New sustainment plans could see Lockheed Martin reduce operating costs of the F-35 to $25,000 per flight hour.
BAE Systems unveils full-year results
BAE Systems announced its full-year financial results on 25 February, noting a 4% sales increase of £800 million ($1.13 billion) to £20.9 billion.
Global order intake grew by almost £2.5 billion to reach £20.9 billion and the order backlog at the end of the year totalled £45.2 billion.
Net debt increased to £2.72 billion, due partly to the acquisitions of the Airborne Tactical Radios and Military Global Positioning System businesses.
BAE Systems expects group sales to grow by 3-5% in 2021.
Highlights from 2020 included an order worth more than £1.2 billion to support production of 38 Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft for the German Air Force, and progress continues on the Tempest technology maturation programme.
In the naval domain, BAE Systems completed work on HMS Audacious, the fourth of seven Astute-class nuclear-powered attack submarines for the Royal Navy; and the build phase of the River-class OPVs was completed (pictured is HMS Medway).
BAE Systems also announced a 15-year agreement with the UK MoD to supply the Next Generation Munitions Solution between 2023 and 2037, and RBSL (the UK-based JV between Rheinmetall and BAE Systems) received a contract under the Mechanised Infantry Vehicle Boxer programme for the British Army.
In the US, the company delivered its first production Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicles in the second half of 2020; one of each of the five variants were delivered by the end of the year. However, it added, ‘operational delays and disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic were experienced across manufacturing and shipyard facilities’ in the US.
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Some €600 million is being spent in Germany on a range of defence procurement initiatives.
Design research work is underway in Russia on a new ICBM to replace the RS-24 Yars.
DARPA is working with industry on 'unburdening the warfighter' by developing advanced and ultra-lightweight personal protective equipment. Its Personalized Protective Biosystems programme pre-dates COVID-19, but it arguably assumes even greater importance for defence procurement in the context of the pandemic.
Work on latest Aegis FMS contract modification for Lockheed Martin is to be completed by the end of 2022.
Interceptor used in March test was the first series-production Barak ER missile, with the IDF the most likely launch customer. The extended-range Barak variant will slot into the existing Israeli air defence umbrella of systems.