10 Facts About Racal


Racal Electronics plc was a British electronics company that was founded in 1950.

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Racal was purchased by Thomson-CSF in 2000, thereby giving the French firm access to the UK defence and armaments market.

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Racal was created in 1950 as Racal Ltd, the name being derived from the names of the partners, Raymond Brown and George Calder Cunningham.

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In 1982, Racal's newly formed subsidiary Racal Strategic Radio Ltd, under Whent, won one of the first two UK cellular telephone network licences; the other going to British Telecom.

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In 1984, Racal bought Chubb, a security company that manufactured safes and locks.

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Racal re-established a telecoms division with a major government contract in 1988 and the acquisition of British Rail Telecommunications in 1995.

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Racal Recorders produced a wide range of magnetic tape recorders for multichannel voice recording and instrumentation recording applications.

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In 1995, Racal expanded its defence businesses with the acquisition of the Thorn Sensors Group from Thorn EMI.

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In October 1999, Racal decided to sell its telecoms business to the American communications group, Global Crossing, for £1bn.

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In January 2000, Thomson-CSF announced a bid for the company: Racal became Thomson-CSF Racal plc, and later part of Thales plc with the renaming of the larger Thomson-CSF to Thales Group.

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