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Airbus’ professional mobile radio business no longer fits the company’s strategic goals

23 September, 2014

Portfolio divestments also include commercial satellite communications services.

Airbus Defence and Space has announced that it will concentrate on core activities in space (launchers and satellites); military aircraft and missiles.

Its commercial and para-public communication business, said the company, will ‘have better chances for growth and market success in different ownership structures.’

Airbus Defence and Space further intends to sell some of its subsidiaries and participations, including Fairchild Controls, Rostock System-Technik, AvDef, ESG and Atlas Elektronik.

‘The portfolio decisions for Airbus Defence and Space are the logical follow-up to our Group Strategy Review in 2013. They will foster the strengths of the division and, hence, will result in an even stronger focus on our Group’s core activities, aeronautics and space,’ said Tom Enders, CEO of Airbus Group.

‘Given the tight budgetary situation in our home countries and increasing competition on global markets, the portfolio review is an essential element to further develop our defence and space business and to ensure its competitiveness’, said Bernhard Gerwert, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space. ‘We have identified those segments where this is an achievable target and those where we should explore alternative options. In short, the portfolio review is a logical next step in the overall transformation process. It will strengthen Airbus Defence and Space’s business core, unlocking its full potential to drive the defence and space industry forwards, particularly on critically important international growth markets.

All these decisions will of course respect our national security agreements and will be discussed with employee representatives in a fair and open way’, added Bernhard Gerwert.

The company’s reorganisation began last year when its three business entities Astrium, Airbus Military and Cassidian, were merged into a single organisation.

The announcement of its exit from the PMR market is unexpected, however, as earlier in the year the company launched the TH1n handset, the thinnest and most lightweight handset in the market. At the time, Airbus said that the handset was a significant investment in the UK public safety communications market both in terms of current technology and the provision and development of mission critical communications for the future.

The TH1n handset, which won the title of ‘Best Tetra Enterprise Product’ at last year’s International Tetra Awards, had undergone the necessary formal evaluation process with the CESG, the government’s national technical authority for information assurance, for certification in the UK, and Airbus and the CESG worked closely on the software evaluation to ensure the radio achieves accreditation.

In March the company also launched new emergency notification technology during the annual B-APCO event held in Manchester.

The emergency notification system enables public safety responders to communicate rapidly and securely with communities and multiple agencies in real-time during a terrorist incident, major disaster or wide-scale emergencies.

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