Globalizing aerospace Sanders and other Lockheed Martin units to join BAE Systems

By John McHale

BETHESDA, Md. — Sanders, the Nashua, N.H.-based portion of Lockheed Martin Corp., is set to change hands, which experts say will bolster Sanders's prowess as a merchant supplier in high-technology areas such as electronic warfare.

BAE Systems North America of Rockville, Md., will acquire Lockheed Martin's Aerospace Electronics Systems (AES) business, which includes Sanders, Fairchild Systems, and Space Electronics &#amp;Communications with facilities in New Hampshire, New York, and Virginia.

"BAE systems North America may not be the most dominant player in electronic warfare, but with the purchase of AES," it has become one of the major forces, says Robert Hoffman, director of corporate communications for BAE Systems North America. Before the AES purchase BAE Systems North America had approximately 18,300 employees and $2.5 billion in business, Hoffman continues, and with the acquisition BAE's numbers improve to about 25,000 employees and $4 billion in business.

The main customer in North America, the U.S. Department of Defense is looking to industry to provide a system of systems made up of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technology whenever and wherever possible, and with the acquisition of companies like Sanders BAE is a step ahead, he adds.

The sale includes the radiation-hardening integrated circuit fabrication facility in Manassas, Va. BAE purchased the units for $1.67 billion in cash.

Responding to rumors that BAE would shut down Lockheed's Manassas fabrication facility, Hoffman says discussion of any facility closures or layoffs at this time is premature and inappropriate considering final government approval of the transaction has not been completed. Such topics have not been discussed at BAE where it is company tradition to grow the units it purchases, he adds. For example, two years after BAE purchased Tracor in 1998, the company has gone from a 9 percent investiture in jobs to 20 percent, he claims.

The parent company, BAE Systems Plc. of Farnborough, England, is a combination of British Aerospace and Marconi Electronic Systems. The sale to BAE Systems is one of the first moves in what many experts consider to be the globalization of the aerospace industry.

However, Hoffman emphasizes there is a firewall with regards to security clearance between BAE Systems North America and the parent company, BAE Systems Plc. — the North American subsidiary, a separate U.S. company with a separate board of directors, has security clearance with the U.S. Government to work on classified military platforms while the English parent does not, Hoffman continues.

BAE Systems has a strong record on security with U.S. government going back 10 years due to its Marconi connection [BAE Systems merged with Marconi Electronic Systems during the late 1990s], Hoffman says., he adds. The agreement was resigned with the AES transaction, he adds.

The sale of the Lockheed Martin units to BAE also will move Lockheed Martin back to its core competencies as a platform provider, says Rob McDaniel, director of program operations at Sanders Advanced Systems &#amp;Technologies Division in Nashua, N.H.

Sanders made its name providing electronic warfare systems and will continue to support all its programs despite the ownership change, McDaniel says. Sanders will also retain the name it has earned for now, but as a BAE Systems company, he adds.

However, it is still too premature to discuss the long-term future of the Sanders name, Hoffman says. Once all the details of the transaction have been completely settled, the company's nomenclature will be decided by BAE together with Sanders management, he adds.

Sanders works with BAE on the Joint Strike Fighter and the United Kingdom AH-64 Apache helicopter program, says a Sanders representative.

Major Lockheed Martin AES products include aircraft self-protection systems, tactical surveillance and intelligence systems, reconnaissance and navigation systems, automated mission planning systems, microwave electronics, infrared sensors, and radiation-hardened digital components and systems for space applications. The AES businesses, with approximately 5,300 employees, had equivalent 1999 revenues of $1.2 billion, Lockheed officials say.

The transaction will also promote improved interoperability and cooperation between the armed forces of the U.S. and its allies, says Robert B. Coutts, executive vice president of the Lockheed Martin Systems Integration business area. "By advancing transatlantic industry consolidation, as U.S. defense leaders have recently urged, we are confident we will receive all necessary government approvals in a timely manner," Coutts adds.

The proposed transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to close around year-end 2000. The deal will yield approximately $1.3 billion in cash to Lockheed Martin after transaction costs and associated federal tax payments. Lockheed Martin expects to apply the bilk of this cash to debt reduction, Lockheed officials say AES was among several operations identified by Lockheed Martin as candidates for potential divestiture in September 1999, Lockheed officials say. Lockheed Martin divested its Hanford Corp. subsidiary in December 1999, announced the proposed sale of its Control Systems business to BAE Systems North America in April 2000, and currently is evaluating other divestiture candidates, including its state and local government services business.

