The company was started in 1920 as Ultra Electric Ltd. for the production of domestic radios. In 1961 the domestic television and radio business was sold and the first Ultra Electronics Ltd. (UEL) was formed.
1977 saw the acquisition of the Ultra Group by Dowty Plc and in 1978 their Control and Instrumentation Division became Ultra Electronic Controls Ltd. This division subsequently became the Controls Division of Dowty Electronics when, in 1982, Dowty Electronics were founded.
The Dowty Group was restructured in 1987. Dowty Electronics was replaced by Dowty Defence & Air Systems Ltd. and the sub-divisional constitution was changed. The Controls Division, however, remained unchanged except in name only and became Dowty Defence & Air Systems Ltd. – Controls Division.
In 1990 the divisional trading name was changed to Dowty Controls and the company relocated to new premises at Loudwater, Buckinghamshire. The Dowty Group was then acquired by the TI Group Plc in 1992.
TI Group Plc then sold virtually all of the Electronics Systems Division companies of the Dowty Group to a management buy out team led by Dr Julian Blogh, to form the second Ultra Electronics Ltd. Company in 1993. It was then that Dowty Controls became Ultra Electronics Controls Division.
In 1994 the company relocated to their present location in Greenford, Middlesex, and in 1996 Ultra Electronics Holdings Plc was floated on the London Stock Exchange.
In 2003 the Noise & Vibration Systems (NVS) Division of Ultra Electronics Ltd, merged with Controls Division. From this merger, the company established its central design operation in Cambridge (where the NVS Division was based) and a Manufacturing and Support operation in Greenford.