Raytheon snaps up Internet pioneer BBN Technologies

"BBN's rich technology heritage makes this a natural fit," says Raytheon CEO

Having gained fame in the late '60s by building a Defense Department network that would become the Internet, BBN Technologies today is being acquired by one of the nation's leading defense contractors.

Raytheon announced this morning that is buying the venerable BBN for an undisclosed sum.

From Raytheon's press release:

BBN's diverse portfolio encompasses a range of technologies including advanced networking, speech and language technologies, information technologies, sensor systems, and cybersecurity. The company's deep scientific and engineering talent aligns well with Raytheon's expertise and commitment to excellence.

"BBN brings world class people, technologies and capabilities to Raytheon and our customers," said William H. Swanson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Raytheon Company. "We expect all of our businesses to benefit from the application of BBN's research and development expertise and technologies across our product lines and programs. BBN's rich technology heritage makes this a natural fit."

As BBN notes on its homepage: "BBN Technologies built the ARPANET in 1969, and members of our Internetwork Research group have over two centuries of aggregate experience in data networking research."

BBN has done plenty of military research work for DARPA in the 40 years since then. Among the company's current projects are:

Flexible Intra-autonomous-system Routing Environment (FIRE): A project in DARPA's Active Nets Program, FIRE security enables flow-specific routing algorithms and/or metrics within an autonomous system.

Smart Environment for Network Control, Monitoring, & Management (SENCOMM): Another project with DARPA's Active Nets Program, SENCOMM extends BBNT's work on Smart Packets (packets carrying executable code) to enable intelligent network performance management tools.

Density-and Asymmetry-aware wireless Networking (DAWN): A project in DARPA's Global Mobile Information Systems Program (GloMo), DAWN addresses the problems of routing in the presence of varying node density and asymmetric links in mobile ad hoc networks.

And here's another one just reported by my Network World colleague Michael Cooney on his Layer8 blog.

History buffs will tell you that BBN is also known for having conducted acoustical analysis in 1978 for the House Select Committee charged with investigating the assassination of President John F. Kennedy 15 years earlier. (Update: Did BBN cover up JFK evidence? A former employee bristles at the suggestion.)

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