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Raytheon buys local drone maker Sensintel

Raytheon is adding a Tucson manufacturer of drones and surveillance gear to its Missile Systems division. The company announced Monday morning that it had acquired the privately held Sensintel, which has about 50 employees.

"Sensintel's expertise in unmanned aircraft systems solutions makes it a natural fit with Raytheon's Advanced Missile Systems product line," Taylor W. Lawrence, Raytheon Missile Systems president, said 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."

Sensintel manufactures the three-foot-long Coyote drone, which can be launched from a propeller-driven patrol aircraft or a helicopter, and cruise at up to 20,000 some 20 miles from its controller.

The Coyote follows a pre-programmed path after launch, which is done from sonobouy tubes on Navy aircraft. A parachute slows the drone's fall as its wings unfold and rear-mounted propeller begins to spin.

Sensintel was set up by Tucson businessman Matthew Pobloske in 2013, as British defense contractor BAE Systems spun off its unmanned aircraft program. In 2009, BAE had purchased Tucson-based Advanced Ceramics Research, which originally developed the drone.

Other unmanned aerial vehicles in Sensintel's stable include the Silver Fox, a 30-pound gas-powered drone, and the Manta drone, used in geoscience research.

Sensintel has built its drones and other surveillance gear at its Tucson plant, 3292 E. Hemisphere Loop.

Terms of the Raytheon acquisition were not announced.

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4
542 comments
Jan 26, 2015, 5:47 pm
-0 +1

@EllieMae,

That does seem to be frequently included in Raytheon’s corporate communications.

3
151 comments
Jan 26, 2015, 3:35 pm
-0 +1

Should have added <tongue in cheek>.
I understand this guy likes to be addressed as “doctor.”

2
542 comments
Jan 26, 2015, 12:40 pm
-0 +1

@EllieMae,

Lawrence holds a doctorate in applied physics from Stanford. News reports generally reserve the courtesy title of “Doctor” for medical professionals with terminal degrees, and don’t use them for everyone who has a Ph.D.

From the AP stylebook: ” Use the abbreviation Dr. only before the name of a person who holds a medical degree. Do not use the title Dr. before the names of people who hold other doctorate degrees or honorary doctorate degrees.”

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Click image to enlarge

U.S. Navy photo

Marines with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit show a Silver Fox drone to sailors aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer in 2006.