BAE Systems is the largest arms manufacturer in Europe and the fourth biggest in the world. Registered in the UK, the company has annual military sales of $15bn. Products include fighter and trainer aircraft, warships, submarines, torpedoes, missiles, radar and tactical communications systems, artillery and ammunition. The company employs 90,000 people, 41,000 of whom are in the UK. The company was formed on November 30, 1999 with the merger of British Aerospace and Marconi Electronic Systems, which was made up of several divisions of GEC-Marconi in the UK and overseas.
The company has drawn heavy criticism, both for the use of its products to facilitate human rights abuses and corruption. Its Hawk jets alone have been sold to Brunei, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, United Arab Emirates and Zimbabwe. The company is currently under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office over allegations that the company kept a "slush fund" worth some Â£60m to bribe officials from Saudi Arabia. The company sells more to Saudi than to the UK Ministry of Defence.
In August 2004 BAE Systems completed its takeover of armoured vehicle manufacturer Alvis.
Access BAE Systems' corporate rap sheet compiled and written by Good Jobs First here.
- Ben Norman, "Portsmouth BAE workers rally to defend all jobs", The Socialist, 11 November 2013.
BAE lobbies the UK government at the highest level, securing favourable legislation, ministerial support for overseas sales and insurance on its deals to unstable regimes in the form of 'export credits'. BAE chairman Dick Evans is credited with opening up the Labour government to the company's influence.
The Observer newspaper has quoted an 'industry insider' as saying that Dick Evans, the then chairman of BAE, had unrivalled access to the British Prime Minister: "Dick is entirely ruthless. He is a hard man and gets his own way. But he has also been the most successful in shifting the political ground and courting New Labour. He's one of the few businessmen who can see [Tony] Blair on request." 
The former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook wrote of the relationship between BAE, then known as British Aerospace, and the government in his book The Point of Departure: "In my time I came to learn that the Chairman of British Aerospace appeared to have the key to the garden door to Number 10. Certainly I never once knew Number 10 to come up with any decision that would be incommoding to British Aerospace".
BAE Systems also lobbies the U.S. government. The company spent $5,140,000 for lobbying in the U.S. in 2006. Some of the lobbying firms used were Van Scoyoc Associates, Inc., Covington & Burling, and American Defense International. 
|BAE Systems Land & Armaments||26%||73%||$287,500|
|BAE Systems North America||38%||61%||$497,499|
Ownership of other companies
- Alvis (100% owned)
- RO Defence (100% owned)
- AMS (50%)
- Gripen International (50%)
- Fleet Support Limited (50%)
- Flagship Training (50%)
- Aerosystems International (50%)
- MBDA (37.5%)
- SAAB (35%)
- Eurofighter GmbH (33%)
Accessed July 2012: 
- Dick Olver
- Ian King
- Peter Lynas
- Linda Hudson
- Paul Anderson
- Harriet Green
- Michael Hartnall
- Lee McIntire
- Sir Peter Mason
- Paula Rosput Reynolds
- Nick Rose (UK)
- Carl Symon
Board of directors
- Prof Sue Birley
- Dr Ulrich Cartellieri
- Michael Hartnall
- Rt Hon Lord Hesketh KBE
- Sir Peter Mason KBE
- Rt Hon Michael Portillo MP
- Paolo Scaroni
Tel: + 44 (0)1252 373 232
6 Carlton Gardens
Other SourceWatch resources
- Political influence of arms companies
- Peter A. Weinberg
- Nigel Rudd
- David Singleton
- Sir Charles Masefield - former president
- Sir Ronald Grierson
- J.H. Binford Peay III
- George Rose
- Roberto Quarta - former board member
- John Weston - former CEO
- Terry Morgan - HR
- Don Donovan
- Ian Paul Tyler
- Campaign Against the Arms Trade, BAE company profile
- Corporate Watch, BAE company profile
- BAE company structure
- BAE company reports
- Arms Trade Special Report, The Guardian
- David Leigh and Rob Evans, Dismay at BAE as fraud office comes calling, The Guardian, November 4, 2004.
- David Leigh, Jonathan Franklin and Rob Evans, "Detective story that linked Â£1m Pinochet cash to BAE. US investigators find 100 accounts linked to general. Secret payments listed to alleged front companies," Guardian Unlimited (UK), September 15, 2005. Re Augusto Pinochet. Links to other related articles on page.
- David Leigh, Jonathan Franklin in Santiago and Rob Evans, "Detective story that linked £1m Pinochet cash to BAE: US investigators find 100 accounts linked to general / Secret payments listed to alleged front companies", The Guardian (UK), September 15, 2005.
- David Leigh and Rob Evans, "Serious Fraud Office to look into BAE link with Pinochet", Guardian (UK), September 16, 2005.
- James Macintyre, "Exposed: the arms lobbyist in Parliament: 'We'll ask the questions that you can't, without your fingerprints,' he tells clients," The Independent (UK), June 26, 2008.