Get All the Military Aerospace Electronics News Delivered to Your Inbox or Your Mailbox

Subscribe to Military Aerospace Electronics Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest information on:

  • C4ISR
  • Cyber Security
  • Embedded Computing
  • Unmanned Vehicles

Get All the Military Aerospace Electronics News Delivered to Your Inbox or Your Mailbox

Subscribe to Military Aerospace Electronics Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest information on:

  • C4ISR
  • Cyber Security
  • Embedded Computing
  • Unmanned Vehicles

Military & Aerospace Photos

Most Popular Articles

Related Products

XPand6020 | Small Form Factor (SFF) System Featuring XPedite5205 Running Cisco IOS® and XPedite7450

The XPand6020 is a Small Form Factor (SFF) system that features an XPedite5205, which runs Cisco ...

XPand1201 | 3U CompactPCI Development Platform for Conduction-Cooled Modules

The XPand1201 is a low-cost, flexible, development platform. This platform supports up to ten 0.8...

XPedite7530 | 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Broadwell-H Processor-Based Conduction- or Air-Cooled 3U CompactPCI Module

The XPedite7530 is a high-performance 3U CompactPCI single board computer that is ideal for rugge...

XPand6200 Series | Small Form Factor (SFF) Sub-½ ATR Rugged COTS System utilizing 3U VPX, XMC, and PMC Modules

The XPand6200 Series is a true Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) Rugged system, supporting many 3U ...

XChange3011 | Conduction- or Air-Cooled Redundant Gigabit Ethernet Switch

The XChange3011 provides two independent Gigabit Ethernet switch fabrics. These fabrics allow com...

XPand1300 | 3U VPX Air-Cooled Development Platform

The XPand1300 is a low-cost, flexible, development platform. This system supports up to fifteen 0...

XPedite7570 | 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Broadwell-H Processor-Based Conduction- or Air-Cooled 3U VPX-REDI Module

The XPedite7570 is a high-performance, 3U VPX-REDI, single board computer based on the 5th genera...

XPedite2470 | 3U VPX Xilinx Virtex-7 FPGA Module with FMC Site and Freescale P1010 Processor

The XPedite2470 is a high-performance, reconfigurable, conduction- or air-cooled, 3U VPX, FPGA pr...

XChange3012 | 3U VPX PCIe and Gigabit Ethernet Integrated Switch with XMC and Management Support

The XChange3012 is a conduction- or air-cooled 3U VPX module that provides both PCI Express and E...

XPand1400 Series | Development Platform For XPand6000 Series, X-ES COM Express® Modules, and PMC/XMC Modules

The XPand1400 Series COM Express Development Platform targets the X-ES Small Form Factor (SFF) XP...

Related Companies

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc

GA-ASI is a leading manufacturer of proven, reliable Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-opt...

Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions

About Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions (CWDS) is a long established techno...


Offers complete solutions for embedded software developers with a focus on mission- and safety-critical applications....

DiCon Fiberoptics Inc

Offers fiber optic switches, tunable filters, and VOAs. Founded in 1986, the company is a US based, AS9100 certified,...

Harris Corporation

Harris provides advanced, technology-based solutions that solve government and commercial customers' mission critical...

United Electronic Industries Inc

UEI is a leader in the PC/Ethernet data acquisition and control, Data Logger/Recorder and Programmable Automation Con...

Crane Aerospace & Electronics

When failure is NOT an option...rely on Crane Aerospace & Electronics. We supply high-density, high-reliability c...


Signal integrity leaders and preferred vertically integrated manufacturer of high-performance electrical and electron...

AcQ Inducom

Develops and produces non-certified and certified high-tech modular hardware- and software solutions for on-board and...

Advanced Conversion Technology Inc

ACT designs and manufactures, since 1981, an extensive range of AC-DC and DC-DC power supplies (switching, linear, ra...
Wire News provided by   

Press Releases

Calibration services

Bonding and adhesives


Pelorus Naval Systems is a specialist naval defense engineering and support services company with headquarters in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, USA, in the greater Lo...


New Design Tools That Help You Develop Radar That Sees the Un-seeable and Detects the Undetectable

Xilinx EW/ISR System Architect, Luke Miller, has new tricks and he’s going to tell you all about them in a new Xilinx Webinar—for free. His Webinar will cover new ways to implement Radar functions including ...
Sponsored by:

All Access Sponsors

Mil & Aero Magazine

June 2015
Volume 26, Issue 6

Download Our Apps




Follow Us On...


Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information

Cyber Security

Monthly newsletter covering cyber warfare, cyber security, information warfare, and information security technologies, products, contracts, and procurement opportunities

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers

Electronic Warfare

Quarterly newsletter covering technologies and applications in electronic warfare, cyber warfare, optical warfare, and spectrum warfare.

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles