|Industry||Energy, Defense, Aerospace industry, and Technology|
|Founded||July 18, 1955|
|Headquarters||San Diego, California, United States|
|J. Neal Blue|
Linden S. Blue
|Products||Unmanned aerial vehicles, SiGA, EM2, EMALS, AAG, Predator, Gray Eagle, Reaper|
|Revenue||2,750,000,000 United States dollar (2018)|
Number of employees
|Divisions||Energy, Electromagnetic Systems|
|Subsidiaries||General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, General Atomics Systems Integration, Diazyme, ConverDyn, Cotter, Nuclear Fuels Corporation|
General Atomics is an American energy and defense corporation headquartered in San Diego, California, specializing in research and technology development. This includes physics research in support of nuclear fission and nuclear fusion energy. The company also provides research and manufacturing services for remotely operated surveillance aircraft, including the Predator drones, airborne sensors, and advanced electric, electronic, wireless, and laser technologies.
General Atomics (GA) was founded on July 18, 1955, in San Diego, California, by Frederic de Hoffmann with assistance from notable physicists Edward Teller and Freeman Dyson. Originally the company was part of the General Atomic division of General Dynamics "for harnessing the power of nuclear technologies for the benefit of mankind".
GA's first offices were in the General Dynamics facility on Hancock Street in San Diego. GA also used a schoolhouse on San Diego's Barnard Street as its temporary headquarters, which it would later "adopt" as part of its Education Outreach program. In 1956, San Diego voters approved the transfer of land to GA for permanent facilities in Torrey Pines, and the John Jay Hopkins Laboratory for Pure and Applied Science was formally dedicated there on June 25, 1959. The Torrey Pines facility continues to serve as the company's headquarters today.
A brief history of the company:
On March 15, 2010, Rear Adm. Thomas J. Cassidy stepped down as President of GA-ASI's Aircraft Systems Group, staying on as non-executive chairman of the company's management committee. Frank Pace, the executive vice president of Aircraft Systems Group, succeeded Cassidy as President of GA-ASI.
General Atomics is also developing a Generation IV reactor design, the Gas Turbine Modular Helium Reactor (GT-MHR). In 2010, General Atomics presented a new version of the GT-MHR, the Energy Multiplier Module (EM2), which uses fast neutrons and is a Gas-cooled fast reactor.
General Atomics, including its affiliate, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, is San Diego County's largest defense contractor, according to a September 2013 report by the San Diego Military Affairs Council. The top five contractors, ranked by defense-generated revenue in fiscal year 2013, were General Atomics, followed by Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics-NASSCO, BAE Systems, and SAIC. A separate October 2013 report by the San Diego Business Journal ranked contractors by the number of local employees. The top three contractors were General Atomics, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics NASSCO.
In September 2020, a $7.4 billion contract for MQ-9 Reaper drones was announced between the U.S. Air Force and General Atomics. The contract calls for the delivery of up to 36 aircraft per year.
General Atomics Global Corporation appointed Indian-American defense industry veteran Vivek Lall as its new Chief Executive. This is Dr. Lall's second stint with the company as he has worked with General Atomics from August 2014 to December 2017 before joining Lockheed Martin.
Since 1992, the General Atomics Science Education Outreach Program, a volunteer effort of GA employees and San Diego science teachers, has worked with Science Coordinators for the San Diego Schools to bring the business and research side of science into the classroom. The goal is both to improve the quality of science education and to encourage more students to pursue science careers. In addition, the teachers' interactions with the scientists and exposure to everyday uses of their disciplines help them to be better educators.
In 1995, the program was expanded, and the General Atomics Sciences Education Foundation [501(c) (3)] was established. The General Atomics Sciences Education Foundation's goal is to play a major role in enhancing pre-college education in science, engineering, and new technologies. To attain this goal, four areas of core competency at General Atomics were initially selected to form the basis for the development of inquiry-based education modules and associated workshops. Scientist/teacher teams wrote these modules, which fuse the content and methodology of industrial research and development with the teaching skills of experienced science teachers.
Since 2005, the Center for Responsible Politics reported General Atomics had spent over $1.5 million per year in lobbying efforts from 2005 to 2011.
In April 2002, the company paid for Letitia White, who was then a top aide to Representative Jerry Lewis, and her husband to travel to Italy. White left Lewis' office nine months later, to become a lobbyist at Copeland Lowery. The next day, she began representing General Atomics. Lewis, her former boss, was at the time chairman of the House Defense Appropriations subcommittee.