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Cobham plc
Type Public (LSE: COB)
Founded 1934
Headquarters Wimborne Minster, England, UK
Key people John Devaney, Chairman (from May 2010)
Andy Stevens, CEO
Industry Aerospace & Defence
Revenue £1,880.4 million (2009)[1]
Operating income £286.6 million (2009)[1]
Net income £185.9 million (2009)[1]

Cobham plc (LSE: COB) is a British manufacturing company based in Wimborne Minster, Dorset, England. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. As of mid 2009, Cobham ranks 35th on Flight International's list of the world's 100 Top aerospace firms, 43rd on Defense News' list of global Top 100 defense contractors, and 95th on Washington Technology's list of Top 100 US government contractors.[2]



Cobham was founded as Flight Refuelling Limited by Sir Alan Cobham in 1934.[3] Initially based at Ford in Sussex, shortly after the outbreak of World War II FRL moved to Tarrant Rushton in Dorset, where it remained until the 1970s, then transferring its aerial operations to Hurn Airport.[4]

Flight Refuelling Limited was the first contractor to join the Berlin airlift in 1948.[3] The following year the Company developed the 'probe and drogue' method of air-to-air refuelling.[3]

In September 1997 Cobham bought ML Aviation[5] which had, in 1996, taken over Frazer Nash, a major competitor.[6]

In February 2008 Cobham bought the sensor and antenna systems division of BAE Systems for $240 million.[7]

In June 2008 Cobham acquired Sparta Inc., a US defence business, for $416 million.[8]

In September 2008 Cobham completed the purchase of the radio frequency components business of M/A-COM for $425 million.[9]

In April 2009 Cobham agreed to purchase Argotek Inc., a provider of high-end information assurance services to the United States Intelligence Community, for $36 million.[10]

In June 2009 a Cobham - Northrop Grumman 50-50 joint venture won the U.S. Army's US$2.4 billion competition to supply Vehicular Intercom Systems.[11]


The Company is organised into four core technology divisions: Mission Systems, Defence Systems, Avionics and Surveillance, and Aviation Services divisions.

In Australia, Cobham plc owns National Jet Systems, a major operator of Qantaslink regional services, and Surveillance Australia which operates a civilian aerial surveillance program on behalf of the Border Protection Command. In early 2009, National Jet Systems rebranded its name to Cobham (known as Cobham Aviation Services Australia or CAvSA) in line with a global Cobham rebranding initiative by its parent company Cobham plc.

Products: breathing apparatus

Carleton Life Support was founded in 1951 by Bendix Aviation. Its headquarters is at Davenport, Iowa. It is now part of Cobham plc's Life Support Division. It makes or made:

Sports club

The company created Cobham Sports and Social Club, a members club in Merley, near to the main manufacturing site.


External links



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