BAE Systems is a British defense company with operations throughout the world. The company manufactures and supports products and services for air, land, and naval forces. The company also produces advanced electronics and information systems. As of 2010, BAE Systems is the second largest global defense supplier, due to an expansion of BAE's business in its home markets and export markets. It is also the fourth largest supplier to the U.S. Department of Defense, the largest supplier to the UK Ministry of Defense, and the largest in-country defense supplier to the Australian Defense Force. Its seven major home markets, which generate 91% of BAE's sales, are in the US, UK, Australia, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sweden, and India.
As a large defense products supplier, BAE Systems is easily affected by reductions in defense spending in national government budgets. With the global economic downturn, there will be less demand for BAE's products; however, it seeks to combat this through reduction and efficiency improvements in its operations, which resulted in a net headcount reduction of 3,300 people in 2009. As the company's main business stems from a small number of large contracts, the timing and termination of BAE Systems' contracts can also affect perception of the company's financial condition. The company's 2009 loss of a family of medium tactical vehicles (FMTV) contract with the US resulted in a net loss for the year; however, the company has sought to diversify its operations by expanding its presence in its developing home markets, such as Saudi Arabia, Australia, and India.(Read more at Wikinvest )