BAE announces technology transfer and job cuts


The UK group BAE Systems is seeking to balance its losses due to worldwide cuts in military spending by finding new, non-military applications for its technologies. According to company representatives, the group will focus on technology transfer, i.e. the application of new ideas in fields from control electronics to new materials. Other large companies such as IBM, Siemens or Thales have already been successful in extending the use of their technologies. BAE itself has looked for new customers in recent years, for example through investing in Detica, a UK-based company that specialises in data services and cyber-security. BAE is currently spending nearly $1.5bn a year on research and development which gives the company a considerable technological knowledge base which could be used for non-defence economy purposes.


At the same time, BAE Systems will announce 3,000 job cuts in the UK this week, mainly because of the slowdown in production of the Typhoon fighter aircraft. The three-company consortium of BAE, EADS, and Finmeccanica’s Alenia Aeronautica, which is producing the Typhoon, is currently looking for orders beyond the existing contracts with Saudi Arabia and Austria, the only other countries planning to operate the jet. “In order to bridge the gap between current demand and future anticipated export contracts, the production rate on the current Typhoon programme for the partner nations will be slowed,” the group explained.