STN ATLAS Elektronik of Bremen, a company jointly owned by Rheinmetall DeTec of Ratingen (51%) and BAE SYSTEMS of London (49%), will be divided into two separate companies, one specialising in ground forces technology, the other in naval systems, to take effect upon completion retroactive to 1 January 2003. The new companies will henceforth be known as Rheinmetall Defence Electronics and ATLAS ELEKTRONIK. Rheinmetall Defence Electronics hopes to attain sales in excess of €300m for the 2003 financial year.

The 3,100-strong staff of the current Bremen-based company will be divided evenly between the two new organisations. The members of the existing management board of STN ATLAS Elektronik will continue to manage one or other of the two newly formed companies according to their present responsibilities.

By taking control of STN ATLAS Elektronik’s ground and aviation systems and simulation technology units, Rheinmetall DeTec is underscoring its position as one of Europe’s leading suppliers of ground forces equipment. ATLAS ELEKTRONIK, owned by BAE SYSTEMS, will concentrate on the naval systems activities of the jointly owned STN ATLAS.

The objective of this reorganisation is to bolster the competitiveness of the naval systems and ground forces units alike, placing both companies in excellent positions to exploit future opportunities for growth. A division along these lines was previously agreed as a possible option when Rheinmetall and BAE SYSTEMS originally bought the company in 1996.