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dominated by doom-and-gloom. After all, the 1989 order book was worth £900 million, and some divisions were considered to have great prospects. One of the major success stories, building on the well-established technological competitive edge developed since the 1960s, was the sonar division at Cheadle Heath, which in 1988–89 secured export orders worth £6 million from navies in New Zealand and West Germany. By that time, Cheadle Heath’s annual sales had exceeded £45 million, generating healthy profits of £5.6 million. This was why Thomson CSF had been so interested in

in Ferranti: A History

form of James B. Christian. Guerin had not only invested in Chem-Con, his brother-in-law, A STEP TOO FAR? MERGER WITH ISC 89 Carl E. Jacobson, had also been given a senior management position at the defence electronics firm. By 1987, however, both Christian and Jacobson had been indicted by the Justice Department for defrauding the government of $16 million and bribing US Navy purchasing officials.46 This not only initiated a two-year investigation into Chem-Con’s activities, but also precipitated Jacobson’s flight to Chile in a failed attempt to avoid prosecution

in Ferranti: A History

. Christian, the former president of United Chem-Con, the corporation the two of them had established in 1978 as a vehicle to exploit Defense Department policies aimed at placing contracts with minority-owned enterprises.6 As we saw in Chapter 3, by 1987 ChemCon had been closed down, directly as a result of the arrest of Christian and his vice-president (and Guerin’s brother-in-law), Carl Jacobson, on charges relating to defrauding the government and the Meridian Bank of $16 million and bribing Navy purchasing officials.7 These revelations were a part of the US government

in Ferranti: A History
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the late 1960s Ferranti engineers had been highly successful in developing a range of sonar equipment, mainly for the Royal Navy’s submarine fleet, building a business that by 1990 was selling £40 million annually. Indeed, in February 1990 this division announced a £20 million order from the Royal Navy for ten sonar systems, providing potential buyers with a major incentive to buy into the business. Although in December 1989 Thomson CSF had withdrawn its interest in buying a substantial stake in Ferranti International, this did not prevent its management from

in Ferranti: A History
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and control systems for the next generation of Type 23 frigates for the Royal Navy. The discovery of significant accounting difficulties in this business unit, resulting in a write-off amounting to £20 million, also highlighted how the group’s internal systems had failed to adapt to the changes wrought by Sir Peter Levene to the MoD’s contractual arrangements.37 Ironically, the most profitable defence business unit was Ferranti-Thomson Sonar, in which Ferranti International had a 50% stake after going into partnership with the French defence conglomerate in 1990. We

in Ferranti: A History
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remarkable that Guerin was able to use ISC as a front for W THE RISE OF ISC 29 his arms dealing that operated under a protective cloak provided by highlevel officials and their political bosses. 2.1 Foundations and growth Born on a New Jersey farm in the 1930s ‘Great Depression’ and educated at Roxbury High School, in Succasunna, New Jersey, James Guerin was initially interested in agriculture, taking a degree in this subject at Rutgers University, New Jersey. After serving in the US Navy during the Korean War, he was retrained as an electronics officer while on

in Ferranti: A History

as the Royal Navy’s preferred supplier of automated systems ought to have forced the board to reassess its preference for focusing an ever greater share of corporate resources on defence. In short, the Ferranti aura was slipping; having recovered in the 1970s from the Bloodhound-induced problems of the 1960s,44 by the mid-1980s the Ferranti reputation was no longer held in such high regard. It should also be stressed that the Bracknell problems were a symptom of another emerging weakness, namely, the firm’s deteriorating relationship with the MoD. Although it is

in Ferranti: A History
The resurgence of Route 128 in Massachusetts

president of Wright Aero, was looking for a site to develop air-cooled radial engines for the US Navy. He went to Hartford and leased the rights to use the Pratt & Whitney name and located in empty space in Pratt and Whitney’s machine shops. His design concepts were translated into a functioning engine and within three years the Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Company was an enormous success. Pratt & Whitney went on to produce close to half the total aircraft engine horsepower produced in America during the Second World War. GE developed the jet engine in Lynn, Massachusetts

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