General Dynamics snaps up Axsys Technologies

Acquisition will boost contractor’s ISR capabilities

A General Dynamics unit will acquire Axsys Technologies Inc., a developer of electro-optical and infrared sensors and systems and surveillance and reconnaissance cameras, for $643 million.

The move is designed to enhance the defense contractor’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, officials with General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems said today. General Dynamics AIS will pay $54 a share, the officials said.

Axsys, of Rocky Hill, Conn., designs and manufactures high-performance surveillance cameras, imaging systems and related motion-control technologies. The company's government customer base includes the defense, homeland security and public safety sectors.

Axsys has about 1,000 employees located in offices in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Michigan and New Hampshire. The company had a backlog of $162.1 million at the end of the first quarter of 2009, and Axsys executives expect 2009 sales of $280 million.

The acquisition signals not only that mergers and acquisitions are once again going forward in the defense sector, but also that technologies, such as ISR, that reflect the priorities of the Defense Department are in particular demand, reports Defense News.

General Dynamics ranks No. 4 on Washington Technology’s 2009 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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