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Cobham plc

Cobham plc

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Cobham plc is a British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 manufacturing company based in Wimborne Minster
Wimborne Minster
Wimborne Minster is a market town in the East Dorset district of Dorset in South West England, and the name of the Church of England church in that town...

, Dorset
Dorset
Dorset , is a county in South West England on the English Channel coast. The county town is Dorchester which is situated in the south. The Hampshire towns of Bournemouth and Christchurch joined the county with the reorganisation of local government in 1974...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange
London Stock Exchange
The London Stock Exchange is a stock exchange located in the City of London within the United Kingdom. , the Exchange had a market capitalisation of US$3.7495 trillion, making it the fourth-largest stock exchange in the world by this measurement...

 and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index
FTSE 250 Index
The FTSE 250 Index is a capitalisation-weighted index consisting of the 101st to the 350th largest companies on the London Stock Exchange. Promotions to and demotions from the index take place quarterly in March, June, September and December...

. As of early 2011, Cobham ranks 33rd on Flight International
Flight International
Flight International is a global aerospace weekly publication produced in the UK. Founded in 1909, it is the world's oldest continuously published aviation news magazine...

's
list of the Top 100 Top aerospace firms, 35th on the Defense News
Defense News
Defense News is a global newsweekly on politics, business and technology of defense. Defense News serves an audience of senior military, government and industry decision-makers throughout the world....

list of Top 100 defense contractors, and 98th on Washington Technology
Washington technology
Washington Technology is a United States magazine for government contractors providing an in-depth look at government programs, technologies and spending priorities, as well as management issues, case studies M&A, and trends that impact the contractor community. It is published by 1105 Government...

's
list of Top 100 US government contractors.

History

  • 1934: Cobham was founded as Flight Refuelling Limited (FRL) by Sir Alan Cobham
    Alan Cobham
    Sir Alan John Cobham, KBE, AFC was an English aviation pioneer.A member of the Royal Flying Corps in World War I, Alan Cobham became famous as a pioneer of long distance aviation. After the war he became a test pilot for the de Havilland aircraft company, and was the first pilot for the newly...

     at RAF Ford in Sussex
    Sussex
    Sussex , from the Old English Sūþsēaxe , is an historic county in South East England corresponding roughly in area to the ancient Kingdom of Sussex. It is bounded on the north by Surrey, east by Kent, south by the English Channel, and west by Hampshire, and is divided for local government into West...

    .
  • Shortly after the outbreak of World War II
    World War II
    World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

    : FRL moved to Tarrant Rushton
    RAF Tarrant Rushton
    RAF Tarrant Rushton was a Royal Air Force station near the village of Tarrant Rushton east of Blandford Forum in Dorset, England from 1943 to 1947.It was used for glider operations during World War II and later revived for civilian operations...

     in Dorset
    Dorset
    Dorset , is a county in South West England on the English Channel coast. The county town is Dorchester which is situated in the south. The Hampshire towns of Bournemouth and Christchurch joined the county with the reorganisation of local government in 1974...

    .
  • 1948: FRL was the first contractor to join the Berlin airlift.
  • 1949: FRL developed the 'probe and drogue' method of air-to-air refuelling
    Aerial refueling
    Aerial refueling, also called air refueling, in-flight refueling , air-to-air refueling or tanking, is the process of transferring fuel from one aircraft to another during flight....

    .
  • 1970s: FRL transferred its aerial operations to Hurn Airport
    Bournemouth Airport
    Bournemouth Airport is an airport located north-northeast of Bournemouth, in southern England...

    .
  • 1996: ML Aviation took over Nash & Thompson, a major competitor.
  • September 1997: Cobham bought ML Aviation.
  • 2008: Cobham purchases S-TEC Corporation
    S-TEC Corporation
    S-TEC Corporation is an operating company under the Avionics and Surveillance division of Cobham plc.S-TEC is a United States corporation originally founded in 1978and headquartered in Mineral Wells, Texas...

    , maker of general aviation autopilots for $38 million.
  • February 2008: Cobham bought the sensor
    Sensor
    A sensor is a device that measures a physical quantity and converts it into a signal which can be read by an observer or by an instrument. For example, a mercury-in-glass thermometer converts the measured temperature into expansion and contraction of a liquid which can be read on a calibrated...

     and antenna
    Antenna (radio)
    An antenna is an electrical device which converts electric currents into radio waves, and vice versa. It is usually used with a radio transmitter or radio receiver...

     systems division of BAE Systems
    BAE Systems
    BAE Systems plc is a British multinational defence, security and aerospace company headquartered in London, United Kingdom, that has global interests, particularly in North America through its subsidiary BAE Systems Inc. BAE is among the world's largest military contractors; in 2009 it was the...

     for $240 million.
  • June 2008 Cobham acquired Sparta Inc.
    SPARTA Inc.
    Cobham Analytic Solutions is a United States defense contractor based in Lake Forest, California. It was started in 1979 and has more than 20 offices around the United States. The acronym, SPARTA, stood for "Systems Planning Analysis Research and Technology Associates."Prior to its acquisition...

