BAE Systems is the largest arms manufacturer in Europe, and the one at the center of the the UK's biggest (and probably most fraudulent) weapons deal, the Al-Yamamah arms deal. It has admitted to spying on the Campaign Against Arms Trade.
The BAE Systems North American website declares them to be "The Systems Company Innovating for a Safer World."
BAE Systems aims to be "the premier global defence and aerospace company delivering a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces".  As such, the company has interests in areas spanning the range of avionics and defence systems, from hardware manufacture to personnel training. Primarily, however, BAE is an arms company, with military equipment currently accounting for around 80% of the company's total sales.  In 2005 their military revenue amounted to $20,935 million (from a total revenue of $26,500 million).  It is the world's fourth largest defence and aerospace firm, behind Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Northrop Grumman. 
The company is a significant employer, directly employing around 88,600 people.  Over a third of its workforce is outside the UK, largely in their other five home markets – the US, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, South Africa and Australia. BAE Systems is present in five continents, with "customers and partners in more than 100 countries",  and its order book at the end of 2006 totalled £31.7 billion.  Its biggest rivals are the US companies Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Northrop Grumman, as well as the European syndicate EADS Inc, which formed when BAE acquired GEC (see History, below). In theory, BAE Systems is financially strong enough to attempt a takeover of its rivals. However, BAE Systems' ambition to merge with Boeing or Lockheed has been ruled out by the US government.  Nevertheless, its desire to break into the US market, by far the largest in the world for arms companies, continues unabated.
Infiltration of CAAT
The company hired spymasters Paul Mercer and Evelyn Le Chêne to infiltrate and illegally spy on the Campaign Against Arms Trade, allegedly for £120,000/year, and was at one point receiving daily reports about CAAT.
- Full article: BAE Systems/History
- Full article: BAE Systems/History
British Aerospace (BAe) was first formed as a nationalised corporation in April 1977 by the merger of the British Aircraft Corporation, Hawker Siddeley Aviation, Hawker Siddeley Dynamics and Scottish Aviation. Under Margaret Thatcher it was privatized.
Intelligence support in Iraq
BAE set up Human Terrain Systems (HTS) at the beginning of the 2003 US attack on Iraq. HTS hires anthropologists and embeds them with US/UK military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan to provide culture sensitive interpretation to advice local commanders, and to gather intelligence.
Deep political connections
Cercle Attendee, Charles Powell was on the payroll as an "advisor" in 2005 and had been acting for some years as Tony Blair's special envoy to Brunei, which was in dispute over payment of three warships from BAE. At the same time as his brother, Jonathan Powell, was Tony Blair's chief of staff. The Powells denied any conflict of interest.
|Document:Off the Leash: How the UK is developing the technology to build armed autonomous drones||Article||10 November 2018||Peter Burt||The United Kingdom should make an unequivocal statement that it is unacceptable for machines to control, determine, or decide upon the application of force in armed conflict and give a binding political commitment that the UK would never use fully autonomous weapon systems|
- BAE Systems website
- Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) website 
- Defense News Top 100 http://defensenews.com/index.php?S=06top100
- 'BAE Systems at a glance', BAE Systems Annual Report 2006 
- BAE systems website About Us
- 'Results in brief', BAE Systems Annual Report 2006, p.3
- Wrigley, C. (2001) Arms Industry Briefing, CAAT website 
- William O Beeman, [Iraq's lethal fieldwork], Le monde diplomatique, March 2008