British Aerospace - Now BAE Systems, after merger with Marconi
The UK aircraft company British Aerospace was a civil and military aircraft and defence-systems manufacturer. On 30th November 1999, the company purchased Marconi Electronic Systems, to form BAE Systems, with the 7.7 billion pound merger creating one of the largest defence companies in the world.
British Aerospace - Global defence company, founded in 1977
A global defence company, British Aerospace provided systems and services for air, land and naval forces. British Aerospace developed and supported security and aerospace technology, with products in civil and military aerospace, defence electronics, naval vessels, munitions and land warfare systems. The company was founded in 1977, as a result of the Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Act, which nationalised parts of both industries. A merger of the British Aircraft Corporation, the Hawker Siddeley Group and Scottish Aviation followed, forming a statutory corporation, with British Aerospace then joining Airbus, the European consortium, in 1977. Airbus went on to compete with Boeing, with its successful products including the Airbus A300, Airbus A310, Airbus A320, Airbus A330 and the Airbus A340. British Aerospace became a public company in 1981, with the government selling its shares by 1984, but maintaining a 'Golden Share', allowing it to veto foreign control of the company.
British Aerospace - BAE Systems, the world's largest military contractor
The merger of Boeing and McDonnell Douglas in 1997 put pressure on European defence companies to consolidate, so they, too, could present a single, united entity in order to compete. The formation of a British multinational company occurred in 1999, with BAE Systems becoming the world's largest military contractor. BAE Systems operates markets in the UK, the USA, Saudi Arabia, India and Australia, with customers in more than 100 countries, and has personnel of over 100,000 around the world. BAE Systems is the successor to a number of the most famous British aircraft, warship manufacturers and defence electronics, including the Comet and the Harrier.