The news comes as a British defense firm was cleared for takeover by a US firm last week. The figures suggest the shares of many UK defense companies are in the hands of foreign investors and hedge funds, raising national security concerns as they fall under foreign control.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, a Rolls-Royce spokesperson said: “We are a listed company so any investor can buy shares in our company and we appreciate the support of all our shareholders. .
“Under the ‘preferred share’ that the government holds in our company, no foreign individual/investor can hold more than 15%.”
Following the acquisition of Ultra Electronics, a British company specializing in the production of components for nuclear submarines, the figures revealed that the shares of many British defense companies were under foreign control.
Besides outright buying of companies, US companies have also been quietly buying large shares of UK companies involved in the defense and security sectors.
Included in the massive stock purchase are the Babcock, Rolls-Royce and BAE systems which have seen 49%, 71% and 54% of each company respectively fall under US control.
The government maintains that any sale of UK defense companies must be approved after strict and robust due diligence before the sale.
Currently, Rolls-Royce plays an important role in the defense sector on land, in the air, at sea and under water.
In the air defense sector, the company has more than 16,000 military engines in service with 160 global customers from 103 different countries.
One of the most pioneering areas of air defense comes from the “LiftSystem” which is the latest in digital control and ventilation system technology to deliver responsive, precise and powerful short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) capability. with minimal impact on the total cell. ballast.
The system can be seen in the F-35 Lightning and is the only vertical lift technology for production fighter jets in the world.
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On the surface of the waters, Rolls-Royce defenses are also responsible for multiple naval operations platforms, ranging from gas turbines, diesel engines, propulsion systems and electronic automation and control.
The company also offers a naval support and maintenance service offering a full range of training programmes, technical waterfront advice and lifelong technical information to a range of international standards.
Well known for being the driving force behind Britain’s nuclear submarine fleet, Rolls-Royce also delivers the Nuclear Steam Power Plants (NSRP), as well as parts of the secondary propulsion systems to the UK Ministry of Defence.
Rolls-Royce-powered nuclear submarines have traveled more than 18 million miles combined, with each unit running on a “spoonful” of uranium capable of operating for more than 20 years.
The company also supports ground forces with the production of mobile tactical power units (TPU) as well as the provision of grids and electrical networks.
Additionally, Rolls-Royce provides power for Armored Fighting Vehicles (AFV), including the design and development of the AJAX APU (6.2 kW) and the Titan/Trojan APU (10 kW) , to include maintenance, repair and operations for these units.
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Rolls-Royce was the 25th largest defense contractor in the world in 2021, measured by defense revenue according to defencenews.com with revenues exceeding £3.9 billion.
Five US companies top the list, with Lockheed Martin leading the pack, generating more than £50bn in 2021.
China’s Aviation Industry Corporation was the next non-US-based company, generating more than £20 billion in revenue in 2021.
BAE Systems is Britain’s largest defense company, ranking 7th globally, with £19 billion generated in 2021.
Honorable mentions go to Serco, Meggitt, Melrose Industries and QinetiQ which are all among the top 100 global defense companies.
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