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Change and cross‐border activity in the European defence industry

Brian Kenny (Brian Kenny is based at Huddersfield University Business School, Huddersfield, UK)

European Business Review

ISSN: 0955-534X

Article publication date: 1 April 1999


Following on from the thawing‐out of the cold war and the revolutions of Eastern Europe, the threat of lower armament levels provided opportunities for the rationalisation of European defence and its military‐industrial complexes. Coupled with the continuing threat of reduced defence expenditures and increasing competition, defence companies have reacted to the changes with a number of strategic moves involving mergers and acquisitions, market nicheing and diversification, in addition to lay‐offs and plant closures. More recently, moves towards a single European defence industry have been discussed among the major contributing member countries and their industry leaders. The integration of a defence aerospace industry seems well placed to succeed, given French co‐operation, and this should produce a formidable, global competitor. East and Central Europe’s contribution to the equation is questionable, although the early signs are that west European defence companies are establishing firm footholds in the region against strong US competition.



Kenny, B. (1999), "Change and cross‐border activity in the European defence industry", European Business Review, Vol. 99 No. 2, pp. 115-124.




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