It is perhaps unsurprising that in the world of British manufacturing the defence sector continues to be one of its most closely guarded frontiers – where few have ever ventured and the hackneyed trope, ‘If I told you then I’d have to kill you’, never seemed more appropriate.
The merger between American firms Woodward Inc. and Hexcel Corp. sent tremors through the entire global aerospace and defence industry – not least among trade suppliers and rival companies, since the union could create one of the world's largest aerospace and defence suppliers.
UK manufacturing continues to face significant change in automation and digitalisation, attitudes towards its emissions output and preparing its workforce for the future, while being beset by ever-shifting political challenges as the UK prepares to the the European Union.
Why would British outsourcing giant SERCO be looking to acquire the troubled Babcock engineering group? Well, the President’s vows to boost the US Navy’s fleet from 280 to 355 ships by 2034 might have something to do with it.
A new report investigating the strength of US manufacturing and specifically the defense sector has detailed an "unprecedented set of challenges" that have left the entire industrial base "under threat".