Raytheon Acquires Drone Producer Sensintel


Raytheon guided missiles

Raytheon has taken control of the Tucson unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) maker Sensintel, the company announced this past Monday. Sensintel will join Raytheon’s Missile Systems business. Terms of the acquisition were not announced.

Raytheon is the world’s largest producer of guided missiles, and drone technology is something they were keen on acquiring.

Sensintel manufactures the three-foot-long Coyote drone, which can be launched from a propeller-driven patrol aircraft or a helicopter, and cruises at up to 20,000 feet and 20 miles from its controller. It follows a preset path after launch, which is done from sonobuoy tubes on a Navy aircraft. A parachute slows the drone down on its fall as its wings unfold and rear-mounted propellers spin.

Other UASs include the Silver Fox, used for different purposes.

Sensintel is a small company based near Tucson International Airport. They were founded in 1989, and moved to their current location in 1998. Their current CEO and president, Matthew Pobloske, came into that role in June of 2013 when he gained control of BAE Systems Unmanned Aircraft Programs.

The relatively small company, which has fifty employees, was still privately held. Despite its small size, they were still held in high regard by Raytheon.

"Sensintel's expertise in unmanned aircraft systems solutions makes it a natural fit with Raytheon's Advanced Missile Systems product line," said Taylor W. Lawrence, Raytheon Missile Systems president, in a press release. "The acquisition of Sensintel enhances the growth prospects of our UAS business and the advanced capabilities we can offer our customers."

As for what financial impact this purchase would have, Raytheon does not expect it to materially impact their sales or earnings for the first quarter or full year for 2015.

Raytheon has 63,000 employees worldwide and a revenue of USD$23.7 billion in 2013. The Massachusetts-based company was established in 1922.

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