BRITISH AEROSPACE IS to acquire the balance of US simulator manufacturer Reflectone. The UK firm already owns 48% of the Tampa, Florida-based company, and has agreed to pay roughly $86 million for the outstanding stock.

Reflectone president Richard Snyder says that the company's management is "strongly in favour" of BAe's merger offer. "We had to arrive at an alliance with a prime aircraft manufacturer," he argues, noting that Reflectone's competitors include Lockheed Martin and McDonnell Douglas. As a result, Snyder says, the company pressurised BAe "-to buy us or sell us".

One reason for the merger, he says, is the investment which will be required if Reflectone's UK subsidiary wins one or more of three competitions now under way in the UK to provide privately funded and operated simulator schools for the Royal Air Force's medium-support helicopters, BAe Hawk jet trainers and Panavia Tornado combat aircraft.

BAe says that its Systems and Services division is to assume management responsibility for Reflectone, BAe's flight-training schools in the UK and Australia, its North Sea air-combat range and its shareholding in Singapore-based Asia-Pacific Training and Simulation. The division is BAe's focal point for technician training.

Source: Flight International