RETURN TO INDEX PAGE
Racal's Key Milestones
1950 Racal formed as two-man consultancy by Raymond Brown and Calder Cunningham in North London.
1954 Racal moved headquarters to Bracknell, Berkshire.
1957 The ‘RA 17’ high frequency radio receiver, the first Racal proprietary
product, began an initial 20,000 production run.
1958 Death of Calder Cunningham.
1961 Racal Electronics became a public company.
1961 RACAL-SMD established - As joint venture between Racal Electronics and SMD
1962 Racal Electronics South Africa (RESA) established - Formerly RACAL-SMD
1965 Racal Electronics negotiates licence with RESA and starts development of ‘Squadcal’
1966 Mr. (later to become Sir Raymond) Brown invited by British
Government to become Head of Defence Sales at Ministry of Defence.
Mr. (now Sir Ernest) Harrison elected Chairman & Chief Executive of Racal Electronics.
‘Squadcal’, Racal's first tactical military manpack radio, entered production.
1969 British Communications Corporation joined Racal through merger with
Controls and Communications Group.
Entry into data communications through 50/50 holding in Racal-Milgo
Limited, based in UK, with the Milgo Electronic Corporation, USA.
Pre-tax profits of Racal exceeded £1 million for the first time.
1977 Milgo Electronic Corporation of Florida acquired for £37 million.
1980 Decca (capital goods) acquired for £106 million.
Data communications turnover exceeded £100 million for the first time.
1981 Radio communications turnover exceeded £100 million for the first time.
1982 Pre-tax profits of Racal exceeded £100 million for the first time.
1983 Racal granted a 25 year Government licence to run the Vodafone
portable and mobile public telephone service based on cellular technology.
1984 Chubb & Son plc acquired for £180 million. The 1985/86 turnover of
the Racal Security group amounted to £356 million to become the largest activity within Racal.
1985 Racal-Vodafone opened Britain's first commercial cellular telephone service.
Total annual sales by Racal exceed £1 billion for the first time.
1988 Vodafone became the world's largest and most profitable cellular radio network.
Flotation of cellular radio activities as Racal Telecom Plc, a major new
public company, in which Racal Electronics Plc retained an 80 per cent holding.
Racal awarded contract to establish a data network service for the UK
Wormald Security of Australia, bought for £60 million.
1989 The Government Data Network service launched only 8 months after
award of contract.
Racal awarded contract to provide a voice communications network for
the Department of Social Security.
1991 Racal Telecom demerged through a free issue of shares to Racal
shareholders, becomes Vodafone Group Plc.
Racal wins its largest ever single radio contract valued at £70 million.
1992 D C Elsbury OBE, promoted to position of Chief Executive.
Security activities demerged through a free issue of shares to Racal
shareholders, becomes Chubb Security Plc.
Racal awarded its first commercial contract for a data network service.
1993 Racal (with Siemens Plessey) wins project definition contract for British
Army ‘Bowman’ radio programme.
1994 Racal is one of the five founding shareholders in Camelot Group plc
which, in May, was chosen as the operator for the UK National Lottery
and sold the first tickets on 14 November.
Racal awarded a Public Telecommunications Operator (PTO) licence.
1995 Racal voice and data network service infrastructure extended to all five
Sensors division of Thorn EMI Electronics acquired for £18.9 million.
BR Telecommunications Ltd. acquired for £132.75 million.
1996 Racal wins contract to provide Metropolitan Telephone Service for UK
Racal awarded an international telecommunications operators licence.
Racal radars selected for major contracts worth, in total, over £200
1997 Formation of Archer joint venture to supply the Ministry of Defence ‘Bowman’ programme.
2000 Sir Ernest Harrison ended 50 years at Racal as he agreeded a £1.8bn takeover
by French defence giant Thomson-CSF. The new group becomes know as Thales.
RETURN TO INDEX PAGE