Electronic Warfare Specialist Resurgent

Article excerpt

Byline: Guy Dresser Special Correspondent

Aerospace and defence engineer Cobham signalled a return to the acquisitions trail yesterday, pledging to maintain the momentum built up in the first half of the year when it bolted on 11 separate businesses.

A placing of shares in July raised pounds 108 million, meaning that Cobham still had plenty of headroom for other deals later this year, according to finance director Mr Warren Tucker.

The high-tech aerospace specialist said the temporary downturn in commercial aerospace was over and the group was enjoying resurgent interest in its air-to-air refuelling systems.

Cobham's avionics business achieved record profits of pounds 29.5 million and was set to benefit from some of the lessons learned during the Iraq conflict.

One lesson was the need for improved mid-air refuelling as coalition air forces in the Iraq war loitered for many hours over the battlefield. This could see the eventual modernisation of the US fleet of air-to-air refuelling fleet, much of which is based on the 40-year old Boeing 707 fuselage. …