July, 23

    Indra seeks to lead consolidation in Spanish defense industry

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    Spain’s Indra Sistemas SA said it will focus on its defense and aerospace businesses as part of a new 2030 strategy, seeking to become an international player at a time of increased military spending by European NATO members.

    Indra plans to lead consolidation of the Spanish defense industry, Chairman Marc Murtra told analysts during a March 6 presentation in Madrid. He cited the U.K.’s BAE Systems, France’s Thales and Italy’s Leonardo as examples of national defense champions that consolidated their home markets.

    European countries have boosted defense spending since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022 to strengthen their militaries after decades of cost cutting. Purchases of defense equipment by NATO’s European members will rise 7% to 8% a year through 2030, with total procurement of as much as €950 billion (US$1 trillion) over the period, Indra forecasts.

    “Europe is entering a new major defense investment cycle after more than 30 years, characterized by a significant shift in focus towards technology, a greater share of defense systems and the expansion of multi-domain capabilities,” Murtra said.

    Indra seeks to transform its businesses from national to international, and become “the Spanish multinational of reference” in defense and aerospace, the chairman said. The company wants to become the Spanish coordinator in European land, air and cyberspace programs, and the main defense-system integrator in its home market.

    The company has announced a number of cross-border deals in its defense business this year, including a radar joint venture with the Emirati defense-technology company Edge Group, and agreements with Thales and Lockheed Martin to jointly work on defense systems.

    The EU has been pushing for consolidation and joint projects in the defense industry, with fragmentation and duplication between national markets estimated to waste billions of euros. The EU’s executive branch on Tuesday proposed a €1.5 billion plan to boost defense production and promote joint military projects among member states.

    Indra is already involved in multinational European projects including the Future Combat Air System, the Eurofighter Typhoon and the A400M freighter.

    “Some of our NATO allies within Europe, such as the U.K., Italy and France, have already made significant strides in consolidating defense and aerospace sectors,” Murtra said. “This process is crucial to achieve strategic autonomy in Spain, and to guarantee its influence at the global scale. With our strong positioning and capabilities, we aspire to lead the Spanish national ecosystem in less than 10 years.”

    Spain’s defense budget is expected to outpace Europe, rising 11% to 12% a year to reach a target of 2% of GDP by 2030, Indra projects.

    The company expects its defense sales to grow 42% organically over the next three years to €1.1 billion, excluding the contribution from acquisitions. Defense currently accounts for about a fifth of the company’s revenue.

    Indra projects overall sales of €6 billion in 2026, including €700 million added through mergers and acquisitions. The company plans tol allocate more than 75% of its acquisition spending to defense and aerospace, with a focus on Spain, Western Europe, the Middle East and North America.

    The company said it will concentrate M&A activity in its defense business on bolstering capabilities in the land domain, developing home markets in Western Europe and strengthening its business in sensors, avionics and counter unmanned aerial systems, or C-UAS.

    Indra is simplifying its defense-product portfolio, moving more than 100 customized products into six technology categories, including radar, electronic defense, as well as command, control, computing and intelligence, or C3I.

    Space division

    The company is also setting up a new space division that will serve the defense and air-traffic management segments, with a goal of €1 billion in revenue by 2030. Indra wants to become a tier-one European player participating in the continent’s main space programs, Murtra said.

    “Space is a segment that is becoming more and more relevant in Europe to guarantee its strategic autonomy and sovereignty over communications,” Murtra said “Satellite communications are becoming mission critical for governments in both both defense and non-defense applications.”

    Indra will seek one or more shareholders for its information-technology business Minsait, though Murat said he plans to keep a “significant stake” in the unit, because of synergies with the defense and aerospace businesses.

    Rudy Ruitenberg is a Europe correspondent for Defense News. He started his career at Bloomberg News and has experience reporting on technology, commodity markets and politics.

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