What is EDO?

EDO MBM Technology Ltd (‘EDO’) is an arms company based at Emblem House, Home Farm Road, Brighton. Since 2008 EDO has been owned by the US military equipment, and intelligence technology firm ITT Exelis Inc. (NYSE:XLS)

EDO as it was in 2004 in the early days of the campaign

Company History

EDO MBM was established in Brighton in 1946 as Plastic and Metal Products (Brighton) Ltd, before changing its name to M.B. Metals Ltd a few years later.

From 1983 it began to trade as MBM Technology Ltd and was acquired by Morgan Crucible Company PLC.

A management buyout occurred in 2000 as part of a spinoff of Morgan Crucible’s group of military industry companies known as the Emblem Group.

A new company Emblem Group Ltd was formed by the directors of MBM in 2000. MBM Technology Ltd was solely owned by Emblem Group Ltd until 2003, when it was bought by the US military aircraft bomb rack maker EDO Corporation. At this point MBM Technology was renamed EDO MBM, and the Emblem Group was renamed EDO (UK) Ltd.

EDO Corp. was itself acquired by ITT Corporation in  2008, and EDO MBM Technology Ltd began to use the marketing brand ITT Defence although its registered name remains EDO MBM.

In 2011 ITT Corp. split in three and spun off its military industrial companies under the current marketing name of ITT Exelis. It is listed as Exelis Inc. XLS on the NYSE.  EDO now markets itself as ITT Exelis UK but is still registered as EDO MBM Technology Ltd.

EDO moved to Emblem House in Home Farm Road in 2003 and currently employ about 100 people as precision machine tool operators, electrical and mechanical engineers, and admin and sales staff. EDO specialise in a niche market of essential weapons systems components and accessories used on military aircraft used around the globe.

Who are they?

A selection of EDO’s home made bomb release units

The current Managing Director of EDO is Paul Hills. He has been in the role since January 2006. Previous to this Paul Hills was General Manager of the ‘MBM Defence Division’ of the company, concerned with the production, design, and development of weapons carriage and release systems (bomb racks and missile launchers) and related components. Paul Hills was one of the original group of investors and directors in the Emblem Group management buyout from Morgan Crucible PLC in 2000.

ITT Exelis Inc.

The current Exelis board at the NYSE

Exelis is headquartered at the centre of the US military and intelligence establishment in McClean Virginia, close to the  Director of National Intelligence, CIA Headquarters, and the Pentagon. The Exelis board is led by CEO David Melcher, a former US Army Lieutenant General. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the White House Fellows Foundation and Association and on the National Defense Industrial Association’s Board of Trustees.

What do they make in Brighton?

EDO’s products include bomb racks, arming units, and electrical connectors for military aircraft weapon systems. They are also a ‘List X’ site certified to carry out secret research and development work on new weapons systems.

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