Boeing is looking at potential takeover targets in the UK to boost its competitiveness in the wake of the publication of the nation’s Defence Industrial Strategy (DIS) in December last year.

The DIS is aimed at ensuring that the UK can procure from a “sustainable” defence industrial base that retains the key skills and intellectual property (IP) required to preserve its national security.

“We’re trying to figure out how to respond to the new DIS policy,” said Boeing Integrated Defense Systems chief executive Jim Albaugh, speaking in London last week.

The requirements of the DIS mean “we have a gap in terms of generating IP in the UK and we’re going to have to look at that. I wouldn’t be surprised if we take some steps to make ourselves more attractive to the Ministry of Defence,” he said. “We know that we need to have more presence here with Boeing employees than we do,” Albaugh added, but “we want to do a prudent acquisition if we do one. We don’t want to throw money at a company just to have a footprint.”

Albaugh said that while an acquisition can provide both a new capability and entry into a new marketplace, “we can get one in the UK, but I’m not sure we can get both”. Boeing curently employs 600 people in the UK.

Source: Flight International