Growth in Bae Systems’ performance during 2007, including its land and armament division and a new UK naval surface ship joint venture, will move forward plans for new land vehicles.

The defence contractor’s recorded earnings of £700m before interest, taxes and amortisation exceeded industry estimations, the company says today.

“The high tempo of military operations continues to generate growth in requirements for land systems in support of US and UK armed forces deployed on overseas operations,” BAE says.

“The implementation of the groups strategy to establish a strong position in the land sector has been a notable success over the past three years, with both current and anticipated demand for land vehicles and systems supporting the strategy.”

BAE says this growth will continue into the second half of the year with a closer focus on ‘higher growth sectors’ of the US defence market.

Wheeled utility vehicles, in particular, will be a focus with plans to develop technologies that will improve ‘survivability and capability’ in fleets.

“Increasingly the capability of these utility vehicles will converge with that of combat vehicles,” BAE says.

BAE recorded a profit rise of 12% in the first half of the year.

Reported by Penny Jones