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BAE plans defense hub in Australia; as group profits soar
by Staff Writers
London (AFP) Aug 2, 2017


BAE plans defense hub in Australia
Washington (UPI) Aug 1, 2017 - BAE Systems Australia is to build a Defense hub that will manufacture armored vehicles and also consolidate various company businesses on one site, the company announced on Tuesday.

The center is to be located at Fishermans Bend in Melbourne, Victoria.

BAE Systems said in a press release that the facility will be the biggest of its type in the nation and it plans to manufacture the Australian Army's Armed Combat Reconnaissance vehicles there.

As many as 1,000 engineers and technicians to design, develop, deliver and maintain new defense platforms and systems for the Australian Defense Force will work at the center.

In addition to the manufacturing center, the campus will include simulation and training and test facilities.

The hub will also include a globally competitive aerospace business that develops leading edge autonomous systems, electronic warfare, hypersonics and weapons technology. BAE's naval sustainment business will be conducted at Fishermans Bend.

The company said additional details about the center will be released at a later date.

British military equipment maker BAE Systems said Wednesday that first-half net profits surged, boosted by rising government defence spending and the weak pound.

Net profits soared 36 percent to 555 million ($733 million, 620 million euros) in the six months to the end of June, compared with 408 million a year earlier, BAE said in a results statement.

Sales forged almost ten percent higher to stand at 9.565 billion.

"BAE Systems' performance in the first half was consistent with our expectations and guidance for the year," said chief executive Charles Woodburn.

"We have a sound platform for medium-term growth underpinned by a clear and consistent strategy."

He added: "With the expected improvement in the defence budget outlook in a number of our markets, the group is well placed to continue to generate good returns for shareholders."

Underlying profit -- as measured by earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) -- rose by 11 percent to 945 million.

However, stripping out the impact of currency fluctuations, EBITDA increased by five percent.

The British company, which makes Astute submarines and Eurofighter warplanes, has been buoyed by the weak pound which makes its exports more attractive for US buyers.

In Wednesday early morning deals, BAE shares rallied 2.8 percent to 624 pence, bucking a downward trend on the London stock market.

Sterling has slumped in value since the June 2016 referendum in favour of Britain leaving the European Union.

MILPLEX
Japan's scandal-hit defence chief resigns
Tokyo (AFP) July 28, 2017
Japan's hawkish defence minister resigned Friday over a long-brewing scandal involving the handling of military documents, in a major political blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Abe, who has seen his popularity plummet in recent weeks over controversies including claims he showed favouritism to a friend in a business deal, immediately apologised to the nation over the saga. "I feel a ke ... read more

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