Clear Align boosts expertise in surveillance, fire control with General Dynamics facility acquisition

EAGLEVILLE, Pa. – Aerospace and defense electro-optics specialist Clear Align LLC in Eagleville, Pa., is boosting the company's expertise in military surveillance, reconnaissance, and fire control with its acquisition of the Nashua, N.H.-based pan-tilt systems lens design and optical component facilities of General Dynamics Mission Systems.

Oct 13th, 2017
Clear Align boosts expertise in surveillance, fire control with General Dynamics facility acquisition
Clear Align boosts expertise in surveillance, fire control with General Dynamics facility acquisition
EAGLEVILLE, Pa. – Aerospace and defense electro-optics specialist Clear Align LLC in Eagleville, Pa., is boosting the company's expertise in military surveillance, reconnaissance, and fire control with its acquisition of the Nashua, N.H.-based pan-tilt systems lens design and optical component facilities of General Dynamics Mission Systems.

The acquisition from General Dynamics brings to Clear Align additional expertise in pan-tilt surveillance systems, infrared cameras, and optics for satellite and space telescopes, maritime targeting, and ground and airborne surveillance, says Clear Align CEO Angelique X. Irvin.

Qualified products, intellectual property, and sales backlog that Clear Align is acquiring from General Dynamics are for defense and homeland security applications, naval surveillance, remote targeting, and unmanned vehicles applications, Irvin said this week at the Association of the U.S. Army show in Washington.

Financial details of the acquisition have not been released. Clear Align specializes in electro-optic systems and optical components to defense, aerospace, and medical applications. The company builds products for the ultraviolet (UV), visible light, as well as near-, shortwave-, medium-wave-, and longwave-infrared portions of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Clear Align's laser and sensing expertise includes optical integration for remote sensing and targeting, and the company provides build-to-print, and custom design, prototype, manufacturing, and systems integration services.

Related: Clear Align boosts expertise in electro-optics quick-turn prototyping with three acquisitions

"This is a large operation being integrated into a small organization," Irvin says, pointing out that this portion of General Dynamics Mission Systems is significantly larger than Clear Align was before the acquisition. The deal indicates an imaging industry consolidation of two key competitors and ended in one of the largest component suppliers in the United States, Irvin says.

This acquisition will enable Clear Align to transform itself from an imaging component company to supporting subsystems integrators for applications like border security, naval vessel security, and others that require high-quality pan-and-tilt electro-optical imaging systems.

Irvin says the acquisition brings top-tier imaging capabilities to a small and nimble company. "It takes us up a level to cameras and gimbals," Irvin says. Until now Clear Align has built imaging payloads for government and prime contractors, but did not offer as broad a selection of imaging payload products.

"We will remain a supplier to the prime contractors; it is not our strategy to go head-to-head for large system-level programs," Irvin explains. "We want to support the prime contractors on large programs with AS9100-certified cost-efficient manufacturing. We provide them with the imaging and targeting portions of their systems."

With the technology and expertise acquired from General Dynamics, Clear Align can provide target detection, recognition, and identification capabilities in pan-tilt imaging systems, including the ability to put 48 pixels on a target at 7.5 miles, and four pixels on a target at 16 miles.

Related: General Dynamics stands up electro-optics division for military and homeland security work

Irvin calls the Nashua, N.H., facility that Clear Align is acquiring from General Dynamics one of the largest optical-fabrication facilities in the United States. It includes more than 50 large optical fabrication machines that make optics, and provide optics diamond turning, polishing, grinding, coating, integration, and environmental testing for imaging, with a specialty in high-definition (HD) imaging.

With this acquisition, Clear Align enhances its position as an imaging system supplier for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and enters the market for military land vehicle-mounted fire-control systems, Irvin says.

The acquisition consolidates Clear Align's existing facilities in Hudson, N.H., into the new facility located at 24 Simon St. in Nashua, N.H.

For more information contact Clear Align online at www.clearalign.com, or General Dynamics Mission Systems at https://gdmissionsystems.com.

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