Americans snap up UK space group Northern Space and Security

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Americans snap up Northumberland space specialist Northern Space and Security

Raytheon has agreed to buy a Northumberland-based space specialist founded five years ago by a retired RAF officer.

The US defence giant’s takeover of Northern Space and Security (NORSS), whose clients include the UK Space Agency and the Ministry of Defence, was described as a ‘significant statement of confidence in the health of the British space industry’.

Based in Alnwick, NORSS offers analysis and surveillance to protect satellites operated by the Government and the commercial sector. 

Raytheon's takeover of Northern Space and Security was described as a'significant statement of confidence in the health of the British space industry'

Raytheon’s takeover of Northern Space and Security was described as a ‘significant statement of confidence in the health of the British space industry’

It was founded in 2017 by Ralph Dinsley, who had more than 32 years’ military service, half of it at RAF Fylingdales, North Yorkshire, an early warning station to detect ballistic missile attacks.

Fylingdales also monitored satellite launches and orbits – skills transferred when setting up NORSS, which has operations in Sedgefield, County Durham, and Didcot in Oxfordshire. 

The value of the deal was not disclosed. Dinsley, a squadron leader when he left the RAF, said the deal would give NORSS ‘expanded access to international markets’ and create ‘opportunities to collaborate on the next generation of space technologies’.

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