BAE Scoop Top Supply Chain Award For F-35 Collaboration
BAE Systems has been named as the International Procurement Team of the Year by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) at the annual Supply Chain Management Awards.
The award was handed out for the team’s role in helping Melbourne-based Marand, a company better known for automated production systems and aerospace tooling manufacture, become the only other company in the world alongside BAE Systems to build vertical tails for the F-35 Lightning II aircraft.
The awards were selected by a judging panel headed by senior procurement directors from blue-chip organisations including ITV, Network Rail and Sainsbury’s.
BAE Systems delivers the aft fuselage, horizontal and vertical tails, for the F-35 as part of a consortium led by prime contractor, US-based Lockheed Martin.
Gary Burns, Head of Procurement and Supply Chain for the F-35 programme at BAE Systems, said the work undertaken by the award-winning BAE Systems and Marand team had helped deliver £8.3m savings, hit targets for future cost targets and created a benchmark for future industrial participation.
He said: “The team fought off fierce competition and were recognised by an independent panel of procurement leaders from across various industrial sectors under the sponsorship of the CIPS institute, who lead the direction of the procurement and supply chain profession.
“The award is testament to the hard work, performance and innovation of the team in collaborating with Marand to transform themselves into a first class F-35 assembly business.
“The work with Marand saw us, in just two years, effectively transfer our vertical tails manufacturing capability half way across the globe from our site near Preston, United Kingdom to Melborne, Australia, where Marand will now provide us with over 700 vertical tail sets for the F-35 over the next 20 plus years.”
Steve Mellor who heads up the F35 vertical tail team at Marand and who was an attendee at the CIPS ceremony, said: “It has been a great journey working with BAE Systems to develop this leading edge aerostructures assembly capability at Marand. Achieving this in such a short time is testament to the great relationships that we have developed and how open both parties were to innovative approaches.
“It has been tremendous to see this effort recognised by this prestigous award.”
BAE Systems serves the needs of its customers by delivering a wide range of advanced defence, aerospace and security solutions that provide a performance edge. With some 84,600 employees in six continents, the company states it is committed to creating solutions that protect and strengthen nations, commerce, communities and people.
EU and US agree end to Airbus-Boeing supply chain tariffs
The EU and US have agreed to resolve a 17-year dispute over aircraft subsidies, suspending tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of goods that have plagued procurement leaders on both sides of the Atlantic.
Under an agreement reached by European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Tuesday, the tariffs will be halted for a period of at least five years.
It will bring an end to punitive and disruptive levies on supply chains that have little to do with the argument, which became embroiled in the trade battle. Businesses on both sides of the dispute have been hit with more than $3.3bn in duties since they were first imposed by the US in October 2019, according the EC.
The US imposed charges on goods upto $7.5bn in response to a World Trade Organisation ruling that judged the EU’s support of Airbus, its biggest aircraft manufacturer, unlawful. A year later in November 2020, the EU hit back. The WTO found the US had violated trade rules in its favourable treatment of Boeing, and was hit with EU duties worth $4bn.
In all the tariffs affected $11.5bn worth of goods, including French cheese, Scotch whisky, aircraft and machinery in Europe, and sugarcane products, handbags and tobacco in America. Procurement leaders on both sides of the fence were forced to wrestle with tariffs of 15% on aircraft and components, and 25% on non-aircraft related products.
Boeing-Airbus dispute by the numbers
- The dispute began in 2004
- Tariffs suspended for 5 years
- $11.5bn worth of goods affected by tariffs
- $3.3bn in duties paid by businesses to date
- 15% levy on aircraft and 25% on non-aircraft goods suspended
Both sides welcome end to tariffs
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen branded the truce a “major step” in ending what is the longest running dispute in WTO history. It began in 2004.
“I am happy to see that after intensive work between the European Commission and the US administration, our transatlantic partnership is on its way to reaching cruising speed. This shows the new spirit of cooperation between the EU and the US and that we can solve the other issues to our mutual benefit,” she added.
Both aircraft manufacturers have welcomed the news. Airbus said in a statement that it will hopefully bring to an end the “lose-lose tariffs” that are affecting industries already facing “many challenges”. Boeing added that it will “fully support the U.S. Government’s efforts to ensure that the principles in this understanding are respected”.
The US aerospace firm added: "The understanding reached today commits the EU to addressing launch aid, and leaves in place the necessary rules to ensure that the EU and United States live up to that commitment, without requiring further WTO action."
This week’s decision expands upon a short-term tariff truce announced in March this year. The EC says it will work closely with the US to try and further resolve the dispute, establishing a Working Group on Large Civil Aircraft led by each side’s trade minister.
Airbus last month signalled to suppliers that post-pandemic recovery was on the horizon, telling them to scale up to meet a return to pre-COVID manufacturing levels. “The aviation sector is beginning to recover from the COVID-19 crisis,” said Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury, adding that suppliers should prepare for a period of intensive production “when market conditions call for it.”