BAE Systems' drive to place shareholder value at the top of its bidding criteria last week led the company's Customer Solutions and Support business unit to withdraw from the UK's £700 million ($1.3 billion) Combined Aerial Target Service (CATS) contest. Originally to have provided services to the UK armed forces from December, the CATS programme has suffered a string of delays, and BAE says it is no longer in the best interests of its shareholders to pursue the project's prime service provider contract. However, it could still seek a lesser role in the project as a second-tier supplier.

The UK Defence Procurement Agency will in early 2005 receive best and final offers for the requirement from a Meggitt Defence Systems, Meteor and Qinetiq consortium and a joint venture between EADS and Serco. A down select is expected later, when a new in-service date for the system will be set.

CRAIG HOYLE / LONDON

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY PETER LA FRANCHI IN CANBERRA

 

Source: Flight International