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Coronavirus updates

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Check back here for the latest Covid-19 updates

Update - 25 June

 

Market update

 
The Company has provided an update to financial markets in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Current business priorities
Given the critical nature of the products and services that we provide to a number of nations, the important role we play in national economies and the local communities in which we operate, the Group has continued to focus on its near-term priorities:
 
  1. Protecting the wellbeing of our employees
  2. Meeting customer priorities as they face unique challenges
  3. Supporting our supply chain in dealing with pandemic related disruption
  4. Preserving and protecting our capabilities  and the strength of the Group’s business which is underpinned by our c.£45bn order backlog and programme positions
  5. Ensuring that we maintain appropriate liquidity and balance sheet strength 
 
In parallel, we have taken actions to enhance the Company’s resilience and position the business towards a return to full operational tempo. In many of our defence operations, the number of employees now working has progressed to near normal levels, whether through working on site in accordance with adjusted protective safety measures or through working remotely from home. Based on current expectations, further improvements are expected to be progressively achieved during the third quarter. 
 
Read the full statement here: Market update

 

Update - 22 May

 

Update from our CEO

 

The safety of our people remains our top priority. In adherence with the latest Government updates, those employees who can work from home will continue to do so. And we have new workplace arrangements and stringent social distancing measures in place to protect everyone who’s working at our sites, such as Portsmouth Naval Base, home of the Royal Navy in the UK.
 
Our people have been here every day throughout this extraordinary period. They have overcome many challenges to enable the Royal Navy to take eight ships to sea over the last eight weeks. We continue to deliver major maintenance and upkeep work across the Portsmouth-based fleet to ensure our customers have the capabilities they need now and for the future.
 
Watch the video below to hear more from CEO Charles Woodburn, featuring a message from Naval Base Commander Commodore Jeremy ‘JJ’ Bailey. 
 
Workplace changes CEO Charles Woodburn and Naval Base Commander Commodore Jeremy ‘JJ’ Bailey

 

Update - 11 May

 

New working practices to help keep people safe

 
Our role in the fight against COVID-19 has proven once again that we’re a Company dedicated to protecting those who protect us. Whether that’s our customers, our Armed Forces or the brave NHS heroes we are supporting through our PPE donations and our role in VentilatorChallengeUK .
 
Most of all, we’re dedicated to protecting our people. Take a look at this short film, which highlights how we’ve introduced working practices that are helping to keep people safe during the pandemic.
 
New working practices To help keep people safe
 

 

Update - 04 May

 

Extending our PPE effort to care homes with the ‘Door Claw’

 

As well as producing face shields and supporting the national ventilator effort, our Maritime Services team on the Isle of Wight is 3D-printing the innovative ‘Door Claw’. This piece of PPE allows users to open doors without touching the door handle, helping to reduce the spread of infection. The Door Claw also has a touchscreen stylus, so that users can operate devices such as tablets without using their fingers, further reducing the risk of infection from shared devices.
 
The design for the Door Claw has come from Vestas, a company that makes wind turbine blades. Vestas has made the 3D file for the Door Claw freely available on its web site.
 
So far, we have supplied more than 200 Door Claws to care homes on the island, with more in production.
 
Read the full article here:  Extending our PPE effort to care homes with the ‘Door Claw’

 

Update - 28 April

 

‘Rapid response’ mentoring helps SMEs through the pandemic

 
Image of Be The Business logo
 
 
 
 
 
Many of our UK leaders are providing urgent mentoring and expert business advice to small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) from any sector throughout the pandemic and into the future. This support is available through the Be the Business programme for SMEs in any sector. If your business needs a sounding board for difficult decisions and support in the development of suitable strategies throughout this difficult time, find out more and sign up at: https://www.bethebusiness.com/rapid-response-mentoring/
 
We have worked with Be the Business for several years, running leadership programmes to improve productivity in businesses throughout the UK. This support evolved from an initial 12 month leadership programme for SMEs called Productivity through People that ran at Lancaster Management School in conjunction with Siemens and Rolls-Royce. In the last few years, the programmes have been introduced at a number of other universities including Bath, Strathclyde and Aston. By the end of 2019, leaders at 129 different SMEs with a combined turnover of £5 billion had taken part in the programme. Mentoring has always been a key part of the leadership programmes.
 

