Airbus, previously EADS, is the 2nd largest arms producer in Europe and the 7th largest in the world (SIPRI). It is a joint French, German and, to a lesser extent, Spanish company.
Its business activities are divided amongst a number divisions, subsidiaries and joint ventures, most notably Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter), MBDA and Eurofighter – a joint venture with BAE and Finmeccanica (Eurofighter Website). Its products include fighter jets, artillery systems, missiles (via MBDA) and helicopters (Airbus Website).
Airbus markets include authoritarian regimes such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kazakhstan (Airbus Website).
In 2012 the Serious Fraud Office opened an investigation into a subsidiary of the company, GPT Special Project Management, after allegations of bribes to Saudi Arabian officials to win a communications contract for the Saudi National Guard (Reuters, 9.8.2012).