Curtiss-Wright consolidates further by acquiring Dy 4 Systems

By John McHale

ROSELAND, N.J. — The makeup of the military single-board computer market changed dramatically last month when two of its major players agreed to come under the same roof.

Officials at Curtiss-Wright Corp., the parent company of military board vendor Vista Controls in Santa Clarita, Calif., signed a definitive purchase agreement with Solectron Corp. in Milpitas, Calif., to acquire its Dy 4 Systems, Inc. business of Kanata, Ontario — Vista's number-one competitor in the board market — for approximately $110 million. Dy 4 has annual sales of $72 million.

The new acquisition, combined with Vista Controls and Curtiss-Wright's acquisition of Systran Corp., makes Curtiss-Wright a major provider of mission-critical embedded computing solutions for the aerospace and defense markets, Curtiss-Wright officials say.

Curtiss-Wright also recently purchased graphics-board supplier Peritek in Oakland, Calif., Systran, a data-communications designer in Dayton, Ohio, and Novatronics a manufacturer of electric motors and position sensors for the defense, commercial, and aerospace markets in Stratford, Ontario.

Dy 4, like Vista, will operate as a business unit of the Curtiss-Wright Controls Inc. subsidiary in Gastonia, N.C. Dy 4 will not combine with Vista, but will retain its branding and identity to maintain consistency with its customer base, says Doug Patterson, director of marketing for Vista Controls.

Patterson declined to comment further until the U.S. Department of Justice has approved the deal.

"As part of the Curtiss-Wright family, Dy 4 Systems will be able to leverage the capabilities of other Curtiss-Wright companies who are also major suppliers in our market-space such as Vista Controls, Systran, and the Peritek Corp.," said Tom Quinly, Dy 4 president in a letter to his employees on Dy 4's Web site. "This will result in more targeted products and services to better serve our customer base."

Dy 4 officials also declined to comment until the deal has been approved.

"The Dy 4 acquisition is a beacon of intelligent thinking in what has been a period of stupid acquisitions and mediocre mergers," says Ray Alderman, executive director of the VME International Trade Association in Fountain Hills, Ariz. The deal is good for both companies, Alderman says.

The Dy 4 acquisition boosts Curtiss-Wright's presence in the market for military commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components, and Dy 4 has an owner that "recognizes its value and that will nurture its growth instead of stunting it," Alderman says. The move also gives Curtiss-Wright more leverage in system-level contracts for avionics and vetronics applications, Alderman adds.

Many large systems integration companies wanted to buy Dy 4, but Curtiss-Wright won out over GE Fanuc of Charlottesville, Va., Alderman says. GE Fanuc, which bought board supplier VMIC in Huntsville, Ala., may go hunting for another military embedded board supplier to keep up with Curtiss-Wright, he says.

This acquisition demonstrates how much companies such as Vista, Dy 4, and VMIC are at the mercy of big companies like Curtiss-Wright and GE Fanuc, says Jerry Krasner, vice president of market intelligence for Embedded Market Forecasters in Framingham, Mass. Now the acquired companies have the clout to get even bigger, meatier contracts, he says.

The deal does not change the roadmaps of Dy 4 and Vista competitor SBS Technologies in Albuquerque, N.M., says Frank Willis, vice president of marketing at SBS. Radstone officials have a similar response to the deal.

"First, I am not sure I would count Vista as a major player, particularly of board-level products," says Radstone Managing Director Peter Cavill, who calls Vista "a second-tier supplier of boards ... with some systems-integration capability." Systran, he says, "is very much a niche player in areas like Fibre Channel and reflective memory with minimal rugged capability."

Dy 4 is Radstone's major competitor, Cavill says. Radstone "has been sold for the third time in three years — and that sort of thing can't be good for any business," Cavill continues. "At least they have now been sold off by an owner that didn't want them and didn't know how to manage them."

Cavill says he expects pressure to merge with other board suppliers, but intends to keep his company independent. He says Curtiss-Wright leaders will need time to take full advantage of their recent acquisitions.

"Whether the result will be a stronger, better military embedded computing competitor remains to be seen," Cavill says. Dy 4 did not fare well under its previous owners, and "who's to say that they will under Curtiss-Wright," Cavill points out.

"I suspect that this acquisition will act as a catalyst for the other leading players to either merge with one or more of their peers and/or to increase their market share by acquisition," Cavill predicts. "I would not, therefore, necessarily assume that a year from now Curtiss-Wright will be the biggest player in MilCOTS."

