European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. (EAD)’s U.K. defense operation will lean more heavily on sister units in France and Germany to win new business without drastically increasing its own spending.
Cassidian UK is looking for ways to expand beyond its main activities, including military-pilot training, Michael Stevens, who heads the business, said in an interview. Over the next 18 months, Stevens wants to strengthen technology sharing between Cassidian’s U.K. and overseas sites.
The move comes as the entire Cassidian operation undergoes restructuring to offset declines in defense budgets across Europe. The company, in March, disclosed plans to cut 600 positions and reorganize to achieve 400 million euros ($490 million) in savings over three to four years. The U.K. business will prioritize research and development spending on cyber security, and push some of its products, such as secure network technology, through its sister outlets, Stevens said.
“If you look at it globally, it is about growing the topline,” said Stevens, who was appointed in April.
The British arm of Cassidian will also become more export orientated, with the focus domestically on protecting current sales levels, Stevens said in an interview at the Farnborough air show outside London. In 2011, Cassidian UK tripled export sales to 26 million euros.
Cassidian aims to draw on its experience of providing the French air force with pilot training on a fee-for-service arrangement as it pursues a similar contract in the U.K.
The company also recently won a French defense ministry contract to provide a new electronic box to help reduce battlefield deaths from friendly fire. Stevens sees sales opportunities in the U.K., too, for the so-called identification friend-or-foe system meets new standards set within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization military alliance of 26 European countries, Canada and the U.S.
“Create it once and reuse it has to be the mantra,” Stevens said. That model also applies to exporting, he said.
The 900-employee U.K. business, based in Newport, Wales, booked sales of 103 million euros ($126 million) in 2011, just 2 percent of Cassidian’s total excluding revenue from a missiles joint venture.
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