US targets Archer in Bowman radio deal

US defence contractor ITT Defence has taken the largest stake in the Archer consortium which will manufacture the £1.5bn Bowman radio system for Britain’s armed forces. The company has taken a 40% share of the consortium while Racal Electronics and Siemens Plessey Systems – formerly 50:50 partners in a rival bid for the contract – […]

US defence contractor ITT Defence has taken the largest stake in the Archer consortium which will manufacture the £1.5bn Bowman radio system for Britain’s armed forces.

The company has taken a 40% share of the consortium while Racal Electronics and Siemens Plessey Systems – formerly 50:50 partners in a rival bid for the contract – will each take 30%.

The new company, Archer Communications Systems, will be managed by John Crane, managing director of ITT Defence.

The radios will be made at Siemens’ factory in Ilford, Essex, where there is spare capacity.

The Archer consortium was formed last December when two rival consortiums for the contract decided to pool resources for a joint bid.

The proposal was accepted by the Ministry of Defence despite competition policy.

Details on board representation and the levels of investment from each company are expected over the next few weeks.