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Author Topic:   ACR Marine Electronics and Cobham
jimh posted 02-12-2013 12:35 PM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
ACR Marine Electronics and Cobham

There have been several prior mentions of ACR as a marine electronics manufacturer, particularly in reference to their line of radio-electronic safety devices like emergency position-indicating radio beacon devices (EPIRBs). I did not have any knowledge or sense of the background of ACR, except that the name Cobham was associated with them.

Recently I was reading a very interesting account of the British Royal Air Force (RAF) VULCAN and VICTOR aircraft performing air-to-air refueling, and the name Cobham came up. Sir Alan Cobham was the founder and principal of Cobham PLC, a British aerospace and defense manufacturing company. In the 1940's Sir Alan Cobham developed and perfected the trailing drogue method of air-to-air refueling. The company eventually grew into many other aviation and technology product areas, with the air-to-air refueling becoming only a small portion of their business.

The present day ACR marine electronics is now part of a newly merged entity, ACR-ARTEX, and continues to make innovative personal safety electronic devices. They previously were part of the Cobham conglomerate of companies. I found this to be very interesting. I was not aware of the corporate link or historical background of ACR marine electronics to the aviation background of Cobham PLC. In my mind, having this rich history of aviation engineering as a background and corporate heritage has tended to cause me to become more impressed with ACR as a manufacturer of personal safety devices. Companies in the aviation manufacturing business are usually held to very high standards of quality, reliability, and integrity by the many regulations that cover their products. Whether or not there is some positive linkage in the association may be only speculative, but becoming aware of it has caused me to raise my opinion of these bright yellow devices in see-through plastic boxes.

Ironically, just as I was becoming aware of the link between Cobha, PLC and ACR, I found that ACR had been spun off from Cobham and acquired by an investment fund managed by J. F. Lehman and Company. The J. F. Lehman and Company firm also has a strong background in aviation and technology. It should not be confused with a bank investment firm with a similar name which had a recent bankrupcy, the largest in the history of the USA. For more on J. F. Lehman, see

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