TIM RIPLEY

Transatlantic industry cooperation receives a big boost today when Thales' Denis Ranque and Raytheon¹s Dan Burnham unveil their air defence joint venture company at Le Bourget. Branded as Thales Raytheon Systems, the 50:50 venture will have a portfolio of ground-based air defence command, control and communications products, along with 1,300 staff and annual sales of $530 million. The two defence electronic giants won political approval for the ground-breaking deal in March and industry watchers are closing following its progress to see if it heralds further transatlantic links-ups between the major defence and aerospace players.

Important

"The French and US governments coming together to agree on this important and pace-setting joint venture indicates significant change in practice and policy," Burham says. "This is a worldwide joint venture. It is substantial, not just for a one-off project but an on-going capability. "No joint venture is easy," he says. "We have to learn to work together. It might be more difficult for us that the French have more experience after previous work in joint ventures.

"It is encouraging for the defence industry worldwide. Now it is up to us to demonstrate wisdom of this by performing well."

Success could lead to further joint ventures in broader areas of communications.

Source: Flight Daily News