October 28, 2013
Credit: NH Industries
One year after the failed mega-merger of EADS and BAE Systems, the question of defense-industry consolidation in Europe looms. But with most governments paring back defense spending and no large national or pan-European programs on the horizon, the urge to merge is waning among top aerospace and defense companies as they redouble efforts to stay competitive in an increasingly global market.
“In the 1990s and early 2000s, when defense spending was more stable, you had the promise of consolidation that could lead to more business, with the idea that pan-European programs would succeed national ones,” says Jean-Pierre Maulny, director of the Institut Relations Internationales et Strategiques (IRIS) here. “That promise is now gone, and the question for the future is not so much consolidation but the competitiveness of industry.”