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Company > BAE Systems PLC: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

BAE Systems PLC: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Published: Jan 27, 2023

Inside This Article


    BAE Systems PLC, a renowned defense, security, and aerospace company, has established a strong presence worldwide. This blog article delves into the comprehensive understanding of their business model, SWOT analysis, and key competitors in 2023. BAE Systems PLC's business model focuses on delivering cutting-edge technology solutions to meet the global defense needs. Through a detailed SWOT analysis, we will identify their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Additionally, we will explore the competitive landscape, highlighting the key players that pose a challenge to BAE Systems PLC's market dominance.

    What You Will Learn:

    • Who owns BAE Systems PLC and the significance of their ownership structure.
    • The mission statement of BAE Systems PLC and how it guides their business operations.
    • The various ways in which BAE Systems PLC generates revenue and sustains its financial growth.
    • An in-depth explanation of the BAE Systems PLC Business Model Canvas and its key components.
    • The major competitors of BAE Systems PLC and their impact on the company's market position.
    • A comprehensive SWOT analysis of BAE Systems PLC, highlighting its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

    Who owns BAE Systems PLC?

    Major Shareholders

    BAE Systems PLC, a British multinational defense, security, and aerospace company, has a diverse ownership structure. The company's shares are traded on the London Stock Exchange and are also listed on the New York Stock Exchange in the form of American Depositary Receipts (ADRs). Let's take a closer look at the major shareholders of BAE Systems PLC.

    Institutional Investors

    Institutional investors play a significant role in the ownership of BAE Systems PLC. These are typically large financial institutions, such as mutual funds, pension funds, and insurance companies. Institutional investors often hold substantial portions of a company's shares, influencing its direction and corporate governance.

    One of the notable institutional shareholders of BAE Systems PLC is The Capital Group Companies, Inc. As of the latest available data, The Capital Group holds a significant stake in the company, making it one of the largest shareholders. Other institutional investors, such as BlackRock Inc., Vanguard Group, and Legal & General Group, also have notable holdings in BAE Systems PLC.

    Government Ownership

    Government ownership is another crucial aspect of BAE Systems PLC's ownership structure. The UK government has historically maintained a significant stake in the company due to its strategic importance in defense and national security. The government's ownership interest allows it to exercise influence over the company's operations and decision-making processes.

    Through its investment arm, Her Majesty's Treasury, the UK government owns a golden share in BAE Systems PLC. This special share grants the government veto power over certain critical decisions, safeguarding national interests. However, the government has gradually reduced its direct ownership over the years, allowing more shares to be publicly traded.

    Individual Shareholders

    Individual shareholders also form a part of BAE Systems PLC's ownership base. These are retail investors who purchase and hold the company's shares independently. While their individual holdings may be relatively small, the collective impact of individual shareholders should not be underestimated.

    Individual shareholders can include employees, retirees, and enthusiasts who believe in the long-term prospects of the company. They contribute to the diversification of ownership and, in some cases, actively participate in the company's annual general meetings and exercise their voting rights.


    BAE Systems PLC's ownership structure is a mix of institutional investors, government ownership, and individual shareholders. With its shares traded on the London Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange, the company enjoys a wide investor base that spans across different sectors. The involvement of institutional investors and the UK government ensures stability, while individual shareholders contribute to the company's democratization. This diverse ownership structure reflects the widespread interest and confidence in BAE Systems PLC's position as a leading global defense and aerospace company.

    What is the mission statement of BAE Systems PLC?

    The Mission Statement of BAE Systems PLC

    A company's mission statement encapsulates its purpose, values, and goals, providing a clear direction for its activities. BAE Systems PLC, a multinational defense, security, and aerospace company, has a well-defined mission statement that guides its operations and strategic decisions.

    The mission statement of BAE Systems PLC is as follows:

    "To provide and protect sovereign capabilities through innovative solutions, protecting people and national security, supporting the military, and advancing technology."

