German firms announce couplings

Jan. 25, 2012 at 2:07 PM
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MUNICH, Germany, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Krauss-Maffei Wegmann of Germany is strengthening its production of armored vehicles through the acquisition of an EDAG business unit.

Two other German companies recently reported the formation of a joint venture to further develop unmanned aerial systems.

The EDAG Group is a German automotive development specialist and KMW is eyeing its production branch for civilian-sector armored vehicle products.

"The extension of our numerous protection activities through the EDAG protection branch is a logical step and, with a view to the site in Mexico, a consistent continuation of our Central and South America strategy", said Frank Haun, president and chief executive officer of KMW.

EDAG's protection branch develops and integrates ballistic protection systems, including protection modules and complete protection kits as well as vehicle superstructure components.

It operates facilities in Ingolstadt, Germany, and in Mexico, which KMW will now take over.

Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, which has headquarters in Munich, is a major producer of military vehicles, including main battle tanks. With the acquisition of EDAG it strengthens and broadens its market offerings and position, including in Latin America, where KMW has supplied armored patrol vehicles to Brazil's armed forces.

Financial terms of the acquisition weren't disclosed.

Meanwhile, in Europe's aerospace sector, German companies Cassidian and Rheinmetall AG plan to establish a joint venture for further development of Rheinmetall Defense Electronics subsidiary's work on unmanned aerial systems.

Under the agreement, Cassidian will hold 51 percent of the joint venture's shares.

"As Europe's leading provider of Unmanned Aerial Systems, we see this as a logical step towards expanding our present UAS programs," said Cassidian Chief Executive Officer Stefan Zoller.

We can offer our global customers a full product range of customized solutions, including tactical UAS and UAS for medium- and high-altitude."

Added Klaus Eberhardt, chairman of the executive board of Rheinmetall AG, "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."

The companies said the joint venture would continue Rheinmetall's manufacturing of the KZO unmanned reconnaissance system and Heron UAS.

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