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30 May 30 07. BAE Systems is poised to further bolster its global armoured vehicle business through the creation of a jointly owned company with Denel, the state-owned South African defence group. The proposed deal, which follows the recent announcement of the $4.1bn (£2bn) takeover of Armor Holdings, a US armoured vehicle specialist, will also increase BAE’s presence in South Africa, a country it has identified as a key international market. The British company is in talks with the South African government aimed at merging its local armoured vehicle manufacturing business, OMC, with Denel’s artillery systems and turret-building units to create an armoured vehicle “national champion”. “Denel and BAE would partner in a subsidiary company,” said Alec Erwin, South Africa’s minister for public enterprises, who looks after the government’s company holdings. Britain’s Serious Fraud Office is investigating previous BAE arms deals in South Africa, but Mr Erwin said that up until now, the government in Pretoria had been given “no reason to feel adversely” about the company. The new joint company would give BAE greater access to what Denel has described as the biggest contract in its 16-year history, a recent $1.5bn order for at least 250 infantry combat vehicles by the South African army. Denel is restructuring its portfolio of businesses after years of losses. BAE acquired OMC, South Africa’s dominant armoured vehicle maker, two years ago when it purchased Alvis Vickers (Ed: Not UDLP as the FT said). OMC is best known for its RG31 mine-protected vehicles, used by the US army. Including OMC, BAE has more than 800 people working in South Africa. The company brokered a deal at the end of the 1990s to sell 24 Hawk trainer jets to the South African air force and 28 Gripen fighters, made by Saab of Sweden. The deal is one of several being looked at by the SFO. (Source: FT.com)
Comment: this is a smart move by BAE to build on its existing South African business. It will also give the Company access to the Patria AMV technology, one of its competitors for the UK FRES Utility Vehicle Requirement.

27 May 07. On behalf of The King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau (KADDB), Dr. Moayad Samman, Chairman and CEO signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) yesterday with Mr. Hüseyin Esenergül, General Manager and CEO of FNSS Savunma Sistemleri A.?. of Turkey for the potential supply of Armoured Combat Vehicles (ACV) to the Jordan Armed Forces and conversion to ACV-300 Configuration of M113 Vehicles that are currently in the inventory of the Jordan Armed Forces. The MOU which was signed on the opening day of the IDEF 2007 Exhibition, stated FNSS and KADDB desire to cooperate in supply of ACV-S’s and ACV-S kits to Jordan Armed Forces and the marketing and sales of excess M113 vehicles converted to M113A300-J in JAF inventory. Subsequently, and since, KADDB possesses expertise in the development and production of various defence systems, including installation know-how for M113 family of vehicles, it is the parties mutual intention that the building of the vehicles will take place in the KADDB facilities in Jordan, with the necessary parts and kits provided by FNSS.

25 May 07. Raytheon Company’s Integrated Defense Systems’ President Dan Smith signed an agreement with representatives of Mitsubishi Electric Company (MELCO) that will allow both companies to cooperatively explore global market opportunities in naval radars and combat systems. The signing took place during a short ceremony earlier this week in Japan.

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