General Dynamics to buy space integrator

General Dynamics Corp. announced it will acquire Gilbert, Ariz.-based Spectrum Astro Inc., a privately held, space systems integrator for the government. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

According to Falls Church, Va.-based General Dynamics, the transaction has been approved by the directors of both companies and is expected to close within 60 days. Upon completion of the merger, Spectrum Astro will become part of General Dynamics C4 Systems, which is headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Spectrum Astro, with approximately 520 employees, manufactures and integrates spacecraft subsystem hardware, software and ground-support equipment. In February, the company won a contract from NASA to develop the Space Network Router, which would allow the use of TCP/IP protocol for space applications.

General Dynamics hopes to leverage Spectrum Astro's expertise to win contracts for new space-based initiatives.

"The Defense Department's growing reliance on satellite-based systems as part of a network-centric approach to warfighting was validated in Operation Iraqi Freedom and other recent military efforts. This acquisition enhances General Dynamics' positioning to meet those mission requirements into the future," said Jerry DeMuro, General Dynamics' executive vice president for information systems and technology.

With 2003 revenue of $16.6 billion, General Dynamics ranked No. 7 on Washington Technology's 2003 Top 100 list, which measures federal contracting revenue. Washington Technology's 2004 rankings are due out in May.

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