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Bombardier eyes rapid defence growth

Bombardier has provided its Global 6000 business jet for Saab's GlobalEye airborne early warning and control aircraft. (Saab)

Bombardier expects to triple its defence revenue to more than USD1 billion in the second half of the decade, according to the Canadian aircraft manufacturer.

“Geopolitical tensions and international security concerns have accelerated demand” for Bombardier's defence products, the company wrote in a 23 March investor day presentation. The revenue boost will come from aircraft deliveries, aircraft modifications, and engineering services, said Paul Sislian, Bombardier's executive vice-president of aftermarket services and strategy.

“We are actively answering several proposals and tenders,” Sislian said at the investor event. “We must remind ourselves that defence programmes are long to operationalise, and the procurement, design, and modification cycles can last many years. As such, we are preparing our company and infrastructure to enhance our participation in this segment for the long run.”

These preparations include recruiting more engineers, technicians, and salespeople, and moving into a new 750,000 sq ft (69,677 m 2 ) final assembly plant in Mississauga, Ontario, a Bombardier spokesperson told Janes on 24 March.

Bombardier's Defense division, formerly the Specialized Aircraft division, serves several markets, including head of state and very, very important person (VVIP) transport; maritime patrol; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR); and command-and-control.

Based in Wichita, Kansas, in the US, the division has provided business jets for such programmes as the US Air Force's Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN), Saab's GlobalEye airborne early warning and control aircraft, and the Luftwaffe's Persistent German Airborne Surveillance System (PEGASUS).

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