The British defence giant BAE Systems has appointed a new executive from Britain to head its Australian operations.


The company has announced that David Allot, the current managing director of BAE Systems’ UK Based Global Combat Systems, will replace departing Jim McDowell as chief executive of BAE Systems Australia.


Mr McDowell, who has served in the position for more than a decade, will be departing to head up BAE Systems Saudi Arabia.


BAE Systems international group managing director Guy Griffiths congratulated Mr McDowell’s performance, saying that he has been instrumental in building the Australian business into a major provider for the Australian Defence Force.


"During his time as chief executive the company has expanded from 2500 employees and revenue of $400 million to more than 6000 staff and annual revenue approaching $1.8 billion today," Mr Griffiths said in a statement.


"In 2008 he oversaw the integration of BAE Systems Australia with Tenix Defence to create a new business with capabilities across the air, sea, land, electronic and security domains."


Mr Allot will take up his position as of September 5