Yesterday, DID covered GE Aerospace’s $4.8 billion acquisition of aircraft control & diagnostic systems manufacturer Smiths Aerospace, and explained the rationale for both sides. Their relationship goes beyond that single transaction, however; on January 16, 2007, Smiths Group and GE also announced that they have signed a letter of intent to create a detection joint venture between Smiths Detection and GE Security’s Homeland Protection business. Smiths GE Detection will be owned by Smiths Group (64%) and GE (36%). The transaction will be subject to approval by Smiths shareowners as well as customary regulatory reviews, and is conditioned on the completion of GE’s acquisition of Smiths Aerospace.
So, what are these firms’ key foci, how do they combine, and how will the new firm be structured?
UK Prime Minister Tony Blair discusses the new environment and explains how and why he sees it changing both Britain’s military needs and the compact between the military, the government, and the public: “Our Nation’s Future – Defence.” He clearly expects it to begin a larger debate within Britain re: raising/restoring defense spending toward pre-1990s levels.
Finmeccanica subsidiary Selex Sistemi Integrati has signed a EUR 20 million (currently about $26 million) contract with the Yemenite Coast Guard for the supply of its Vessel Traffic System (VTS). The delivery, due to be completed within 2008, includes a national control center in the Yemeni capital of Sana’a, an area control centre in Aden, 6 local control centers, 12 radar workstations and 2 mobile units. All centres will be in net and connected with the national centre in Sana’a. VTS is already in use with Greece, Russia, Poland, and Italy which boasts the largest installation. See release.
The system will provide coverage of about 450 kilometres along Yemen’s Red Sea coasts, and in front of the Eritrean and Somalian coasts, and “represents a first step of a complete surveillance programme including two further development phases.” The release adds that Yemen’s system “will deploy its capabilities also to prevent piracy, intrusion, international smuggling and will be open to allow integration of further capabilities for naval security.”
The GBADOC will be delivered in 2007, and is expected to be ready for deployment and the command, control and coordination of air defence assets with international allied nations by January 1, 2008. Kongsberg release.