Fairchild Industries Inc. said it has reached an agreement in principle to acquire Comtech Data Corp., a developer and manufacturer of telecommunications equipment, for approximately $12 million.

Fairchild, known primarily as an aircraft manufacturer, said Friday that Comtech Data will become part of its communications, electronics and space group, which owns 50 percent of Satellite and Space Communications Co. (Spacecom), and includes computer equipment and data networks.

Comtech Data, a subsidiary of Comtech Inc. of Syosset, N.Y., makes communications equipment for satellites, microwave, broadband and cable markets.

The purchase fits Fairchild's strategy of expanding its telecommunications product line through acquisitions, said Philip Schneider, chief operating officer of the communications, electronics and space group.

"It complements what we have already," Schneider said, referring to Comtech Data's line of modems used for computers, local area networks, broadband and cable communications systems.

Germantown-based Fairchild plans "to grow the communications group aggressively" through internal development, joint ventures and acquisitions, he said.

Earlier this year, Fairchild entered into lease/purchase agreement with Tektron Micro Electronics Inc. of Lanham. That deal complemented Fairchild's acquisition last year of a controlling interest in Insouth Microsystems Inc. of Auburn, Ala. In 1983, Fairchild also purchased a 50 percent interest in Services by Satellite Inc. for that company's video telecommunications capabilities.

Fairchild's communications, electronics and space group contributed 8 percent of the company's $891.6 million in 1983 sales, and its growth this year has helped to offset a decline in commercial aircraft sales.

Fairchild said it expects to retain Comtech Data's current management, and to maintain Comtech's operations in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The two companies expect to conclude a definitive agreement in the next two weeks. Fairchild To Acquire Comtech By Nell Henderson Washington Post Staff Writer

Fairchild Industries Inc. said it has reached an agreement in principle to acquire Comtech Data Corp., a developer and manufacturer of telecommunications equipment, for approximately $12 million.

Fairchild, known primarily as an aircraft manufacturer, said Friday that Comtech Data will become part of its communications, electronics and space group, which owns 50 percent of Satellite and Space Communications Co. (Spacecom), and includes computer equipment and data networks.

Comtech Data, a subsidiary of Comtech Inc. of Syosset, N.Y., makes communications equipment for satellites, microwave, broadband and cable markets.

The purchase fits Fairchild's strategy of expanding its telecommunications product line through acquisitions, said Philip Schneider, chief operating officer of the communications, electronics and space group.

"It complements what we have already," Schneider said, referring to Comtech Data's line of modems used for computers, local area networks, broadband and cable communications systems.

Germantown-based Fairchild plans "to grow the communications group aggressively" through internal development, joint ventures and acquisitions, he said.

Earlier this year, Fairchild entered into lease/purchase agreement with Tektron Micro Electronics Inc. of Lanham. That deal complemented Fairchild's acquisition last year of a controlling interest in Insouth Microsystems Inc. of Auburn, Ala. In 1983, Fairchild also purchased a 50 percent interest in Services by Satellite Inc. for that company's video telecommunications capabilities.

Fairchild's communications, electronics and space group contributed 8 percent of the company's $891.6 million in 1983 sales, and its growth this year has helped to offset a decline in commercial aircraft sales.

Fairchild said it expects to retain Comtech Data's current management, and to maintain Comtech's operations in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The two companies expect to conclude a definitive agreement in the next two weeks.