BAE Systems announced today an agreement to sell its commercial aircraft lease portfolio and asset-management business to investment affiliates of New York-based Fortress Investment Group for $187 million in cash. Expected to close in the third quarter, the sale remains subject to regulatory approval and “other conditions.”
BAE Systems (Stand 751) and design consultancy Design Q have unveiled their latest interior concept for the Avro Business Jet: the ABJ Elegante.
Two semi-official reports have criticized support arrangements for the UK Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon fleet. The UK National Audit Office (NAO) said that the four-nation collaborative contracts were complicated, and had resulted in “shortages of spares and long timescales for equipment repair.” The Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) referred to “a very complex supply chain that stretches all over Europe.”
NATO-led air operations over Libya have failed to prevent a stalemate in the civil war there, although humanitarian aid flights and shipments have been protected. Air strikes on the heavy weapons of the Gaddafi regime have continued, but NATO commanders admitted the difficulty of identifying and attacking regime forces that move in light vehicles and trucks.
Speaking at Dassault’s annual press conference yesterday, CEO Charles Edelstenne clarified that BAE Systems would be the prime contractor for a joint medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aircraft program under the recently announced memorandum of understanding between the two companies. The MoU follows last November’s Anglo-French inter-governmental agreement.
MBDA is stepping up efforts to consolidate Europe’s missile industry, on the back of last November’s Anglo-French Defence Declaration. This pact nominated the company–already a four-nation European industrial combine owned by BAE Systems (37.5 percent), EADS (37.5 percent) and Finmeccanica (25 percent)–as “a test case” for further integration, according to CEO Antoine Bouvier.
St. Louis-based Trans States Holdings (TSH) signed a firm order for 50 Mitsubishi Regional Jets and secured options on another 50, Mitsubishi Aircraft announced in February during a ceremony held in Nagoya, Japan. The sides finalized and executed the so-called definitive purchase agreement on December 27, almost 15 months after TSH signed a letter of intent to become the first U.S.
BAE Systems’s asset management division has reported an uptick in demand for its portfolio of pre-owned Avro RJ and 146 regional jets. The UK-based group is also taking on more contracts to remarket other manufacturers’ aircraft and is seeing growth in its product support and engineering activities.
Cobham Aviation Services Australia is buying a pair of BAE 146s that it currently leases from the asset management division of BAE Systems. The company has a fleet of 17 BAE 146s and Avro RJs that it uses to provide corporate shuttles for several mining companies and for carry freight at night.
Major subassemblies for the Neuron UCAV technology demonstrator have been delivered to Dassault Aviation, which acts as prime contractor and design authority for this pan-European project. Sweden-based Saab handed over the front and central sections, while HAI in Greece delivered the rear fuselage.