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.