With Miles To Go

Our History

Founded in 1900, Sparton Corporation has over a 120-year history of manufacturing technologically advanced equipment for transportation, electronics, communication, and defense industries. Sparton has participated in many of the technological milestones of the 20th century, including the introduction of the automobile, fully electric radios, television, and all variants of sonobuoys from passive to active transmissions.

The Sparton Corporation was founded as the Withington Company in 1900 in Jackson, Michigan, by Philip and Winthrop Withington. William Sparks became the third partner in the business a few years later and the company name was changed to the Sparks-Withington Company. Sparks-Withington began as a small manufacturer of steel parts for agricultural implements but as the automobile revolution began to sweep through Michigan in the early part of the century, Sparks-Withington added steel automotive stampings like hub caps and brake drums to their product line.

In the 1950s, Sparton engineers began a program to use the company’s expertise in radio technology to develop a sonobuoy system for the US Navy. Sparton received its first sonobuoy contract in 1951.

A couple of years later in 1956, the Sparks-Withington company name was officially changed to the Sparton Corporation, a contraction of the company name and an evocation of the disciplined Spartans of Ancient Greece.

By 1956, Sparton discontinued all American production of the radios, televisions, and stereos, which had been the company’s largest product categories, in order to concentrate on the automotive parts and growing sonobuoy market.

Sparton entered into a Joint Venture (JV) with Magnavox (now Ultra) in 1984, named ERAPSCO (Expendable Reliable Acoustic Path Sonobuoy Company) for design, development and manufacturing of U.S. Navy sonobuoys and transducers.

In 1996, the company made the critical decision to get out of the highly competitive and declining automotive supply business.

By 2010, sonobuoy usage was again on a steady rise and the ERAPSCO JV expanded to encompass sales of all sonobuoy variants to the US Navy and entered into successive five-year, sole source, Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts which were evenly split between the JV partners.

Sparton was purchased by Cerberus in 2018 and acquired by Elbit Systems of America in 2021.

Today, Sparton is the world leader in design, development, testing and production of complex maritime electronic systems including sonobuoys in support of Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and maritime deployed products supporting Undersea Warfare (USW). The first choice for ASW and USW.

1900 Sparton was founded as the Withington Company
1951 Sparton Received its 1st Sonobuoy Contract
1984 Sparton entered into a Joint Venture (JV) with Magnavox (now Ultra), named ERAPSCO (Expendable Reliable Acoustic Path Sonobuoy Company)
2010 ERAPSCO JV encompass sales of all sonobuoy variants to the U.S. Navy
2018 Cerberus bought Sparton
2021 Elbit Systems of America acquired Sparton