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British Industrial History

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Chemring Group

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Chemring Group is a global business providing a range of advanced technology products and services to the aerospace, defence and security markets.

of Bensham Manor Road, Thornton Heath, Surrey (1957)

of Fareham, Hants (1992)

1905 The business was formed in 1905 as the British, Foreign and Colonial Automatic Light Controlling Co to make timers for gas street lighting.

Chemring Ltd was established as a separate company. Maker of radar reflectors for stratospheric meteorology; radar towed targets; heat control units for dinghy inflation bottles.

By 1953 both British Foreign and Colonial and Chemring Ltd were part of Suchy Holdings

Diversified into silver coated filaments for lighting, which were found to have an alternative use as chaff for radar decoy purposes.

1957 Patent on radar reflectors

1974 The name of Automatic Light Controlling Co was changed to Chemring Ltd[1] of Portsmouth.

1982 opened a new factory to produce aluminium glass chaff decoys against sea-skimming missiles.

1986 Acquired Pains Wessex, pyrotechnics specialists, adding infra-red decoys to the product range.

c.1992 Formation of Chemring Group, of Fareham, Hants.

1992 Acquired Haley and Weller, the company's main competitor, so becoming the main supplier to UK Ministry of Defence of countermeasure and military pyrotechnics.

1993 Acquired US company Alloy Surfaces Company Inc.

1994 Acquired Kembrey, maker of electrical connectors[2]

1997 After a substantial fall in demand for decoys, the company instituted a major reduction including selling many parts of the business including fireworks and head office[3]

2001 Acquired Kilgore Flares Company LLC, making the Group the largest provider of decoys to the US Department of Defense.

2005 Acquired Nobel Energetics Limited (aka Troon Investments) from Inabata UK Limited. Nobel was based in Ardeer; manufactured and supplied a range of pyrotechnic and propellant devices, rocket motors and demolition stores.

Acquired Comet GmbH, manufacturer of a range of military and marine pyrotechnics.

2006 Acquired Poole based BDL Systems for £9 million

2006 Sold the McMurdo marine lights business to a Danish company[4]

2007 Acquired Simmel Difesa of Italy

2010 Acquired Roke Manor Research, a centre for advanced technology research and development based in Hampshire, UK from Siemens for £55m.

2014 The group headquarters was relocated from Fareham to Romsey. The Group employed 2,848 people (31st October 2014) worldwide

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times Jul 27, 1974
  2. The Times August 04, 1994
  3. The Times, April 19, 1997
  4. The Times May 31, 2006