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18 Mar 04. General Dynamics (NYSE: GD – News) has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Gilbert, Ariz.-based Spectrum Astro, Inc., a privately held space systems integrator for the U.S. government. The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies and is subject to normal regulatory approval; it is expected to close within 60 days. The acquisition will be accretive to General Dynamics. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Spectrum Astro’s capabilities include manufacturing and integration of spacecraft subsystem hardware, software and ground-support equipment. It has approximately 520 employees, and will become part of General Dynamics C4 Systems, which is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona.

“The U.S. Department of Defense’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 U.S. military efforts, and this acquisition enhances General Dynamics’ positioning to meet those mission requirements into the future,” said Jerry DeMuro, General Dynamics executive vice president and group executive for Information Systems and Technology.

“Spectrum Astro has achieved remarkable growth over the past 10 years based on innovative systems engineering and lean, efficient manufacturing processes,” said Mark Fried, president and general manager of General Dynamics C4 Systems. “This acquisition expands our offerings to an important portion of our customer base, complements our existing business with classified and restricted-payload customers in particular, and helps broaden our presence in the missile-defense and key NASA space business segments through Spectrum Astro’s existing relationships.”

General Dynamics C4 Systems’ employees have been contributing to the U.S. space program since the mid-1950s, supporting missions from Apollo and Voyager to the Hubble Space Telescope, the International Space Station and the Mars Exploration Rovers.

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