Get All the Military Aerospace Electronics News Delivered to Your Inbox or Your Mailbox

Subscribe to Military Aerospace Electronics Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest information on:

  • C4ISR
  • Cyber Security
  • Embedded Computing
  • Unmanned Vehicles

Get All the Military Aerospace Electronics News Delivered to Your Inbox or Your Mailbox

Subscribe to Military Aerospace Electronics Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest information on:

  • C4ISR
  • Cyber Security
  • Embedded Computing
  • Unmanned Vehicles

Military & Aerospace Photos

Most Popular Articles

Related Products

Flexible Printed Circuit Board

Flexible Printed Circuit Boards are one of the most popular types of circuit boards used in a var...

Printed Circuit Board Assembly

Printed Circuit Board Assembly (PCB ASSY) is as critical a process as circuit board manufacturing.


CANoe.A429 is ideal for the test and analysis of ARINC 429 buses and of individual devices on up ...

VN0601 - Interface for ARINC 429 Bus Systems

The VN0601 is a compact and powerful interface for ARINC 429 bus systems. The interface convenien...

XPand6020 | Small Form Factor (SFF) System Featuring XPedite5205 Running Cisco IOS® and XPedite7450

The XPand6020 is a Small Form Factor (SFF) system that features an XPedite5205, which runs Cisco ...

XPedite5500 | Freescale P2020 QorIQ Conduction- or Air-Cooled PrPMC/XMC Module

The XPedite5500 is an XMC/PrPMC mezzanine module targeting the Freescale QorIQ P2020 processor. W...

XChange3019 | 3U VPX 10 Gigabit Ethernet Switch with XMC and Optional Managed Switching and Routing Support

The XChange3019 is a conduction- or air-cooled, 3U VPX, 10 Gigabit Ethernet switch module. It pro...

XPm2120 | MIL-STD-704 3U VPX VITA 62.0 Power Supply with Integrated MIL-STD-461E Filtering

The XPm2120 is a VITA 62.0-compliant 3U VPX power supply that allocates 12 V as the primary distr...

XPand4206 | Rugged Intel® Core™ i7-Based Multiprocessor COTS System with 10 Gigabit Ethernet Fabric

The XPand4206 is a high-performance computing and networking platform for environmentally demandi...

XPedite6100 | Freescale Quad-Core, T1042 Processor-Based, Air-Cooled XMC/PrPMC with Four Gigabit Ethernet Ports

The XPedite6100 is a high-performance, XMC/PrPMC, single board computer supporting a Freescale Qo...

Related Companies


Provides customized Printed Circuit Board fabrication in California. The entire process can be customized according t...

TASC Technical & Assembly Services Corporation Electronic Equipment Manufacturing

Electronic Manufacturing sub-contractor. Circuit Board assembly, Cable Assembly, Wire Harness Assembly, Box Build Ass...

Vector Informatik GmbH

Provides solutions to benefit developers and test engineers for aerospace electronic networking. Focuses on tools for...

Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions

About Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions (CWDS) is a long established techno...


Offers complete solutions for embedded software developers with a focus on mission- and safety-critical applications....

United Electronic Industries Inc

UEI is a leader in the PC/Ethernet data acquisition and control, Data Logger/Recorder and Programmable Automation Con...

STMicroelectronics Inc

ST serves customers across the spectrum of sense, power, automotive products, and embedded processing solutions. From...


Signal integrity leaders and preferred vertically integrated manufacturer of high-performance electrical and electron...

Manufactures industrial rugged computers and peripherals, including custom rack servers, rugged LCD monitors, mini PC...

AcQ Inducom

Develops and produces non-certified and certified high-tech modular hardware- and software solutions for on-board and...
Wire News provided by   

Press Releases

Model INCX-4001

The INCX-4001 consists of a high quality audio transceiver specifically designed to implement a complete fiber optic intercom.

Model PS-1210

The PS-1210 is a 1A, 12VDC stand-alone or rack mountable non-switcher (no RF noise) power supply.

Model OS-3121

Optical switches are utilized to disconnect, bypass and reroute fiber optic communications. All of these optical switches are purely optical path, there is no optical to e...


New Design Tools That Help You Develop Radar That Sees the Un-seeable and Detects the Undetectable

Xilinx EW/ISR System Architect, Luke Miller, has new tricks and he’s going to tell you all about them in a new Xilinx Webinar—for free. His Webinar will cover new ways to implement Radar functions including ...
Sponsored by:

All Access Sponsors

Mil & Aero Magazine

July 2015
Volume 26, Issue 7

Download Our Apps




Follow Us On...


Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information

Cyber Security

Monthly newsletter covering cyber warfare, cyber security, information warfare, and information security technologies, products, contracts, and procurement opportunities

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers

Electronic Warfare

Quarterly newsletter covering technologies and applications in electronic warfare, cyber warfare, optical warfare, and spectrum warfare.

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles