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BAE Systems' headquarters
BAE Systems is a British defence and aerospace company headquartered at Farnborough, UK, which has worldwide interests, particularly in North America through its subsidiary BAE Systems Inc. BAE is the world's third-largest defence contractor and the largest in Europe. BAE was formed on 30 November 1999 by the £7.7 billion merger of two British companies: Marconi Electronic Systems, the defence electronics and naval shipbuilding subsidiary of The General Electric Company plc (GEC) and aircraft, munitions and naval systems manufacturer British Aerospace (BAe). It has increasingly disengaged from its businesses in continental Europe in favour of investing in the United States. Since its formation it has sold its shares of Airbus, EADS Astrium, AMS and Atlas Elektronik. BAE Systems is involved in several major defence projects, including the F-35 Lightning II, the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Royal Navy Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers. The company has been the subject of criticism, both general opposition to the arms trade and also specific allegations of unethical and corrupt practices, including the Al Yamamah contracts with Saudi Arabia that have earned BAE and its predecessor £43 billion in twenty years.

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Supermarine Spitfire Mk XVI NR.jpg
Credit: Chris Howells
The Supermarine Spitfire XVI was manufactured by Supermarine Aviation Works, a subsidiary of Vickers-Armstrongs. Vickers-Armstrongs Limited was a British engineering conglomerate formed by the merger of the assets of Vickers Limited and Sir W G Armstrong Whitworth & Company in 1927. The majority of the company was nationalised in the 1960s and 1970s, with the remainder being divested as Vickers plc in 1977.

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