Airborne Systems specialises in the design, manufacture and support of military parachutes and aerial delivery equipment and more recently naval electronic warfare countermeasures (airborne and floating decoy) products.
Airborne Systems dates back to 1926 when Leslie Irvin began the mass production of parachutes in the UK. Parachutes manufactured by Airborne Systems have saved the lives of countless aircrew forced to bail out of stricken aircraft, dating from World War II to the present day.
Chris Rowe, President, commented, “We have a long history, enjoying more than 90 years at the leading edge of the industry. We have generations of families working for us and many employees have been with us for over 20 years. During recent challenging economic times, together we have successfully managed to maintain a stable workforce.”
Chris explained, “We try to avoid a ‘hire and fire’ environment by using external sub-contractors to deal with workload peaks. The work we do is highly skilled and interesting and very meaningful. We regularly hear of and publicise incidents where lives have been saved by the products made by our employees.”
It is the company’s expansion abroad that has earned Airborne Systems The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade, in particular for increasing overseas sales during the last three years and exporting more than 50% of turnover. The main drivers for Airborne Systems’ success and continued growth are through improvements in business processes and the introduction of a value-based operating strategy focussing on generating profitable new business, making steady improvements to the cost structure and providing real value to customers with pricing to reflect this value.
Chris states, “The principle is that we cannot get a premium price from our customers unless we are a top performer with top products. Winning The Queen’s Award is a great honour and motivates us to continue on our path to develop proprietary equipment solutions to the most challenging of operational requirements.”
Airborne Systems employs 350 people across Bridgend (South Wales), Letchworth,