• Cobham's Special Mission business conducts search and rescue services for Australia. (Supplied)
    Cobham's Special Mission business conducts search and rescue services for Australia. (Supplied)

Leidos has announced it has entered into a definitive agreement with Cobham Limited to acquire Cobham Aviation Services Australia’s Special Mission business, bringing airborne surveillance and search and rescue missions to Leidos Australia’s portfolio.

The Special Mission business provides airborne border surveillance and search and rescue services to the Australian Federal Government.

According to a release from Leidos, the acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. 

“Cobham’s Special Mission team conducts essential operations that protect Australia’s borders, support law enforcement and environmental protection and save lives,” Leidos Chairman and CEO Roger Krone said. “The integration of Special Mission into Leidos Australia will expand the scope of our global airborne ISR capabilities, diversify revenues, and open up new growth avenues.”  

Cobham Special Mission owns and operates 14 modified aircraft to deliver critical services across Australia, including: civil maritime surveillance operations under contract with the Australian Border Force, patrolling Australia’s 8.2 million square kilometre Exclusive Economic Zone; providing fixed wing search-and-rescue response capability over land and sea on behalf of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA); and operating a highly specialised mission aircrew training system for more than 30 mission aircrew per year.

“I have the greatest respect and admiration for Cobham’s Special Mission team and their performance in service to the Government,” Leidos Australia Chief Executive Paul Chase said. “The addition of the Special Mission business will bring new, expansive services to our offerings across Australia. I look forward to working with this exceptional team.”

“This is a perfect match,” Cobham Aviation Services Chairman Kim Gillis said. “Leidos has remarkably complementary operations to Cobham Special Mission in airborne ISR, as well as deep platform integration expertise, and both organisations uphold exceptional track records of delivering mission critical services to government and defence customers.”

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