Raytheon acquires cybersecurity specialist Blackbird Technologies for $420 mn

US defence contractor Raytheon Co yesterday acquired privately-held Blackbird Technologies, a provider of cybersecurity and secure tactical communications to intelligence agencies and special operations units, for $420 million.

"Blackbird expands Raytheon's already-established footprint in the Intelligence Community market while helping to grow our cyber operations and special missions support to the Department of Defence," said Lynn Dugle, president of Raytheon Intelligence Information and Services.

Based in Virginia, Blackbird provides persistent surveillance, secure tactical communications and cybersecurity solutions to the intelligence agencies and special operations market.

With customers in the intelligence agencies, US Special Operations Command and the intelligence organisations supporting the US Department of Defence, Blackbird Technologies expands Raytheon's special operations capabilities in tactical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, secure tactical communications and cybersecurity.

Raytheon, the third-largest US defense contractor, said that Blackbird Technologies also provides key synergies with Raytheon's existing cybersecurity, sensor, communications and command and control capabilities.

"Raytheon's extraordinary technical depth and our combined capabilities in cyber security, persistent surveillance, and secure tactical communications will allow us to deliver the next generation of end-to-end solutions to our customers in the IC and special operations markets,'' said Peggy Styer, CEO of Blackbird Technologies.

With 2013 sales of $24 billion and 63,000 employees worldwide, Massachusetts-based Raytheon is the third-largest US defence contractor behind Northrop Grumman Corp and Lockheed Martin Corp.

It provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems; as well as a broad range of mission support services.