The UK Government has approved the merger of British Aerospace and GEC's Marconi Electronic Systems (MES) division, imposing conditions that BAe says are acceptable. The merger will create the world's third largest aerospace player, with a turnover of over $20 billion.

Concerns were raised over the merger's impact in the areas of avionics and shipbuilding, and UK industry secretary Stephen Byers says MES shipyards and avionics must be vested in separate subsidiaries.

Other undertakings sought by Byers include the retention of "firewalls" with respect to tenders and addressing national security issues.

BAe has meanwhile announced 350 job losses at its Broughton site, which makes Airbus wings.

Source: Flight International