

Earnings before interest, tax and amortisation were £1.48 Bn (£ 1.20 Bn.). The company's order book has grown to 38.6 bln from 31.7 bln previously.

The company said it was seeing continued growth from its US businesses, which now account for some 50 pct of group sales, seeing especially strong demand for sophisticated electronic warfare and protection systems.

The acquisition of Armor Holdings has delivered further progress to BAE's wheeled vehicle strategy, with the group saying the Armor acquisition is well on track to deliver its required return on investment.

BAE will also benefit from the proposed acquisitions of MTC Technologies and Tenix Defence. They also have a £5Bn. cash pile to invest (£700Mn cash, term debt of £2.5 BN and £1.5BN erevolving credit) to fund any more acquisitions - probably in North America where they have a greater appetite for making war.

The UK government committed itself to the new Elizebethan Class Carrier programme in July, enabling BAE to enter into a Framework Agreement with VT Group for the creation of a joint venture which would, subject to completion, bring together both firms' surface warship building and surface support operations. BAE wants to conclude the deal as soon as the British government outlines its plans.... which given the strains on national expenditure and the concerns over Rolls Royce involvement with the Joint Strike Fighter power plant may be a very long time... and indeed may not even happen.

"We are ready to complete the JV when we know what the naval programme is going forward. It would not be wise of us to conclude the agreement with VT until we know the shape of the naval programme going forward ***and therefore what value each party brings to the joint venture," said a very prudent Turner, who will soon be retiring.

"Unless more priority is given in the longer-term to defence equipment so the UK can continue to defend its interests and security around the world there will be a reduction in UK defence spending. I don't see the cancellation of programmes but the MoD budget situation is so severe on the equipment side that they are looking at stretching out a number of programmes," said Turner.

Turner sees the global spread of BAE as a bulwark against the MOD's indecision and poverty - Saudi Arabia, South Africa, where the land systems OMC business is busy selling its RG31 and RG32 mine protected vehicles.

The Swedish section is in production of the CV90 infantry fighting vehicle is underway for the Dutch Army. In Australia , BAE is acquiring Tenix Defence, a leading Australian defence contractor.

NB: No mention of the wholesale bribery / corruption to secure business in Saudi Arabia

*** This is very usefully discussed at Wikipedia perhaps the most exciting element is that the carriers as so far planned will be 75,000 tons DW and 284 metres and the biggest dry dock in the UK available is 60,000 tons and the 2 Portsmouth docks are only 250 odd metres long.

The smart money is on a joint French / UK project utilising Rafale (so called omni-role) fighters in a variation of the CATOBAR - A Catapult Assisted Take-Off But Arrested Recovery CVF would have catapults and arrestor cables and an angled flight deck using existing naval aircraft, most likely say Lord Patel's spies in the dry dock at Brest the Rafale-M. (Pic below)
...which would of course mean that the "Navalised" Typhoon wouldn't see the light of day, because ;
A. Development of the RAF version is years behind and squillions over budget.
B. There is zero export potential for sales.

Maybe Des "I speak your Weight" Browne wearing his MOD hat yesterday when he met the MOD Top Brass came to decision... but then maybe not.

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