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Racal Electronics plc was a British electronics company, founded in 1950. 2000, thereby giving the French firm access to the lucrative UK defence and armaments market. Racal was created in 1950 as Racal Ltd, the name being derived from the names of the partners, Raymond Brown and George Calder Cunningham. The first factory was located in Isleworth, west London. Although Racal had won a Royal Navy contract to build and supply a variant of the American Collins Model 51-J Radio Receiver, they were not granted a licence to build these sets by Collins Inc. This meant that Racal had to design and build a radio receiver from scratch.
Harrison joined the company board in 1958, and as deputy managing director from 1961 helped Racal to obtain a Stock Market listing. 5million when he retired in 2000. In 1979, Racal bought Decca Radar forming Racal-Decca. Racal-Datacom conducted business in the United States. In 1980, Harrison agreed a deal with Lord Weinstock of General Electric Company plc to allow Racal to access some of GEC’s tactical battlefield radio technology.
Racal Telecom was floated on the London Stock Exchange. This would lead to the situation where Racal Electronics was valued at less than its shareholding in Racal Telecom. The company marketed modems under the name Racal-Vadic, and was among the first to offer 2400 baud modems in the early 1980s. Another name it used was Racal-Milgo.
In 1984, Racal bought Chubb, a security company that manufactured safes and locks. Racal re-established a telecoms division with a major government contract in 1988 and the acquisition of British Rail Telecommunications in 1995. This division of the former nationalised industry owned telecoms infrastructure laid across the rail network. Racal acquired Thermionic Products in 1967, creating Racal Thermionics, renamed Racal Recorders in 1977.