    This mission statement highlights several key aspects of BAE Systems PLC's focus and commitment. Let's break them down:

    1. Providing and protecting sovereign capabilities: BAE Systems PLC aims to support and enhance the capabilities of nations to protect their sovereignty. Whether it involves delivering advanced defense systems, cutting-edge technology, or critical infrastructure, the company strives to equip nations with the tools they need to safeguard their interests.

    2. Innovative solutions: BAE Systems PLC is driven by a culture of innovation and seeks to develop groundbreaking solutions to complex challenges. By pushing the boundaries of technology and engineering, the company aims to stay at the forefront of the defense and security industry, offering state-of-the-art solutions that address evolving threats.

    3. Protecting people and national security: BAE Systems PLC recognizes the importance of safeguarding individuals and national security. The company is committed to developing and delivering products and services that ensure the safety and well-being of people while upholding the security and integrity of nations.

    4. Supporting the military: BAE Systems PLC places a strong emphasis on supporting the armed forces. Through its products, services, and partnerships, the company aims to provide the military with the capabilities required to carry out their missions effectively and protect national interests.

    5. Advancing technology: BAE Systems PLC is dedicated to advancing technology and driving innovation in the defense and security sectors. By actively pursuing research and development, the company seeks to push the boundaries of what is possible, enabling advancements in areas such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and autonomous systems.

    In summary, BAE Systems PLC's mission statement underscores its commitment to providing innovative solutions, protecting people and national security, supporting the military, and advancing technology. These values guide the company's activities and shape its strategic decisions as it continues to be a leading force in the defense, security, and aerospace industries.

    How does BAE Systems PLC make money?

    Contracts with governments and military organizations

    One of the primary ways that BAE Systems PLC makes money is through contracts with governments and military organizations around the world. As a global defense, security, and aerospace company, BAE Systems provides a wide range of products and services to these entities. These contracts often involve the development, manufacturing, and maintenance of various defense systems, including combat vehicles, aircraft, naval ships, and advanced electronics.

    BAE Systems has established a strong reputation for delivering high-quality products and services, which has enabled them to secure long-term contracts with governments. These contracts can span several years and involve significant financial commitments. The company's ability to meet the specific requirements and stringent standards of defense organizations has been a key factor in their success in this sector.

    Sales of advanced technology and electronic systems

    In addition to defense systems, BAE Systems also generates revenue through the sale of advanced technology and electronic systems. The company invests heavily in research and development to create cutting-edge solutions that address the evolving needs of their customers. These technologies range from advanced radar systems and communication networks to cybersecurity solutions and intelligence gathering systems.

    BAE Systems' expertise in developing and integrating complex electronic systems has allowed them to establish themselves as a trusted provider of advanced technology. Their products are in high demand not only by military organizations but also by commercial customers in sectors such as aerospace, telecommunications, and cybersecurity. Through strategic partnerships and collaborations, BAE Systems continues to expand its market presence and generate revenue from the sale of these innovative systems.

    Support and maintenance services

    Beyond the initial sale of defense systems and advanced technology, BAE Systems also generates revenue through support and maintenance services. These services include the ongoing maintenance, repair, and upgrade of military hardware, as well as the provision of technical support and training.

    BAE Systems' strong customer relationships and global presence allow them to provide comprehensive support services to their clients. By ensuring the operational readiness and longevity of their products, the company helps governments and military organizations optimize their defense capabilities. The revenue generated from these support and maintenance contracts provides a steady income stream for BAE Systems and helps build long-term customer loyalty.

    International collaborations and partnerships

    Another significant source of revenue for BAE Systems is international collaborations and partnerships. The company actively seeks opportunities to collaborate with other defense contractors, governments, and research institutions to develop and deliver innovative solutions. These collaborations often involve joint research and development projects, technology sharing agreements, and co-production initiatives.

