- November 27, 2007, 11:33 AM
UK aerospace and defense firm Cobham yesterday announced an agreement to purchase autopilot maker S-Tec from Meggitt for $38 million. S-Tec’s Mineral Wells, Texas operation and its workforce of 180 employees will be added to Cobham’s portfolio of avionics businesses in North America, which also includes Chelton Flight Systems, Wulfsburg, NAT and Artex. “S-Tec has been on our acquisition target list for the last six years,” said Gordon Pratt, vice president of business development for Cobham Avionics and Surveillance. “We have a long-term vision to unify these companies and create what we’re referring to as the Cobham cockpit.” S-Tec designs, certifies and manufactures autopilots for a wide variety of general aviation airplanes. Pratt said production of Chelton’s HeliSAS helicopter autopilot will likely move to S-Tec’s factory after the deal closes, expected by the end of next month. A focus for Cobham in recent months has been retrofit cockpits for helicopters and military aircraft, but Pratt said the GA market will become an increasingly important segment as Cobham seeks tighter integration of its avionics businesses. Meggitt said it no longer considered S-Tec core to its operations.