SATCOM Technologies, a unit of
General Dynamics Corporation
), will work on a $75 million contract in South Africa in
collaboration with Stratosat Datacom ("Pty") Ltd. Per the contract,
the partnership will supply 64 radio-telescope antennas, ancillary
electronic components and support South Africa's MeerKAT radio
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The contract was competitively awarded and applies the South
African National Treasury rules for government procurements. The
partnership will perform at least 75% of the work to maximize the
skill, and perform qualification testing, tooling design and almost
all the manufacturing work.
The radio-telescope antennas, which have a 13.5-meter main
reflector, will offer higher optical performance and reception
sensitivity. Further, the specially configured device is used to
evade radio interference from satellites and terrestrial
transmitters while giving the astronomers an opportunity to
investigate earliest galaxies as well as unfold hidden truths of
The MeerKAT telescope array will have a gap of up to eight
kilometers between the two antennas. Moreover, the telescope will
facilitate research in the areas of cosmic magnetism, galactic
evolution, large-scale structure of the cosmos, dark matter and the
nature of transient radio sources.
The first antenna will be installed in late 2013 with all the 64
antennas to be placed by the end of 2016.
MeerKAT is the precursor telescope to the Square Kilometer Array
("SKA"). MeerKAT comprises 25% of Phase I scope and will be the
largest and most sensitive radio telescope in the southern
hemisphere until the SKA gets completed in 2024.
SATCOM Technologies, unit of General Dynamics C4 Systems, has
extensive experience in large radio telescope and
telecommunications projects around the world. The company provides
antennas and high performance control systems to the astronomy
community that includes the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter
Array astronomical observatory in the Chilean Andes and in most of
NASA's Deep Space Network.
Based in Falls Church, Virginia, General Dynamics engages in
mission-critical information systems and technologies; land and
expeditionary combat vehicles, armaments and munitions;
shipbuilding and marine systems; and business aviation.
Looking forward, key drivers for the company's growth include the
improving business jet market, its stable business of U.S. military
vehicles, an ongoing share repurchase program and strong cash flow
generation. However, the company is largely tied to the U.S.
defense budget, where the threat of budget cuts is looming large.
Also, we have turned slightly cautious about the company's
steadily-dropping order backlog, and risks related to the execution
of key projects.
The company presently retains a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold)
that corresponds with our long-term Neutral recommendation on the
Some of the company's main competitors are
Lockheed Martin Corporation
Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc.