MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates

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Traded as TSXMDA
Industry Information technology services, Engineering services, Communications satellite
Founded 1969
Headquarters Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada[1]
Key people
Revenue Increase$2.1 billion CAD (2016)[2]
Increase$139.6 million CAD (2016)[2]
Number of employees
4,800+ (2016)[2]
Subsidiaries SSL (company) , MDA , DigitalGlobe , Radiant Solutions

Maxar Technologies Ltd previously known as MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. is a Canadian multinational communications and information company. Maxar has locations throughout Canada, and the United States. On 5 October 2017, MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) is renamed as Maxar Technologies Ltd, and its US-headquartered operating company, SSL MDA Holdings, as Maxar Technologies Holdings Inc.[3]

MDA's most visible products include the Canadarm used on the NASA Space Shuttle, as well as the Canadarm2 and Dextre remote manipulator systems on the International Space Station.

MDA provides operational solutions to commercial and government organizations worldwide, including:

MDA is a member of the British Columbia Technology Industry Association.


  • 2017 - Completed its acquisition of DigitalGlobe, MDA now will be Maxar Technologies, Dual-listed on NYSE and TSX.[3] MDA will then be a subsidiary of US-based Maxar by 2019.[4]
  • 2014 - acquired Advanced Systems business line from General Dynamics.[5]
  • 2012 - acquired Space Systems/Loral for US $875 million, making MDA one of the world's leading communication satellite companies.[6]
  • 2011 – announced funding partner and inaugural launch customer (Intelsat) for the MDA Space Infrastructure Servicing vehicle, a refueling depot and service spacecraft for communication satellites in geosynchronous orbit—slated to be the first in-space propellant depot in spaceflight history. Launch planned for 2015.[7]
  • 2008 – Canadian government officially blocked the sale of MDA to ATK on May 8, 2008[8]
  • 2008 – MDA announced the sale of its Information Systems and Geospacial Services operations to Alliant Techsystems of Edina, Minnesota for $1.325 billion.[9] However, amongst much media coverage, the sale was rejected by the federal government of Canada under the Investment Canada Act.[10]
  • 2007 – acquired Alliance Spacesystems, Inc.[11] (now "MDA US Systems, LLC", located in Pasadena, CA, USA)
  • 2006 – acquired Lyttle & Co. (Belfast, Northern Ireland), property and related search information[12]
  • 2006 – acquired xit2 Ltd. (Nr Charlbury, Oxfordshire, UK), information exchange solutions for lenders and home surveyors and other outsourced service providers[13]
  • 2006 – expanded into financial services with acquisition of Mindbox, a supplier of advanced decision systems for mortgage lending, for $12.6 million USD, with up to $10.75 million contingent on performance[14]
  • 2005 – acquired business of EMS Technologies Canada (previously RCA Canada, which then became the Montreal division of SPAR Aerospace), a major supplier and subcontractor, for $8.9 million[14]
  • 2004 – acquired Marshall & Swift / Boeckh for $337.8 million, with $104.9 million contingent on performance.[14]
  • 2003 – acquired Millar & Bryce, a commercial provider of land information in Scotland, for $21.32 million, with $1.76 million contingent on performance.[15]
  • 2002 – acquired Dynacs for $3.1 million, with an additional $6.8 million contingent on performance[14] (now "MDA US Systems, LLC", located in Houston, TX, USA)
  • 2002 – acquired Automated Mining Systems of Aurora, Ontario for $225,000[16]
  • 2000/01 – Orbital Sciences divested its MDA shares through an initial public offering; trades as TSXMDA[citation needed]
  • 2000 – entered joint venture with LandAmerica Financial Group to create LandMDA, a provider of property reports to lenders[17]
  • 1996 – acquired Iotek, a supplier of signal processing and sonar technology for military customers, for undisclosed sum[18]
  • 1995 – MDA was acquired by Orbital Sciences for $67 million in stock[19]
  • 1992 - Anil Wirasekara joins MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates, ultimately assuming the role of Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in 1996, leading the financial operations of the Company through all of the events noted above.<ref>"MDA Executive Management". Retrieved 2017-02-27. 
  • 1969 - John MacDonald and Vern Dettwiler founded MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 2016 MDA annual report 53p
  2. ^ a b c "MDA Factsheet" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-02-24. Retrieved 2017-02-24. 
  3. ^ a b "MDA-DG combined entity to be rebranded as Maxar Technologies". Geospatial World. Retrieved 2017-10-06. 
  4. ^ Pugliese, David (9 November 2017). "Canadarm creator to transform into U.S. company, raising concerns of tech heading south of the border". National Post. Retrieved 9 November 2017. 
  5. ^ MDA completes strategic capability acquisition in the United States
  6. ^ MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates CEO Announces Transformational US Acquisition Conference (Transcript). Retrieved on 06-27-12.
  7. ^ "Intelsat Picks MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. for Satellite Servicing". press release. CNW Group. Retrieved 2011-03-15. MDA plans to launch its Space Infrastructure Servicing ("SIS") vehicle into near geosynchronous orbit, where it will service commercial and government satellites in need of additional fuel, re-positioning or other maintenance. ... MDA and Intelsat will work together to finalize specifications and other requirements over the next six months before both parties authorize the build phase of the program. The first refueling mission is to be available 3.5 years following the commencement of the build phase. 
  8. ^ "Minister of Industry Confirms Initial Decision on Proposed Sale of Macdonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. to Alliant Techsystems Inc". Industry Canada. 2008-05-08. Retrieved 2009-01-04. 
  9. ^ "MDA Selling Canadarm Business to U.S. Firm". CBC News. 2008-01-08. Retrieved 2008-02-21. 
  10. ^ "Federal government blocks sale of MDA space division". CBC News. 2008-04-10. Retrieved 2008-04-10. 
  11. ^ "MDA Acquires U.S.-Based Alliance Spacesystems". Retrieved 2013-05-14. 
  12. ^ "MDA Acquires Legal Search Firm In Northern Ireland". Retrieved 2006-07-15. 
  13. ^ "MDA Acquires Leading Provider Of Electronic Exchange Solutions To Lenders And Surveyors In UK". Retrieved 2006-07-15. 
  14. ^ a b c d "Annual Report 2005" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-05-06. Retrieved 2006-07-15. 
  15. ^ "MDA Acquires Leading Land Information Company in Scotland". Archived from the original on 2006-05-06. Retrieved 2006-07-15. 
  16. ^ "MDA Acquires Small Robotic Mining Company". Archived from the original on 2006-05-15. Retrieved 2006-07-15. 
  17. ^ "In Real Estate, Geographic Information and the Internet Changes Everything". Retrieved 2006-07-15. 
  18. ^ "MDA to Acquire Iotek Inc. of Halifax". Archived from the original on 2006-05-06. Retrieved 2006-07-15. 
  19. ^ "Orbital Sciences Deal". New York Times. 1995-09-06. Retrieved 2006-07-15. 

External links[edit]