Update - 23 April

 

Nationwide efforts to donate PPE ramps up, with more than 150,000 face shields set to be donated

 
Engineers at our Electronic Systems site in Rochester have joined our continued efforts to ramp up donations of vital Personal Protective Equipment to the NHS and other healthcare providers to support the fight against Covid-19. We’ve already delivered more than 45,000 face shields with the support of employees across the UK and our supply chain and we now expect to donate more than 150,000 in total over the coming weeks.
 
The team at Rochester, which usually produces sophisticated electronic systems for military and commercial platforms, has developed a new face shield design, helping to further bolster our efforts to support the nation’s healthcare workers. Production started this week at Rochester on an initial 3,000 face shields, with up to 500 face shields to be produced at the site each week over the next six weeks.
 
All of our industrial-scale 3D printers in our Air and Maritime sectors are already producing face shields. As our Electronic Systems site in Rochester does not use large industrial scale 3D printers, a new design was created which reduces the number of components needed and means the Company’s smaller 3D printers can produce face shields more quickly than existing designs.
 
Read the full article here:  Rochester team joins the nationwide effort to produce PPE
 
 

Update - 16 April

 
Employees across our business are continuing to ramp up efforts to donate vital Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the NHS, with the aim of delivering more than 145,000 face shields to the frontline in the coming weeks.
 
All of our industrial-scale 3D printers are now producing face shields, with supplies being delivered every day, directly to frontline medical staff around the UK. Our smaller scale 3D printers are also coming online to support the PPE effort, producing face shields at a smaller volume as well as innovative ‘door claws’ that help care homes reduce the spread of infection through door handles.
 
To rapidly increase the numbers arriving on the frontline, we are sourcing tens of thousands of additional face shields through our suppliers. Together with our 3D printed face shields, we have delivered more than 24,000 units to date, with another 40,000 due to arrive in the next week to local communities in Bristol, Glasgow, London, Kent, Manchester, Portsmouth, Preston and Southampton.
 
Read the full article here:  Ramping up our efforts to deliver PPE to the NHS frontline
 

 

Supporting VentilatorChallengeUK consortium - training content for producing new Penlon ventilator

 
We are supporting VentilatorChallengeUK, a consortium of companies rapidly producing ventilators in the fight against Covid-19. One way we are helping is to develop training materials for people building the newly MHRA-approved Penlon ventilator. Although the team will be made up of experienced engineers from sectors used to high precision manufacture, many will be making ventilators for the first time.
 
Read the full article here:  Supporting VentilatorChallengeUK consortium - training content for Penlon

 

Update - 08 April

 

Message from Sir Roger Carr, Chairman

 
Image of Sir Roger Carr
 
As we approach the holiday weekend, I wanted to write on behalf of the Board to thank all our stakeholders who are supporting our Company in challenging times.
 
First and foremost, we have prioritised the safety and well-being of our employees above all else.  Whilst we have empowered many with the technology to work from home, there are colleagues all over the world who must attend their normal places of work, every day, to produce products and deliver services that are critical to their nations’ interests.  We cannot thank them enough for their dedication, courage and commitment.
 
Our pensioners are also remembered for all that they have done in helping to build this fine Company and our decision to inject a lump sum of capital in to the pension fund, subject to market conditions, remains a priority in spite of the pandemic turbulence.
 
Our customers world-wide and the pride we have in protecting and serving those who serve and protect us remains the driving force behind all our endeavours, and our efforts to support them all is undiminished by the difficulties that Covid- 19 has brought to us all.
 
Our supply chains are the critical links which makes all that we do possible.  Meeting our payment obligations and minimising disruption by working together in close harmony is the bedrock of our relationships and will be the cornerstone of our collective success in the months ahead.
 