    , a US
    United States
    The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

     defence business, for $416 million. It was renamed Cobham Analytic Solutions.
  • September 2008: Cobham completed the purchase of the radio frequency
    Radio frequency
    Radio frequency is a rate of oscillation in the range of about 3 kHz to 300 GHz, which corresponds to the frequency of radio waves, and the alternating currents which carry radio signals...

     components business of M/A-COM for $425 million.
  • Early 2009, National Jet Systems
    National Jet Systems
    Cobham Aviation Services Australia , is a scheduled and charter airline with its Headquarters based in Adelaide, Australia. It provides aviation services including wet leasing, scheduled airline operations, and charter services across Australia...

     renamed itself as Cobham (known as Cobham Aviation Services Australia or CAvSA) in line with a global Cobham rebranding initiative by its parent company Cobham plc.
  • April 2009: Cobham agreed to purchase Argotek Inc., a provider of high-end information assurance
    Information Assurance
    Information assurance is the practice of managing risks related to the use, processing, storage, and transmission of information or data and the systems and processes used for those purposes...

     services to the United States Intelligence Community
    United States Intelligence Community
    The United States Intelligence Community is a cooperative federation of 16 separate United States government agencies that work separately and together to conduct intelligence activities considered necessary for the conduct of foreign relations and the protection of the national security of the...

    , for $36 million.
  • June 2009: A Cobham - Northrop Grumman
    Northrop Grumman
    Northrop Grumman Corporation is an American global aerospace and defense technology company formed by the 1994 purchase of Grumman by Northrop. The company was the fourth-largest defense contractor in the world as of 2010, and the largest builder of naval vessels. Northrop Grumman employs over...

     50-50 joint venture won the U.S. Army's US$2.4 billion competition to supply Vehicular Intercom Systems.
  • October 2011: Cobham Analytic Solutions sold for $350 million to the privately owned Parsons Corporation.

Operations


Cobham is organised into four core technology divisions: Mission Systems, Defence Systems, Avionics and Surveillance, and Aviation Services.

The Cobham Mission Systems Division claims to be the world market leader in aerial refuelling, and provides a comprehensive range of weapons carriage and release equipment. Cobham Mission Systems also specialises in life support and personal survival equipment for aviators and astronauts.

The Cobham Defence Systems Division specialises in radar
Radar
Radar is an object-detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The radar dish or antenna transmits pulses of radio...

, communication and electronic warfare
Electronic warfare
Electronic warfare refers to any action involving the use of the electromagnetic spectrum or directed energy to control the spectrum, attack an enemy, or impede enemy assaults via the spectrum. The purpose of electronic warfare is to deny the opponent the advantage of, and ensure friendly...

 systems, and claims to be the world leader in advanced tactical military vehicle intercom
Intercom
An intercom , talkback or doorphone is a stand-alone voice communications system for use within a building or small collection of buildings, functioning independently of the public telephone network. Intercoms are generally mounted permanently in buildings and vehicles...

 systems.

The Cobham Avionics and Surveillance Division provides a range of electronic products for airborne, marine and land applications. Included in the product base are fully certified Electronic Flight Instrument System
Electronic Flight Instrument System
An electronic flight instrument system is a flight deck instrument display system in which the display technology used is electronic rather than electromechanical. EFIS normally consists of a primary flight display , multi-function display and engine indicating and crew alerting system display...

s (EFIS), air and land Search and Rescue devices, and state of the art surveillance equipment.

The Cobham Aviation Services Division operates more than 150 fixed and rotary wing aircraft around the world. It specialises in the conversion and support of a wide range of civil and military aircraft, and through an FB Heliservices consortium with Bristow Helicopters at the UK's Defence Helicopter Flying School
Defence Helicopter Flying School
The Defence Helicopter Flying School at RAF Shawbury, a Royal Air Force station near Shrewsbury, England, trains aircrew from all three of the Armed Forces.-Squadrons:The DHFS has three flying squadrons:...

 trains all UK helicopter pilots for the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

, Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 and British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

.

Products: breathing apparatus


Carleton Life Support was founded in 1951 by Bendix Aviation
Bendix Aviation
The Bendix Aviation Corporation, a manufacturer of aircraft parts, was started by inventor Vincent Bendix in 1929 as a continuation of his auto parts company. It was renamed to Bendix Corporation in 1960, and in 1983 was acquired by the Allied Corporation and combined with King Radio company to...

