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Company Overview
Chemring Group Public Limited Company is a specialist manufacturer of decoy countermeasures and energetic materials for the global defence, security and safety markets. The company started in November of 1905 as British, Foreign & Colonial Automatic Light Company Limited. It is a world-leading defence company involved in major defence development programmes in the United Kingdom, the United States and Europe. It operates in three business segments: countermeasures, energetics and marine.
The company’s countermeasures division is the world’s largest supplier of expendable decoy countermeasures. It manufactures expendable decoys and obscurants against radar, infra-red and electro-optically directed weapons for protecting air, sea and land platforms. The division is comprised into three businesses including Alloy Surfaces, Chemring Countermeasures, and Kilgore Flares.
The company’s energetics division is a centre of excellence for the design, development and production of energetic materials and sub-systems for military, OEM and safety customers. It manufactures pyrotechnics, pyro-mechanisms, rocket motors, gas generators, initiators, actuators, medium and large calibre ammunition, safety systems and propulsion systems. Applications include military training, ejector seats, demolition, bomb disposal and missiles. It comprises nine businesses include Comet, Kilgore Flares, Leafield Engineering, Leafield Marine, Nobel Energetics, Pains Wessex Australia, PW Defence, Pains Wessex Safety Systems, and Technical Ordnance.
The company’s marine electronic division manufactures a range of marine distress and safety communication products including Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), Navtex, and Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs). It comprises two businesses including McMurdo and ICS Electronics.
The company has manufacturing operations in six countries and sells to more than 70 countries around the world, and its customers include the military services, security forces, commercial marine operators and leisure sailors. It operates in the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Germany, Spain, France and Australia.
Chemring Group PLC aims to become the leading producer of expendable countermeasures and energetic materials for the global defence market.
The company’s registered business address is located in Whiteley, Fareham, Hampshire, United Kingdom.
Business Summary
The principal activities of the Group are the design, manufacture and sale of countermeasures, energetics and marine safety products.
Description and history
The principal activities of the Group are the design, manufacture and sale of countermeasures, military pyrotechnics, and marine safety and security products.


The Group was incorporated on 30 November 1905. The Company’ s shares are listed on London Stock Exchange on 1 July 1974. The Company’ s incorporation in November 1905 of the rather grandly named ‘British, Foreign & Colonial Automatic Light Company Limited’ was the beginning of ‘ Chemring Group PLC’, as it is known today. The name of the Company came from its main business activity; the manufacture of clockwork timepieces to control gas street lighting. Following a lean period during World War II due to the (blackout), the Company enjoyed a period of postwar growth, and in 1952 the Company was acquired by Suchy Holdings Limited which was able to invest in the business which needed modernizing to compete in a market where all new street lighting was now electric. Suchy Holdings Limited had been formed in 1946 and included several companies, one of which was Chemring Limited, which had a process for metallizing fabrics. Chemring adapted the process for silver coating nylon filaments and netting for light-weight radar reflectors for balloons which the Meteorological Office used to measure wind speed by tracking them with ground radar. In addition, the Royal Swedish Air Board and the UK Ministry of Defence became interested in the silver coated filaments for use as chaff as a radar decoy. In 1964, the entire business transferred to the Alchem Works in Portsmouth. The business at Portsmouth consisted of chaff manufacture, an automatic machine shop producing mineral insulated cable connectors and a design and development department providing technical services. By 1974, the Company was in good financial shape, and the Board applied for a full listing on the newly formed United Stock Exchange (now London Stock Exchange). It was chosen as the name for the listed company, as this name was better known nationally and internationally. The Falklands war in 1982 was a significant event, not only for the UK, but for the Company. Sea skimming missiles were a major threat to the British fleet and aluminum glass chaff was seen as a key countermeasure. Chemring opened a new factory in weeks, and was acclaimed for its exceptional efforts during this period. It moved into IR decoys in January 1986 by acquiring Pains Wessex Limited, a pyrotechnics company which was in the early stages of developing and producing magnesium based IR decoys for the UK MoD. In 1991, the Company was again required to increase the production output in support of the US-led coalition in the first Gulf War. During the early 1990s, Chemring consolidated its UK pyrotechnics position by buying its main competitor, Haley and Weller in July 1992. This resulted in Company supplying the majority of UK Ministry of Defence’ s military pyrotechnic requirements. The Company was increasing its presence in the United States, and in September 1993, it completed its first US acquisition. Alloy Surfaces Company Inc had developed a new pyrophoric material which was a covert area decoy particularly suitable for the new rapid reaction requirements for the military involving helicopters and transport aircraft. In 2001, it became the a provider of decoys to the US Department of Defence through its acquisition of Kilgore Flares Company LLC, a manufacturer of conventional magnesium flares. In the last year, Chemring has completed four acquisitions in the UK, the USA and Germany already, which will increase its Energetics turnover to Ј75 million from Ј30 million in 2005, Chemring’ s centenary year. The Company is a global player with non UK sales at 81% of total turnover. It has technical and production capabilities in companies in six countries and it is strongly positioned to continue its spectacular growth.

Started as British, Foreign & Colonial Automatic Light Company Limited

Business Line
Specialist manufacturer of decoy countermeasures and energetic materials for the global defence, security and safety markets
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Company Address
1500, Parkway

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Phone: +44 1489 881880
Fax: +44 1489 881123
Country address: UNITED KINGDOM
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