BAE Systems buys IST Dynamics

By Leon Engelbrecht, ITWeb senior writer
Johannesburg, 17 Apr 2008

British-based global arms giant BAE Systems has acquired IST Dynamics. The niche defence IT company is part of the Ethos group of companies that is also involved in the development of the pebble bed modular nuclear reactor and the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope.

The value of the deal has not been disclosed, but in the year ended 29 February 2008, IST Dynamics generated sales of R75 million, with a profit before tax of R6 million, on gross assets of R79 million.

IST Dynamics specialises in digital ballistic fire control computers, with video auto-trackers, battle panels and multifunction displays with graphical overlays, remotely operated gun and missile turrets, video observation systems, as well as primary and secondary stabilised video sights.

"The capabilities of IST Dynamics complement those of Land Systems SA and further enhance the position of BAE Systems to better serve our local customers and to expand opportunities globally," BAE Systems Land Systems SA MD Johan Steyn said in announcing the deal.

"Our combined capabilities will ensure Land Systems SA is well equipped as systems supplier for key South African programmes and will also expand our capabilities as a prime contractor and provider of through-life support for such programmes," added Steyn.

Land Systems SA has traditionally been a vehicle builder, specialising in the construction of armoured vehicle hulls. The acquisition gives it a foot in the intelligent turret market and also creates an in-house IT capability that one company official says "puts us in a position to be a prime contractor".

The official added the deal is still subject to regulatory approval, but that neither company anticipated any obstacles.

IST Dynamics is based in Pretoria and employs 52 people.

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