Cassidian_UVACassidian and Rheinmetall have agreed to pursue Rheinmetall’s Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) activities together in a Joint Venture where Cassidian will hold 51 percent and Rheinmetall 49 percent of the shares. The ownership interests are to be assigned to Cassidian by mid-2012 once all the necessary authorisations and antitrust approvals have been granted.

For Cassidian, the incorporation of this sector of Rheinmetall is an ideal supplement to its existing UAS product portfolio. Rheinmetall’s Bremen, Germany, subsidiary Rheinmetall Defence Electronics GmbH firmly expects this step to improve the opportunities for development of its Airborne Systems product unit and secure sustainable long-term prospects for it. From the point of view of both partners, the Joint Venture will give the Airborne Systems product unit access to broader development resources and international market access opportunities that had not so far existed to any comparable extent and will thus secure jobs at the Bremen site.

Stefan Zoller, CEO of Cassidian, said, “As Europe’s leading provider of Unmanned Aerial Systems, we see this as a logical step towards expanding our present UAS programmes. We can offer our global customers a full product range of customised solutions, including tactical UAS and UAS for medium altitude and high altitude.”

Klaus Eberhardt, Chairman of the Executive Board of Rheinmetall AG, stressed, “First and foremost, our goal is to strengthen the Airborne Systems product unit in a sustained way, providing it with new opportunities for marketing its state-of-the-art products in years to come. And, of course, we also want our employees to have a secure future in Bremen, a traditional centre of German high-tech excellence that will continue to host our Defence Electronics and Simulation and Training divisions.”