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English Defense Industry Looking Bleak

by: Matthew Potter
July 23, 2009

Category: BAE Systems, Business Line, Companies, Contract Awards, Countries, Department of Defense, England, Events, Military Aviation, production program, Scotland, Services, VT Group | RSS 2.0

It is true that the United States defense budget does dominate the world’s spending on arms and equipment but the U.K. has always had large spending plans as well. Now that the U.K. government of Gordon Brown is facing massive deficits due to social spending and attempts at stimulating their own economy since the global recession began twelve months or so ago defence spending may get a little tight. There has already been discussion of canceling some large programs as well as cutting back on general spending. Like in the U.S. ending these kind of programs will lead to more job losses on top of those already gone in the civilian economy.

That is why stories like this one about the U.S. military buying BAE Systems artillery pieces that will be made in the U.K. will become more common. When you are relying on foriegn sales to keep up jobs for six months at a time it is not a good sign. There are bigger programs at risk for the U.K. such as the Eurofighter or A400M transports. The government is scrambling to maintain the new aircraft carrier contract as the jobs at Scottish shipyards are key to that part of the nation’s economy.

There is no doubt that the U.S. will also see a fall in defense spending as the pressures of debt, health care reform and other priorities will limit the money available from the Obama Administration’s budget.

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