BAE Systems expects their earnings to go up again this year after jumping up last year. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has driven military spending for all of its allies. With the weapons, ammunition, and military equipment demand up, companies like BAE Systems, a major British defense company, will likely continue to see increased spending. With defense contracts increased, stocks and earnings have the ability to rise. BAE supports the U.S., Britain, Saudi Arabia, and Australia, as well as others. Demand for submarines, fighter jets, combat vehicles, and military ships continue to rise.

“We expect continued momentum in the medium to long term as governments replenish stocks, recapitalise equipment and support allies,” BAE Chief Executive Charles Woodburn said in an interview.

Like other contractors, BAE has bumped up its production to either directly support Ukraine or increase U.S. or other allies stockpiles. And the AUKUS deal next month between U.S., Britain, and Australia has the potential to give an even bigger boost for BAE.

“We have a strong footprint and business across all three nations so we do hope and expect opportunities to come through the AUKUS programme,” Woodburn said.

Layoffs: Ericsson

Ericsson, a telecom equipment maker, is planning on laying off 8,500 employees. The cuts will impact their global workforce.

“The way headcount reductions will be managed will differ depending on local country practice,” CEO Börje Ekholm wrote in a memo to their employees. North America will be hit the hardest, but also about 1,400 jobs in Sweden will be cut too. The telecom industry also increased hiring and inventory during the pandemic. And they are joining other companies and industries in taking measures to readjust their organizational structure and costs.

“It is our obligation to take this cost out to remain competitive,” Ekholm said in the memo. “Our biggest enemy right now may be complacency.”

Hiring: Aerojet Rocketdyne

Aerojet Rocketdyne is looking to fill up their third campus in Huntsville, AL. The new facility was announced last fall as a way for the company to manufacture even more defense equipment. Aerojet already has over 800 employees in the Huntsville area, and they’re looking to add to their total. The new campus will be open later this year, and workers there will focus on the production and assembly of inert solid rocket motor components.

“Our work to power our nation’s defense and equip the warfighter is more critical than ever,” said Eileen P. Drake, Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and president. “Increasing our manufacturing capability in Huntsville better positions our company to meet current and future customer demand.”

Hiring is happening now, despite continued renovations and equipment deliveries. The company is hiring for quality, operations, logistics, and engineering roles.

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Opportunity to Watch

X-Bow Systems Inc. (X-Bow), a new non-traditional small business defense supplier of solid rocket motors (SRMs) and defense technologies, is opening a Solid Rocket Motor (SRM) manufacturing campus in Luling, TX, just south of Austin. The expansion brings dozens of jobs to the area, with potential to significantly increase over the coming years.

After a comprehensive, year-long search across multiple states, X-Bow plans to invest approximately $25 million of private capital developing the new campus over the next two years. X-Bow is converting and revitalizing a section of the former Caldwell County Carter Memorial Airport that was decommissioned last year. The site, which is already in use for rocket motor testing, further expands the company’s footprint and builds off the successful growth in New Mexico.

“Our new Texas campus will enable X-Bow to compete as a reliable, innovative, economical source for solid rocket motors as we expand our capacity to build, manufacture, test and fly.” says X-Bow Systems Chief Technical Officer Max Vozoff, “The X-Bow team is grateful for the enthusiastic support and continued collaborative working relationship with City of Luling and Caldwell County officials as we continue to grow our team locally, construct facilities and add capabilities at our Luling campus.”

Construction on the new facility began last year. A hangar and multiple solid rocket motor test pads have already been completed.

The United States solid rocket motor industry has consolidated from six to just two domestic manufacturers over the past few decades. Recent reports further suggest the consolidation and lack of competition has resulted in cost increases, long lead times, a lack of technological innovation, and an overall capacity reduction in our national industrial base.

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Jillian Hamilton has worked in a variety of Program Management roles for multiple Federal Government contractors. She has helped manage projects in training and IT. She received her Bachelors degree in Business with an emphasis in Marketing from Penn State University and her MBA from the University of Phoenix.