BAE to acquire unmanned aircraft maker

BAE Systems Inc. intends to acquire Advanced Ceramics Research Inc., a provider of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and advanced ceramic materials used in flight systems. The precise terms of the all-stock purchase were not disclosed.

The acquisition will give BAE Systems a strong set of mature, operational products in the small and tactical UAS market, company officials said March 12. The addition of small platforms capabilities acquired through the acquisition will complement larger UAS being developed by the parent company in the United Kingdom, the officials said.

Advanced Ceramics Research, based in Tucson, Ariz., has 60 employees and produces three small UAS systems known as the Silver Fox, Manta and Coyote. Once regulatory approvals are obtained, the company will be folded into BAE Systems.

The Silver Fox has been certified as operational by the Naval Air Systems Command, company officials said. Certification for the other two UAS is pending with NAVAIR. The platforms are operated using Advanced Ceramics Research’s integrated ground station.

BAE Systems, of Rockville, Md., ranks No. 12 on Washington Technology’s 2008 Top 100 list of the largest federal government prime contractors.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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