    Through international collaborations, BAE Systems gains access to new markets and customers, allowing them to expand their revenue streams. By leveraging the expertise and resources of their partners, the company can tackle complex defense challenges and create highly sought-after products and services. These collaborations also enhance BAE Systems' competitive advantage in the global defense industry and contribute to their overall financial success.

    BAE Systems PLC Business Model Canvas Explained


    The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management tool that provides a visual representation of a company's business model. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at BAE Systems PLC and explore how their business model is structured using the Business Model Canvas.

    Key Partnerships

    BAE Systems PLC has established key partnerships with various entities to support their operations and enhance their business model. These partnerships include collaborations with government agencies, defense organizations, and industry suppliers. By partnering with these key entities, BAE Systems PLC is able to leverage their expertise, resources, and networks to deliver innovative solutions for their customers.

    Key Activities

    The key activities of BAE Systems PLC revolve around the design, development, and manufacturing of advanced defense and aerospace systems. Their activities include research and development, engineering, production, and support services. BAE Systems PLC also engages in constant innovation and technology advancements to stay at the forefront of the defense industry.

    Key Resources

    BAE Systems PLC possesses a range of key resources that are critical to their business model. These resources include highly skilled engineers and technicians, cutting-edge technologies, specialized manufacturing facilities, and intellectual property rights. These resources enable BAE Systems PLC to deliver high-quality products and services to their customers and maintain a competitive edge in the market.

    Value Proposition

    BAE Systems PLC provides value to their customers through their ability to deliver advanced defense and aerospace solutions that meet their specific needs. Their value proposition includes a focus on innovation, quality, reliability, and security. By offering tailored solutions and a commitment to excellence, BAE Systems PLC aims to enhance the capabilities of their customers and ensure their operational success.

    Customer Segments

    BAE Systems PLC serves a diverse range of customer segments within the defense and aerospace industry. Their customers include government agencies, armed forces, commercial airlines, and other defense contractors. By catering to different customer segments, BAE Systems PLC is able to address unique requirements and provide customized solutions that align with the specific needs of each customer.


    BAE Systems PLC utilizes various channels to reach their customers and deliver their products and services. These channels include direct sales teams, distributors, and strategic partnerships. Through these channels, BAE Systems PLC is able to effectively communicate with their customers, understand their requirements, and provide them with the necessary support throughout the entire customer journey.

    Customer Relationships

    Building strong and long-lasting relationships with their customers is a crucial aspect of BAE Systems PLC's business model. They foster these relationships by providing excellent customer service, offering ongoing support, and continuously engaging with their customers to understand their evolving needs. By maintaining a customer-centric approach, BAE Systems PLC aims to establish trust, loyalty, and repeat business with their customers.

    Revenue Streams

    BAE Systems PLC generates revenue through various streams, including the sale of defense and aerospace products, maintenance and support services, and technology licensing. Additionally, they generate revenue through long-term contracts and partnerships with government agencies and defense organizations. By diversifying their revenue streams, BAE Systems PLC can mitigate risks and ensure a stable financial performance.

    Cost Structure

    BAE Systems PLC incurs various costs to support their business model. These costs include research and development expenses, manufacturing and production costs, marketing and sales expenditures, as well as ongoing maintenance and support costs. Additionally, BAE Systems PLC invests in talent acquisition and retention to ensure they have the necessary expertise to deliver high-quality products and services.


    By utilizing the Business Model Canvas, we have gained a comprehensive understanding of BAE Systems PLC's business model. With key partnerships, activities, resources, a strong value proposition, and a customer-focused approach, BAE Systems PLC is well-positioned to continue delivering innovative solutions in the defense and aerospace industry.

    Which companies are the competitors of BAE Systems PLC?

    Competitors of BAE Systems PLC

    BAE Systems PLC, a global defense, security, and aerospace company, faces competition from several key players in the industry. These competitors include:

    1. Lockheed Martin Corporation: As one of the world's largest defense contractors, Lockheed Martin offers a wide range of advanced technology systems and services. With a focus on areas such as aeronautics, missiles, and space, Lockheed Martin directly competes with BAE Systems in various defense programs.

