Category: (3)

Embraer talks about its future in Brevard County WAYNE T. PRICE/FLORIDA TODAY

And maybe it’s not all that surprising considering some of the other recent aerospace acquisitions.

Airbus SE not long ago announced a deal to acquire a majority stake in a jetliner program operated by Bombardier Inc. of Canada. Bombardier is the second-largest maker of regional jets.

And in September, United Technologies Corp. agreed to purchase Rockwell Collins Inc. for $23 billion. Also, Northrop Grumman Corp. is planning to buy defense contractor Orbital ATK for $7.8 billion.

Embraer, which is headquartered in Sao Jose dos Campos in Brazil’s state of Sao Paulo, has a major presence in Brevard. Northrop Grumman and Rockwell Collins also have significant operations on the Space Coast.

“From 30,000 feet we view this as an industry shift not unlike what we have seen within the auto industry,” John Boyd, a principal with the Princeton, New Jersey-based aerospace consulting firm, The Boyd Co.

“That is to say, a shift of the center of gravity from Rust Belt and Northeast states like Michigan, Ohio, and Connecticut to more cost-efficient and Right-To-Work Southeast states like South Carolina, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi.”

A Boeing-Embraer deal would have a significant impact on Brevard County, where Embraer has substantial business jet assembly operations at the Orlando Melbourne International Airport.

“Look for Brevard County’s Embraer facilities to be a beneficiary of this merger, not to mention, the possibility that United Technologies acquisition of Rockwell Collins will lead to a new site search for the division headquarters of the combined unit,” Boyd said.

Embraer has a global customer care center and an Engineering and Technology Center at the Melbourne airport. In Titusville, Embraer recently opened Embraer Aero Seatings Technologies or E.A.S.T. In all Embraer employs about 850 people in Brevard County.

Of course, much depends on leaders in Brazil, which has what’s called a “golden share” interest Embraer. Essentially that share gives the Brazilian government veto power over transactions like the one being proposed by Boeing.

The Wall Street Journal, which on Thursday first reported the Boeing/Embraer talks, wrote “it’s far from guaranteed the government would sign off” on the deal.

Although an outright buyout has not been ruled out, sources close to the deal saying t a partnership deal is on the table. One of the options being reported in Brazil’s press includes a joint venture that would enable the companies to cross-sell their complementary lineups of commercial jets and negotiate better deals with suppliers.

Brazilian news agencies on Friday quoted Brazil’s President Michel Temer as saying that while he was opposed to allowing Boeing to take control of Embraer, he would welcome new foreign investment in the domestic planemaker.

Boyd noted any deal will enjoy a much smoother ride in the United States because President Donald Trump seems friendlier to major merger-and-acquisition activity.

 “The move would enlarge Boeing’s relatively modest footprint in Florida and serve it well from the standpoint of gaining additional representation in Congress from Florida’s 27 members – third highest number among the 50 states,” Boyd said.

“Politics and Washington are playing greater roles in corporate site selection, especially in highly regulated industries like aerospace.  Sen. Bill Nelson has been a strong advocate for the aerospace in Florida over the years.”

Contact Price at 321-242-3658

or wprice@floridatoday.com.

Twitter: @Fla2dayBiz

Article by Wayne T. Price, Florida Today, Complete Article [ HERE ]

Melbourne-based Harris Corporation headquarters (Paul Brinkmann / Orlando Sentinel)

Melbourne-based Harris Corporation headquarters (Paul Brinkmann / Orlando Sentinel)

A couple of global defense firms with a strong local presence won three contracts on Dec. 18 with a combined total value of more than $1 billion — and most of the work will take place in Orlando and Melbourne, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin Corp.’s (NYSE: LMT) Missiles & Fire Control facility in west Orlando won a $961 million contract from the U.S Air Force. The defense firm will sustain and upgrade its fleet of 683 Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods. The contract has a Dec. 18, 2022, completion date.

The same Orlando unit also landed a $65 million contract from the U.S. Army on Dec. 19 to support logistic services for the Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensors program. All of the work will be performed in Orlando and has a Dec. 31, 2018, completion date.

Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control unit has more than 4,000 workers in Orlando building support and weapon equipment for various military-grade vehicles like the F-35 jet fighter.

Melbourne-based defense firm Harris Corp. (NYSE: HRS) won a $16 million contract on Dec. 18 from the U.S. Navy to produce and deliver 65 distributed targeting system kits and 22 operational bulk data cartridges for the F/A-18 fighter jet and EA-18G jet plane. All of the work will take place in Melbourne, where Harris Corp. has hundreds of engineers. The contract has a May 2020 completion date.

Both companies are hiring hundreds of workers, too. Harris Corp. has more than 200 open positions listed on its website and Lockheed Martin has nearly 800 available jobs.

Military contracts contribute to the local economy in the form of jobs and subcontractor opportunities, and Central Florida is a major player when it comes to defense contracts. The region snags about $4 billion in government contracts each year because the nation’s Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines simulation operations are based in Central Florida Research Park. That work helps make Orlando the modeling, simulation and training capital of the world, according to the Orlando Economic Partnership.

Article by By  –  Staff writer, Orlando Business Journal, Complete Article [ HERE ]

Edgar Munoz and his team believe the future of drones will involve sky taxis, packages being dropped off, security purposes and more — all without human control, totally autonomous. And their idea isn’t too farfetched, according to studies.

Between now and 2020, the drone industry is forecast to be a $100 billion market, according to a study from multinational finance company Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS), and within that same time frame, the military will invest $70 billion in the industry, $17 billion will come from consumers and $13 billion from commercial and civil use.

But Munoz and his team recognized that while drones may fill the sky, some form of organization needs to happen to prevent them from crashing into one another during their tasks, which is why they started Aeronyde Corp. — a Melbourne-based firm working to create software for drones to better navigate the area and avoid obstacles.

“We are looking to build a reliable traffic system — a software component that can translate to different drone applications,” said Munoz, co-founder and CEO of Aeronyde.

Aeronyde was founded in April 2016, and has gotten a lot of attention from investors for its research and development. The company, which has been in stealth mode, just released the news that in August it closed on a $4.7 million venture capital deal lead by Korea-based semiconductor company Jastech Ltd., Munoz told Orlando Business Journal.

Aeronyde will use the funds to expand its research and development and may add to its 50-employee team next year, but details on how many jobs it would create were not given.

The firm may sound similar to what the Federal Aviation Administration does to regulate and monitor drone activity, but Munoz said the FAA relies on private companies to create innovative ways to control airspace activity — similar to how Harris Corp. built the cost-saving Next Generation Air Transportation System for the FAA.

Article by By Matthew Richardson – Staff writer, Orlando Business Journal, Complete Article [ Here ]