Particular thanks are due to all the governments we serve across the world for their consistent cooperation and willingness to work in the spirit of partnership as we jointly navigate through these uncharted and turbulent waters – it will not be forgotten.
 
And finally, our shareholders large and small, whose loyalty, understanding and willingness to look beyond the immediate issues of the day in order to preserve a robust and sustainable business for the future is appreciated, by both the Board and management team.  We will honour our promise that dividends will be paid when conditions permit.
 
BAE Systems is a strong company with remarkable stakeholders, a substantial order book, an enviable customer base, and built on firm financial fundamentals.  The Board I am privileged to chair and the management team led by Charles Woodburn are all committed to all our stakeholders in underpinning this position today and strengthening it in the years ahead.  We thank you for all your help and support in these difficult times and hope that you and your families remain safe and well as we look forward to the better days that lie ahead.
 
Sir Roger Carr 
Chairman 

 


 

Proud to support our NHS

 
We’re donating more than 120,000 face shields to help protect NHS staff on the frontline.
As well as supporting the national ventilator effort, employees across our business have rallied to donate vital Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the NHS to help protect medical staff around the UK in the fight against Coronavirus.
 
Employees in our Air sector, who normally produce parts for combat aircraft including Eurofighter Typhoon, and our Submarines business are 3D printing parts for newly designed face shields. Meanwhile, we are sourcing tens of thousands of additional face shields through our supply chain to distribute to the NHS on our behalf, which means we will deliver more than 120,000 face shields to the NHS this month.
 
Find out more: Proud to support our NHS News Article

 

Update - 07 April

 

STEM resources to help with home schooling

 
As part of our Community Investment programme in the UK, we partner with STEM Learning, the UK’s largest provider of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths education. Together we have developed a range of primary and secondary level teaching resources. They’re perfect for helping children or students who are currently studying from home get to grips with everything from light and colour to Newton’s First Law of Motion.
 
You can access the collection of BAE Systems resources here – you’ll just need to register for a free account first. And elsewhere on the STEM Learning web site, there are thousands of quality-assured resources suitable for Primary school children through to Secondary and A Level. https://www.stem.org.uk/resources
 
In addition, another of our partners – the Royal Academy of Engineering, has made available a 12-page booklet to teach children about exciting engineering innovations that have changed our world. 

 

Update - 03 April

 

Market update

 
The Company has provided an update to the financial markets in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Annual General Meeting
Our AGM will be held on 7 May 2020 as scheduled.  As public gatherings of more than two people are currently prohibited in the UK, shareholders will not be able to attend the meeting in person. 
 
We are asking our shareholders to vote on the resolutions put to the meeting by proxy, using the usual online and postal facilities.  A poll will be taken and the results will be posted on our website. We are sorry our shareholders will be unable to attend our AGM this year and want to thank them for their understanding and support.
 
2019 Dividend
In the first quarter of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic had no material impact on our financial performance and we are in a strong financial position. However, given the uncertainty of the COVID-19 situation, the Board has decided it is in the best interests of the business, with regard to all stakeholders’ interests, to defer a decision on payment of the dividend proposed at our 2019 preliminary results in February. 
 
We recognise the importance of the dividend to our shareholders and whilst it remains our intention to pay a dividend, the timing will depend on macro-economic and social conditions over the coming months. We will provide an update at our Half Year results on 30 July 2020, at which time the Board will also review remuneration of the Executive Directors.
 
Read the full statement here: Market update

 


 

Tyvek suits to support New York


The federal government put out an urgent request to the aerospace and defense industry seeking Tyvek suits to support New York’s efforts to combat COVID-19. BAE Systems teams mobilized to identify thousands of suits and deliver them to the NYC Emergency Management department. With over 2,000 employees in the state of New York, we are proud to assist New York’s medical personnel and first responders in their fight against the virus. We will continue to work with the government and assess our capabilities to identify additional ways we might help. Doing our part in our communities is one way we can live our mission of protecting those who protect us.
 

