December 27, 1965 Electronics
[Table of Contents]
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics.
See articles from Electronics,
published 1930 - 1988. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.
This is the electronics market
prediction for Belgium, circa 1966. It was part of a comprehensive assessment by the
editors of Electronics magazine of the state of commercial, military, and consumer
electronics at the end of 1965. Military systems for NATO and television sets were a
big part of the picture. Unless you can find a news story on the state of the
industry, detailed reports must be purchased from research companies like
Statista. Their website has a lot of charts on Belgium's current
electronics market showing revenue in the consumer electronics segment amounts of US$1,295M
Separate reports are included for
(the Berlin Wall was still up then), the
obviously not part of Europe, is also covered.
Belgium Electronics Market
Industry expecting drop next year
Champagne corks will not be popping when Belgian electronics companies greet
the new year - business is expected to drop for them next year although the
domestic market, in which imports are a big factor, will be up about 7% to $371.6
million from $346.4 million for Belgium and Luxemburg.
The main reason for the decline: military contracts - some $80 million worth
for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's Starfighter and Hawk missile programs
which had buoyed the industry over the past four years - have dwindled to practically
nothing. But there is one major military contract that could help the industry,
which is dominated by a trio of companies - Manufacture Belge de Lampes et de
Materiél Electroniques (MBLE), Atéliers de Construction Electriques
de Charleroi (ACEC) and Bell Telephone Manufacturing Co; (BTM).
Sales of television sets - expected to reach nearly $24.6 million this year
- should stay about the same at $24.7 million in 1966, according to Jaques LaGrange,
head of MBLE, the country's leading components manufacturer.
The contract Belgian electronics producers count on most is their $11.8-million
share of the $280 million Nadge (NATO's air-defense ground-environment) project,
scheduled for award this March. Nadge is NATO's plan for an integrated air-defense
network stretching from Norway to Turkey.
The industry also expects a communications gear contract when Belgium buys
300 tanks from either France or West Germany probably early next year. Belgium
will stipulate that its own firms get tank-equipment contracts amounting to
just about the cost of the tanks.
MBLE also will have prototypes of a transceiver for paratroopers ready next
year and hopes to produce them by 1967. BTM is now field testing pulse-code-modulation
equipment for the Belgian Army. The circuit boards have both microcircuits and
discrete components, but the circuitry was designed for an eventual switchover
All three companies are just starting in space projects through the European
Launcher Development Organization (ELDO) and the European Space Research Organization
(ESRO). Belgian engineers will install the ELDO downrange guidance system in
northern Australia next year. The system is currently being tested at Grimbergen
Airfield near Brussels. MBLE was prime contractor for the system, but both ACEC
and BTM supplied much of the equipment.
The lone bright spot in the outlook for next year is in industrial equipment,
likely to pick up by about 15%. One possible shot in the arm for next year or
1967 is the instrumentation for three nuclear power stations Belgian public
utilities have tentative plans to build.