JSF manufacturer targets Aussie resources sector to cover defence loss

UK-based defence company, BAE Systems, is targeting Australia’s manufacturing for mining sector as a possible growth area to supplement its income.

BAE managing director for international business, Guy Griffiths, is reportedly visiting clients in Australia outside the company’s usual defence business, trying to get a slice of Australia’s multi-billion-dollar mining, resources and infrastructure industries.

"This is a new departure for us. We believe there may be scope for diversifying some of the activities that we do but not at the expense of the defence work we do,” Griffiths told a Dow Jones newswire in Perth yesterday.

BAE Systems, which supplies to the J-35 Joint Strike Fighter defence vehicles project in the US, has reportedly suffered expected loss due to the US and UK governments cutting back arms spending. 

The company – which is the UK’s biggest defence manufacturer – cut 3,000 of its 38,000 UK jobs last month to help recover from the loss; it employs 100,000 workers worldwide.

BAE Systems manufactures military equipment for submarines, aircraft carriers, war planes and tanks. 

The company says it can also provide fabrication services for complex steel projects in offshore oil and gas areas, and very high-tech cyber security systems.

"We see that there may be a number of capabilities which we as a defence company have that may be relevant to the sorts of investments these extraction companies are making," Griffiths said.

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