Tracor was a major North American defence electronics contractor which was acquired by Marconi Electronic Systems (MES), a subsidiary of GEC plc, in 1998. Following the purchase of MES by British Aerospace in November 1999 to form BAE Systems, Tracor became BAE Systems Integrated Defense Solutions. Following a 2005 reorganisation, the company became BAE Systems Sensor Integration, part of Electronics and Integrated Solutions.
In 1981 Tracor created Rokar International in Jerusalem, Israel for the development of advanced electronics for military and commercial applications.
Tracor was acquired by Westmark Systems in 1986. Westmark was soon in financial difficulties partly because the $866 million deal was highly leveraged but also due to a collapse in oil prices. Westmark filed for bankruptcy protection in 1989 and in 1991 Tracor was split from the company.
In 1993 Tracor increased its size dramatically with the acquisition of Vitro Corporation from Penn Central for $94 million. In 1994 Tracor purchased GDE Systems Inc. from the Carlyle Group (GDE was formerly General Dynamics Electronics). In February 1996 Tracor acquired AEL Industries, an electronic warfare systems and components manufacturer which was renamed Tracor Aerospace in March 1997.
Tracor had a 30 year history of support of the Aegis defense system on United States Navy cruisers and destroyers.
The acquisition was as a major expansion of GEC's defence division, GEC-Marconi (later Marconi Electronic Systems), however seven months later GEC announced the demerger of Marconi Electronic Systems (including the North American defence businesses) which would then merge with British Aerospace (BAe) to form BAE Systems. This process was completed on November 30 1999. Commentators have described Tracor as the jewel in crown of GEC-Marconi North America.
BRITAIN's GEC-MARCONI TO ACQUIRE TRACOR IN $1.4 BILLION DEAL.(agreed to purchase Tracor to strengthen its defense information technology capabilities)
Apr 22, 1998; Britain's GEC-Marconi yesterday agreed to acquire U.S. electronics maker Tracor [TTRR] in a $1.4 billion cash transaction...