. Its headquarters is at Davenport, Iowa
Davenport, Iowa
Davenport is a city located along the Mississippi River in Scott County, Iowa, United States. Davenport is the county seat of and largest city in Scott County. Davenport was founded on May 14, 1836 by Antoine LeClaire and was named for his friend, George Davenport, a colonel during the Black Hawk...

. It is now part of Cobham plc's Life Support Division. It makes or made:
  • Scuba diving rebreather
    Rebreather
    A rebreather is a type of breathing set that provides a breathing gas containing oxygen and recycled exhaled gas. This recycling reduces the volume of breathing gas used, making a rebreather lighter and more compact than an open-circuit breathing set for the same duration in environments where...

    s, intended largely for armed forces use, including:
    • Siva (rebreather)
      Siva (rebreather)
      Siva is a model series of frogman's rebreather made by Carleton Life Support originally made by Fullerton Sherwood Engineering Ltd. They are:* Siva S10 oxygen rebreather, dive duration 4 hours. Worn on the front of the chest....

    • Viper (rebreather)
      Viper (rebreather)
      Viper is a new make of electronic-control closed circuit mixture rebreather made by Carleton Life Support which is fitted with the Juergensen Defense Corporation Mark V Electronic Control System. It is designed for use by combat frogmen, and for diving to remove naval mines which may be sensitive...

    • Carleton CDBA (= Clearance Diver's Breathing Apparatus), intended for use by naval work divers. It is not the same as the Siebe Gorman CDBA
      Siebe Gorman CDBA
      The Clearance Divers Breathing Apparatus is a type of rebreather made by Siebe Gorman in England.The Royal Navy used it for many years. It was for underwater work rather than for combat diving. The main oxygen cylinders are on the diver's back. The oxygen cylinders at the front of the diver are...

      .
  • Aircraft pilot's oxygen breathing systems: see oxygen mask#Oxygen masks for aviators
  • NBC suit
    NBC suit
    An NBC suit is a type of military personal protective equipment designed to provide protection against direct contact with and contamination by radioactive, biological or chemical substances, and provides protection from contamination with radioactive materials and some types of radiation,...

    s

Queen's Awards for Enterprise

  • 2009: Cobham Surveillance, based in Segensworth
    Segensworth
    Segensworth is a business park at Whiteley / Fareham in Hampshire in England. It is near junction 9 of the M27 midway between Southampton and Portsmouth....

    , Hampshire
    Hampshire
    Hampshire is a county on the southern coast of England in the United Kingdom. The county town of Hampshire is Winchester, a historic cathedral city that was once the capital of England. Hampshire is notable for housing the original birthplaces of the Royal Navy, British Army, and Royal Air Force...

    , England, received a Queen's Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category. The business – formerly known as Domo Ltd - tripled its export sales in three years.
  • 2010: Cobham Surveillance, based in Segensworth
    Segensworth
    Segensworth is a business park at Whiteley / Fareham in Hampshire in England. It is near junction 9 of the M27 midway between Southampton and Portsmouth....

    , Hampshire
    Hampshire
    Hampshire is a county on the southern coast of England in the United Kingdom. The county town of Hampshire is Winchester, a historic cathedral city that was once the capital of England. Hampshire is notable for housing the original birthplaces of the Royal Navy, British Army, and Royal Air Force...

    , received a Queen's Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category. The award was for the development of its Solo4 wireless digital audio and video link technology that improves safety for bomb disposal teams and law enforcement personnel by increasing the range at which they can effectively operate their robotic bomb disposal equipment.
  • 2010: Cobham Antenna Systems, based in Marlow, Buckinghamshire
    Marlow, Buckinghamshire
    Marlow is a town and civil parish within Wycombe district in south Buckinghamshire, England...

    , received a Queen's Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category. The business – formerly known as Chelton Ltd - continuously increased export revenues over six years and sells over 80% of its production overseas.

Sports club


The company created Cobham Sports and Social Club, a members' club in Merley
Merley
Merley is a large housing estate in the borough of Poole, a mile south of Wimborne Minster. Originally called Myrle, Merley was a manor in the tithing of Great Canford...

, near the main manufacturing site in Wimborne, Dorset.

See also

  • Aerospace industry in the United Kingdom
  • Cobham Aviation Services Australia
  • Sargent Fletcher
    Sargent Fletcher
    Sargent Fletcher is a subsidiary company of Cobham plc. which makes aircraft equipment, including aerial refueling systems, external fuel tanks, and special purpose pods.-History:Sargent Fletcher was founded in 1940, and bought by Cobham in 1994....

  • Cobham Technical Services
    Cobham Technical Services
    Cobham Technical Services is a UK-based technology organisation with a history dating back to 1920. Its primary business comprises three distinct business streams, focused on delivery of leading-edge technologies and services for aerospace, defence, security and commercial applications...

     - ERA Technology Ltd

External links