Update - 30 March

 

Supporting the UK ventilator effort article published

 
The Government has today asked the VentilatorChallengeUK consortium, of which we’re a proud member, to begin the rapid production of ventilator systems in the fight against Covid-19.
 
Read the full article here:  Supporting the UK ventilator effort

 


 

Update - 24 March

 

Update regarding recruitment for positions requiring experience

 
In line with the UK Government’s developing guidance for the Covid-19 pandemic and in support of social distancing, we have been reviewing the management of our recruitment activity. We will continue to keep this under constant review.
 
In order to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone, we will now be conducting interviews remotely. Candidates will be contacted by their recruitment advisor to make these arrangements.  If you subsequently require any adjustments to the interview process described to you please raise this with your recruitment advisor.
 
Start dates and on-boarding arrangements may also change and your recruitment advisor will inform you of any relevant changes.
 
We thank you in advance for your understanding as we adjust to this unprecedented situation.
 
 

 

Update regarding recruitment for early careers

 
In line with the UK Government’s developing guidance for the Covid-19 pandemic and in support of social distancing, we have been reviewing the management of our recruitment activity. We will continue to keep this under constant review.

We have been considering how best to manage the impact of delays to our apprentice recruitment process and potential delays to our graduate recruitment process. We are working through how to assess applications for apprentice positions and will be in contact with candidates within the next few weeks to inform them of next steps. At the moment all graduate interviews will be conducted remotely, and candidates will be contacted to make arrangements. We will also be in touch with those who have applied for summer internships and industrial placements for this year as the situation evolves. If you subsequently require any adjustments to the interview process described to you please raise this with your recruitment advisor.

We thank you in advance for your understanding as we adjust to this unprecedented situation.
 

 

UK working arrangements

 
The health and wellbeing of our people is our top priority.   In line with the latest Government guidance, our UK based employees are working from home where possible. 
 
We’re working closely with our customers to agree which roles remain essential to be delivered at our sites in support of national defence and security. We’re working as quickly as possible to provide clarity and have advised employees to remain at home unless they are needed to support critical customer operations. We’re thankful for the continued support and co-operation of our employees during this period of unprecedented challenge and uncertainty, as we all play our part in tackling this public health emergency.
 

 

Update - 22 March

 

Message from Charles Woodburn, Chief Executive Officer

 
Image of our Chief Executive, Charles Woodburn
 
We are operating at a time of unprecedented disruption and change around the world as governments in all of our markets continue to tackle public health emergencies due to the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak.  The health and safety of our people remains our top priority and we are engaging regularly with our employees. Our leadership teams around the world are focussed on the actions we need to take to protect the health and wellbeing of our employees and their families, whilst working with our customers and suppliers to minimise the impact on our operations.  
 
We are monitoring advice from the World Health Organisation and national governments in each of our markets to ensure we are taking appropriate action to help protect our people.  In common with many organisations, we have significant numbers of employees working remotely where possible. Our Business Continuity teams are working at pace to look at where and how we can support further remote working, in line with guidance from governments. 
 
A number of our sites around the world need to continue operating to deliver critical capabilities to help governments and members of the armed forces and security services to protect national security at this challenging time. We are taking actions at these sites to protect our people and minimise disruption. 
 
Our travel policies are under constant review to align with guidance in the markets in which we operate. Like other organisations, we are minimising travel whilst focussing on meeting our customers’ needs.  Our suppliers include many small and medium sized companies, who play an important role in supporting our customers. We are exploring how we can further support our supply chain partners during this challenging time.
 
We are also carefully considering other actions to assist the communities around the world where we live and work. We are increasing our support to our existing charity partners and we are looking for opportunities to extend our support to charitable organisations supporting the most vulnerable people in our local communities. 
 
I want to personally thank all of our employees, suppliers and customers for your support, flexibility and patience as we continue to take the necessary actions to support the national governments in each of our markets as they seek to manage this public health emergency and respond to what is a fast moving and constantly evolving situation.  
 
Charles Woodburn