    2. Airbus SE: Known for its commercial aircraft production, Airbus also has a significant presence in the defense sector. With offerings including military transport aircraft, helicopters, and unmanned aerial systems, Airbus competes with BAE Systems in areas such as defense electronics, avionics, and military aircraft platforms.

    3. Raytheon Technologies Corporation: A major aerospace and defense company, Raytheon Technologies provides advanced technology solutions for a variety of defense applications. With a focus on areas like missiles, defense electronics, and cybersecurity, Raytheon competes with BAE Systems in multiple defense programs and contracts.

    4. Thales Group: Thales Group is a global technology provider with expertise in defense, aerospace, and transportation. Their offerings include defense electronics, communication systems, and advanced cybersecurity solutions. In certain areas, Thales competes directly with BAE Systems, particularly in defense electronics and naval systems.

    5. General Dynamics Corporation: With a diverse portfolio spanning aerospace, combat systems, marine systems, and information technology, General Dynamics is a significant competitor to BAE Systems. Their offerings include military vehicles, submarines, and advanced communication systems, overlapping with BAE Systems' products and services.


    BAE Systems PLC faces competition from a range of formidable companies in the defense, security, and aerospace sectors. The competition between these industry giants drives innovation, technological advancements, and ensures that customers have a variety of options to choose from when seeking defense solutions. As BAE Systems continues to navigate this competitive landscape, it will need to leverage its strengths and maintain its commitment to excellence to stay ahead in the market.

    BAE Systems PLC SWOT Analysis


    • Strong global presence: BAE Systems PLC operates in multiple countries around the world, which gives the company a strong global presence. This allows them to tap into diverse markets and take advantage of various opportunities.

    • Diverse product portfolio: Another strength of BAE Systems PLC is its diverse product portfolio. The company offers a wide range of products and services in the defense, security, and aerospace sectors. This diversity helps them mitigate risks associated with fluctuations in any particular market segment.

    • Strong research and development capabilities: BAE Systems PLC emphasizes innovation and has a strong focus on research and development. This enables the company to develop cutting-edge technologies and maintain a competitive advantage in the market.

    • Strong customer relationships: BAE Systems PLC has established strong relationships with its customers, including governments and defense organizations. These long-standing relationships provide the company with a stable customer base and opportunities for repeat business.


    • Dependence on government contracts: One of the weaknesses of BAE Systems PLC is its heavy reliance on government contracts. The company's revenue is significantly dependent on contracts awarded by governments for defense and security-related projects. Any changes in government policies or budget cuts can impact the company's financial performance.

    • Vulnerability to geopolitical risks: BAE Systems PLC operates in various regions around the world, which exposes the company to geopolitical risks. Political instability, conflicts, or regulatory changes in these regions can negatively affect their operations and financial performance.

    • Limited exposure to commercial markets: While BAE Systems PLC has a strong presence in the defense and security sectors, its exposure to commercial markets is relatively limited. This narrow focus may limit the company's growth potential and leave it vulnerable to downturns in the defense industry.


    • Increased defense spending: The global defense spending is expected to increase in the coming years, presenting an opportunity for BAE Systems PLC. With its strong capabilities and diverse product portfolio, the company is well-positioned to benefit from this trend and secure more contracts.

    • Growing demand for cybersecurity: The increasing threat of cyber attacks has created a growing demand for cybersecurity solutions. BAE Systems PLC has expertise in this area and can capitalize on the rising demand for cybersecurity products and services.

    • Expansion into emerging markets: BAE Systems PLC can explore opportunities in emerging markets where defense and security spending is on the rise. By establishing a presence in these markets, the company can tap into new customer bases and diversify its revenue streams.


    • Intense competition: The defense and security industry is highly competitive, with numerous players vying for contracts. BAE Systems PLC faces strong competition from other global defense companies, which can impact their market share and profitability.

