Looks like Curtiss-Wright is ready to grow again; set to acquire VMETRO

By John Keller
Posted by John Keller

I've been teased and chided for calling Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing in Leesburg, Va., a "behemoth" in the embedded computing industry . Well hold on to your hats, folks, it looks like Curtiss-Wright is about to get even bigger.

Leaders of Curtiss-Wright Corp. in Roseland, N.J. -- parent of Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded -- are offering to acquire VME computing specialist VMETRO in Houston. VMETRO leaders say the Curtiss-Wright offer sounds fair, and they are ready to accept it, unless some nasty surprises come up in final negotiations.

VMETRO provides commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) board- and system-level embedded computer products for military, aerospace, industrial, communications, medical, enterprise computing and network storage. The company also specializes in high-speed serial interconnects like PCI Express, Serial RapidIO, Aurora and Serial FPDP, based on standard formats like VXS, VPX, VME, PMC, XMC, FMC, PCI/PCI-X, PCI Express, AdvancedMC and CompactPCI.

Curtiss-Wright has bolstered its brand and industry expertise by acquiring companies with names like DY 4 Systems, Systran, and Pentland. Now it looks like VMETRO will be joining the list.

It looks like the embedded computer industry continues to contract. Among the things this may signal is that GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms may have to respond with an acquisition of its own.

It also may be time for companies like Mercury Computer Systems to watch their backs. I wouldn't be surprised to see either Curtiss-Wright or GE Fanuc make a play for that company sometime soon. Other companies in the embedded computing industry likewise should keep an eye out.

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The Mil & Aero Bloggers

John Keller is editor-in-chief of Military & Aerospace Electronics magazine, which provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronic and optoelectronic technologies in military, space, and commercial aviation applications. A member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since the magazine's founding in 1989, Mr. Keller took over as chief editor in 1995.

Ernesto Burden is the publisher of PennWell’s Aerospace & Defense Media Group, including Military & Aerospace Electronics, Avionics Intelligence and Avionics Europe.  He’s a father of four, a runner, and an avid digital media enthusiast with a deep background in the intersection of media publishing, digital technology, and social media. He can be reached at ernestob@pennwell.com and on Twitter @aero_ernesto.

Courtney E. Howard, as executive editor, enjoys writing about all things electronics and avionics in PennWell’s burgeoning Aerospace and Defense Group, which encompasses Military & Aerospace Electronics, Avionics Intelligence, the Avionics Europe conference, and much more. She’s also a self-proclaimed social-media maven, mil-aero nerd, and avid avionics geek. Connect with Courtney at Courtney@Pennwell.com, @coho on Twitter, and on LinkedIn.

Mil & Aero Magazine

January 2014
Volume 25, Issue 1
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