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Raytheon buys BBN for 'about $350m'

Arms biz buys up the "@" in email

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Renowned techsploration company BBN - famed far and wide for inventing forerunner internet kit, and for giving the world the "@" symbol in email addresses - has been bought by US armsbiz colossus Raytheon. The move illustrates growing aspirations on the part of arms firms to do business in the information systems sector.

According to Raytheon, BBN went for "approximately $350 million, subject to post-closing adjustments". The defence giant expects no material impact on its Q4 numbers as a result of the buy.

"BBN has tremendous technological capabilities, and we see immediate opportunities for applying its technologies to enhance our products," said Colin Schottlaender, Raytheon 'Network Centric Systems' kingpin. "The depth of scientific and engineering talent inside BBN is very impressive, and we look forward to better serving our customers through the strengths of our combined organizations."

BBN will become part of Network Centric Systems and operate as Raytheon BBN Technologies.

"Becoming part of Raytheon is good for our business, our customers and our employees," said Robert G 'Tad' Elmer, prez and CEO of BBN.

"Together we will be able to transition very advanced technologies quickly into larger programs, creating both the most advanced systems possible for customers and rich opportunities for our scientists and engineers."

The original Bolt, Beranek and Newman that became today's BBN was a major player in the rise of the Arpanet, forerunner of the fantastically successful global porn network we now know as the internet. Today, BBN still operates in the field of networks and computing: it has contracts with the famous Pentagon mad-professor shop, DARPA (son of ARPA, father of the ARPAnet) for such things as "Machine Reading" and the "Wireless Network After Next".

With traditional aerospace-oriented arms companies such as Raytheon nowadays keen to get into selling cyber and information warfare kit, the acquisition of BBN probably makes a lot of sense. ®

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