Above: Elbit’s Seagull Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) during torpedo launching tests
Elbit Systems’ subsidiary, Elbit Systems of America, has signed a definitive agreement with Cerberus Capital Management, for the acquisition of US-based Sparton Corporation for a purchase price of $380 million. Headquartered in De Leon Springs, Florida, Sparton is a supplier of Undersea Warfare systems for the US Navy and allied military forces since WWI. Cerberus acquired Sparton in 2019, and in June 2020 it sold its contract manufacturing unit, Manufacturing & Design Services, to One Equity Partners, which rebranded MDS business as Spartronics.
Today the company is comprised of three divisions: Undersea Warfare Solutions (UWS), Aydin Displays, and Stealth. The UWS division provides mission-critical sonobuoys for Anti-Submarine Warfare and depth-rated encapsulated systems to support Subsea and Seabed Warfare. Aydin division provides ruggedized displays for military and industrial use, and the Stealth division manufactures industrial computer components and industrial-grade small form factor PCs.
Naval Warefare is getting closer to Elbit’s expertise
The acquisition is part of a broader strategy of Elbit aimed to expand its reach in the mitiltary naval markets. It estimates that the new battle space scenario demands force interoperability and a net-centric approach to the entire naval fleet. The naval force of the future will be linked so that all personnel and platforms operate jointly to sense, assess and respond to threats. This brings the Naval Warfare closer to Elbit’s current expertise such as Battle management systems, Electronic Warefare, C4I, Autonomous platforms and more.
This growing activity comes in may shapes and forms: In August 2020, Elbit’s subsidiary GeoSpectrum unveiled compact Very Low Frequency (VLF) long-range acoustic underwater transducers that send and recieve transmissions for distances of up to 2500 km and capable to effectively operate under ice. In July 2020, Elbit expanded its Seagull Unmanned Surface Vessel beyond Anti-Submarine Warfare and Mines Countermeasure (MCM), by integrating a mini-Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) onboard the Seagull USV, providing it an intelligence gathering capabilities.
The Seagull autonomous multi-mission USV features switchable, modular mission payload suites and can perform, in addition to ASW, Mine Countermeasure missions (MCM), Electronic Warfare (EW), Maritime Security (MS), Hydrography and other missions using the same vessel, mission control system and data links. It offers navies a force multiplier, reducing risk to human life and dramatically cutting procurement and operating costs.