Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) believes that military agility isn't just about how fast a soldier completes the obstacle course in basic training. It's also about employing technology to support the soldier. The company provides defense electronics engineering, manufacturing, and integration services. Its operations include seven primary business units: Command, Control, Computers, Communications and Networks (C4N); Communications, Navigation, Surveillance, and Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM ); Integrated Mission Systems (IMS); Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR); Electronic Warfare/Range Instrumentation (EWR); Sensors, Systems, and Technologies (SST); and Space Systems (SS).
SNC has use acquisitions to fuel growth and add technology to its portfolio. The company averaged about one acquisition per year from 1998 to 2008.
As part of an effort to build a microsatellite business, SNC in 2008 bought MicroSat Systems, a company that made satellite and spacecraft power systems, miniaturized instruments, and lightweight system structures for government and business customers. It also acquired publicly-traded aerospace company SpaceDev for $38 million that year, and combined the operations of these purchases to form its Space Systems unit in 2009. The division oversees SNC's satellite design and manufacturing efforts and is responsible for other product lines such as spacecraft subsystems and rocket propulsion systems.
The strategy paid off in early 2010 when the company was awarded $20 million in stimulus funding from NASA to develop a commercial spacecraft for transporting US astronauts to the International Space Station. NASA distributed funds to five companies in total as it prepares to retire the space shuttle to cut space program costs. SNC has named its seven-passenger vehicle the Dream Chaser; it is slated to be operational by 2014.
SNC, which operates from about 30 offices and subsidiaries located nationwide, boosted its presence in the Great Lakes region when it established a facility in Port Huron, Michigan, in mid-2009.
The company counts US Department of Defense among its key clients. Outside of its more traditional sectors, Sierra Nevada has been expanding into renewable energy, telemedicine, and nanotechnology.
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