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United Defense Industries was a United Statesmarker defense contractor which is now part of BAE Systems Land and Armaments. This company produces combat vehicles, artillery, naval guns, missile launchers and precision munitions.


The company started as a division of the agricultural machine business, Food Machinery Corporation (FMC), when they won a US government contract to build LVT and became a weapon manufacturer during World War II. Bowen McLaughlin York (later the BMY division of Harsco Corporation) also began building tanks around this time and airplanes.

Following a massive decline in orders for tracked combat vehicles between 1983 and 1994 FMC and the Harsco Corporation agreed in January 1994 to combine their defense businesses to form United Defense. The new company owned the former FMC California-based Ground Systems Division and Harsco's Pennsylvania-based BMY Combat Systems Division. The new company restructured its operations to concentrate final assembly and testing to Pennsylvania.

In September 2000, UDI purchased Bofors Weapon Systems AB of Sweden, subsequently renamed Bofors Defence.

UDI was subject to a takeover bid by rival General Dynamics in 1997 but instead chose a (lower) bid from private equity firm The Carlyle Group. The Carlyle Group floated the company in 2001 but retained a share of the company.

BAE Systems acquisition

On March 7 2005 UKmarker-based defence contractor BAE Systemsmarker announced it was to acquire UDI for $3.974 billion (£2.1 billion). This followed expressions of interest from companies including Northrop Grumman.

BAE Systems' bid was referred to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to ensure there were no national security implications of the sale. The CFIUS granted approval of the deal in April 2005. BAE completed its acquisition of United Defense on June 24 2005 and announced plans to merge the company with its existing land systems businesses to form BAE Systems Land and Armaments.


United Defense products include:

External links


  1. " Defense Contractor Restructuring". Retrieved May 22, 2006

Catgegory:Companies based in Virginia

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