|Traded as||LSE: COB|
|Industry||Aerospace & Defence|
|Headquarters||Wimborne Minster, England, UK|
|Key people||John Devaney, Chairman
Bob Murphy, CEO
|Revenue||£1,789.7 million (2013)1|
|Operating income||£158.8 million (2013)1|
|Net income||£114.5 million (2013)1|
Cobham was founded as Flight Refuelling Limited (FRL) at RAF Ford in Sussex by Sir Alan Cobham in 1934.2 It moved to Tarrant Rushton in Dorset in 1947.3 It became the first contractor to join the Berlin airlift in 19482 and developed the 'probe and drogue' method of air-to-air refuelling in 1949.2
In early 2008 Cobham purchased S-TEC Corporation, maker of general aviation autopilots for $38 million,7 and in February 2008 Cobham bought the sensor and antenna systems division of BAE Systems for $240 million.8 Then in June 2008 Cobham acquired Sparta Inc., a US defence business, for $416 million (it was renamed Cobham Analytic Solutions).9 In September 2008 Cobham completed the purchase of the radio frequency components business of M/A-COM for $425 million.10
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.11 Then in June 2009 a Cobham – Northrop Grumman 50–50 joint venture won the US Army's US$2.4 billion competition to supply Vehicular Intercom Systems.12
In October 2011 Cobham Analytic Solutions was sold for $350 million to the privately owned Parsons Corporation.13
In June 2012 Cobham acquired Danish satellite communications company Thrane & Thrane A/S, making it the core of Cobham's new SATCOM strategic business unit (SBU), to include SeaTel marine, TracStar land and Omnipless airborne SATCOM product lines.14
Cobham is organised into three technology divisions: Mission Systems, Defence Systems, Aerospace and Surveillance. The former Aviation Services division is now a strategic business unit (SBU) within Cobham Mission Systems.
The Cobham Mission Systems Division claims to be the world market leader in aerial refuelling,17 and provides a comprehensive range of weapons carriage and release equipment. Cobham Mission Systems also specialises in life support and personal survival equipment for aviators and astronauts.
The Cobham Aerospace and Security Division provides a range of electronic products for airborne, marine and land applications. Included in the product base are fully certified Electronic Flight Instrument Systems (EFIS), air and land Search and Rescue devices, and state of the art surveillance equipment.
The Cobham Aviation Services SBU operates more than 150 fixed and rotary wing aircraft around the world. It specialises in the conversion and support of a wide range of civil and military aircraft, and through an FB Heliservices consortium with Bristow Helicopters at the UK's Defence Helicopter Flying School trains all UK helicopter pilots for the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and British Army.19
- Scuba diving rebreathers, intended largely for armed forces use, including:
- Aircraft pilot's oxygen breathing systems: see oxygen mask#Oxygen masks for aviators
- NBC suits
- 2009: Cobham Surveillance, based in Segensworth, Hampshire, England, received a Queen's Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category. The business – formerly known as Domo Ltd – tripled its export sales in three years.20
- 2010: Cobham Surveillance, based in Segensworth, Hampshire, received a Queen's Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category. The award was for the development of its Solo4 wireless digital audio and video link technology that improves safety for bomb disposal teams and law enforcement personnel by increasing the range at which they can effectively operate their robotic bomb disposal equipment.21
- 2010: Cobham Antenna Systems, based in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, received a Queen's Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category. The business – formerly known as Chelton Ltd – continuously increased export revenues over six years and sells over 80% of its production overseas.21
- Aerospace industry in the United Kingdom
- Cobham Aviation Services Australia
- Sargent Fletcher
- Cobham Technical Services - ERA Technology Ltd
- "Preliminary Results". Cobham investors. 2013.
- "Our heritage". About. Cobham.
- "Tarrant Rushton - The Secret Airfield". Retrieved 16 March 2014.
- "Valley of the Avon". UK: South coast central..
- "Cobham". UK Business Park.
- "ML Aviation". Aero History. Comcast..
- Flying Magazine: 24. Feb 2008.
- "Cobham buys BAE Systems Division". The Engineer. UK. 25 February 2008.
- "Cobham to purchase Sparta for $416m". RF Globalnet. 16 January 2008.
- "Tyco Electronics Announces Agreement to Sell Its RF Components and Subsystem Business To Cobham Plc" (press release). Tyco. 13 May 2008.
- "Cobham Reaches Agreement To Acquire US National Security Company For US$36.25 Million" (PDF) (press release). Cobham. 6 Apr 2009.
- "US Army Selects Northrop Grumman, Cobham Team To Provide VIS-X Vehicular Intercom Systems" (PDF) (news release). Cobham. 29 June 2009.
- "Cobham agrees divestment of Analytic Solutions business for US$350M" (press release). Cobham.
- "Cobham ups bid to secure Thrane & Thrane". The Telegraph. 3 May 2012. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
- "Cobham buys DAS provider Axell Wireless". RCR Wireless. 21 May 2013. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
- "Cobham pays £50m to take control of helicopter firm that trained princes". The Telegraph. 15 July 2013. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
- "Mission Systems". About. Cobham..
- "Cobham Awarded US$40m Contract for Digital Vehicle Intercom Systems" (PDF) (press release)..
- "FB Heliservices"..
- "Cobham’s export sales growth recognised with Queen’s award" (PDF) (press release). Cobham..
- "Cobham Businesses Honoured in Queen’s Awards for Enterprise" (PDF) (press release). Cobham..
- Official site
- 75th anniversary
- Yahoo profile
- A 1950 Flight Refuelling Limited advert
- A picture of a Flight Refuelling Lancaster refuelling another using the early looped-hose method
- "Gas Station In The Sky" 1947 article on FLR's first in-flight refueling system
- "F.R. Equipment Speeds Refuelling!", a 1951 advert for Flight Refuelling's pressure refuelling system as used on the de Havilland Comet