    • Budget constraints: Governments' budget constraints can pose a threat to BAE Systems PLC. In times of economic downturn or fiscal austerity, governments may reduce defense spending, leading to a decrease in contract opportunities for the company.

    • Technological advancements: Rapid technological advancements in the defense and security sectors can pose challenges to BAE Systems PLC. The company needs to continuously invest in research and development to stay ahead of the competition and adapt to changing customer demands.

    Key Takeaways

    • BAE Systems PLC is a publicly traded company, meaning it is owned by shareholders who hold its stock.

    • The mission statement of BAE Systems PLC is to provide world-class defense, aerospace, and security solutions, prioritizing the safety and security of nations.

    • BAE Systems PLC generates revenue through various sources, including the sale of military equipment, technology solutions, and support services to governments and commercial customers worldwide.

    • The Business Model Canvas of BAE Systems PLC includes key elements such as key partners, key activities, value propositions, customer segments, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, and cost structure.

    • Competitors of BAE Systems PLC include major defense companies such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, and Northrop Grumman.

    • BAE Systems PLC has a strong market position and extensive industry knowledge, making it a leading player in the defense and aerospace sector.

    • The company's diverse product portfolio and global presence contribute to its revenue generation and growth potential.

    • BAE Systems PLC faces challenges such as government budget cuts and regulatory changes that can impact its profitability and operations.

    • The company has a strong focus on research and development, enabling it to stay at the forefront of technological advancements in the industry.

    • BAE Systems PLC's commitment to ethical business practices and sustainability is a key differentiating factor in the market.


    In conclusion, BAE Systems PLC is a leading defense, security, and aerospace company that operates on a global scale. The ownership of BAE Systems PLC is distributed among various shareholders, both institutional and individual.

    The mission statement of BAE Systems PLC is to provide innovative and advanced technology solutions to their customers, ensuring the security and protection of nations and individuals.

    BAE Systems PLC generates revenue through a diverse range of products and services, including military aircraft, naval ships, cyber security solutions, and electronic systems. Their business model canvas is based on strategic partnerships, customer relationships, and technological advancements.

    When it comes to competitors, BAE Systems PLC faces competition from other major defense companies such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Raytheon. These companies operate in similar sectors and strive to secure contracts from governments and defense agencies worldwide.

    In conducting a SWOT analysis, BAE Systems PLC has identified its strengths, including its strong global presence, technological expertise, and diverse product portfolio. However, it also faces weaknesses such as dependence on government contracts and potential regulatory challenges.

    Opportunities for BAE Systems PLC lie in the growing demand for defense and security solutions, advancements in technology, and potential partnerships. On the other hand, the company also faces threats like geopolitical uncertainties, budget constraints in defense spending, and intense competition in the industry.

    Overall, BAE Systems PLC continues to navigate the complex and ever-evolving defense and security landscape, leveraging its strengths and seizing opportunities to maintain its position as a leader in the market.


    What is PLC SWOT analysis?

    PLC SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool used to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a product, service, or organization in the context of its product life cycle (PLC). The PLC refers to the different stages a product or service goes through from introduction to growth, maturity, and decline.

    Strengths: These are the internal factors that give an advantage to the product or organization. They can include factors like a strong brand reputation, unique features, a loyal customer base, or efficient manufacturing processes.

    Weaknesses: These are the internal factors that put the product or organization at a disadvantage. They can include factors like poor product quality, limited distribution channels, high production costs, or lack of brand recognition.

    Opportunities: These are external factors that can be leveraged to the advantage of the product or organization. They can include factors like emerging markets, changes in consumer behavior, technological advancements, or favorable industry trends.

    Threats: These are external factors that pose a risk to the product or organization. They can include factors like intense competition, changing regulations, economic downturns, or disruptive technologies.

    By conducting a PLC SWOT analysis, companies can identify their strengths and weaknesses in each stage of the product life cycle and assess the opportunities and threats that may arise. This analysis helps in formulating strategies to maximize strengths, overcome weaknesses, capitalize on opportunities, and mitigate threats, ultimately leading to a successful product or organization.

    What is a SWOT analysis for a production company?

    A SWOT analysis for a production company involves evaluating its internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as external opportunities and threats. Here is an example of a SWOT analysis for a production company:


    1. Skilled and experienced team members capable of delivering high-quality productions.
    2. State-of-the-art equipment and technology for efficient production processes.
    3. Strong relationships with suppliers and vendors.
    4. Established reputation and brand recognition in the industry.
    5. Diverse portfolio of successful past projects.


    1. Limited financial resources for large-scale productions.
    2. Reliance on a few key clients for a significant portion of revenue.
    3. Lack of diversification in terms of genres or target markets.
    4. High production costs compared to competitors.
    5. Limited geographic reach or presence in specific markets.


    1. Increasing demand for digital content and streaming platforms.
    2. Expansion into new markets or geographic regions.
    3. Collaboration with emerging talent or influencers.
    4. Development of partnerships with other production companies or studios.
    5. Potential to offer additional services like post-production or distribution.


    1. Intense competition from established production companies and newcomers.
    2. Rapidly changing consumer preferences and industry trends.
    3. Economic downturns impacting clients' budgets for productions.
    4. Technological advancements requiring continuous investment and upgrades.
    5. Potential legal or regulatory challenges in the industry.

    This SWOT analysis helps the production company identify its strengths to leverage, weaknesses to improve, opportunities to pursue, and threats to mitigate, thus forming the basis for strategic decision-making and planning.

    What is SWOT analysis for personal development threats?

    SWOT analysis stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. When applying SWOT analysis to personal development threats, it involves identifying potential risks or obstacles that may hinder individual growth or progress.

    Some common threats in personal development may include:

    1. External Factors: These are factors that are beyond an individual's control, such as economic downturns, job market fluctuations, or changes in technology. These factors can pose threats by affecting job security, career advancement opportunities, or the overall stability of personal circumstances.

    2. Lack of Resources: Limited access to financial resources, time, or support systems can also be considered threats. Insufficient funds or time constraints may hinder personal development activities or limit opportunities for growth.

    3. Negative Influences: Negative influences from peers, family members, or colleagues can hinder personal development by discouraging or undermining efforts. Negative environments or toxic relationships can impact motivation, self-esteem, and overall progress.

    4. Self-limiting Beliefs: Personal fears, doubts, or limiting beliefs can act as internal threats. These may include self-doubt, fear of failure, or a fixed mindset that prevents an individual from taking risks or stepping out of their comfort zone.

    5. Lack of Skills or Knowledge: Insufficient skills or knowledge in certain areas may pose threats to personal development. For example, lacking necessary technical skills in a particular field can hinder career advancement opportunities and personal growth.

    When conducting a SWOT analysis for personal development, these threats should be identified and analyzed to develop strategies for overcoming or mitigating them. This may involve seeking additional support, developing new skills, building a positive network, challenging self-limiting beliefs, or adapting to external factors.

    What are 3 examples of opportunities in SWOT analysis?

    1. Market growth: An opportunity in SWOT analysis could be the identification of a growing market segment or industry that the company can tap into. This could include emerging trends, changing consumer preferences, or new technologies that create a demand for the company's products or services.

    2. Strategic partnerships: Another opportunity could be the potential for strategic partnerships or collaborations with other organizations. This could include joint ventures, alliances, or mergers with complementary businesses that can help expand the company's reach, access new markets, or leverage shared resources and expertise.

    3. Competitive advantage: SWOT analysis can also reveal opportunities for the company to gain a competitive advantage over its rivals. This could involve identifying gaps in the market that the company can fill, differentiating its products or services from competitors, or leveraging its unique strengths and capabilities to create a unique value proposition for customers.

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