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DSEI 2019: L3Harris merger promises greater communications offerings

6th September 2019 - 13:22 GMT | by Beth Maundrill in London

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Two months on from the merger between L3 and Harris, now L3Harris, things are going ‘better than expected’ and developments of the company’s communications offerings are already underway.

The merger saw the creation of four segments within the company including L3Harris Communications Systems which has incorporated most of Harris’ tactical communications and radio offerings as well as L3’s ISR, video datalinks and night vision business.

Speaking to Shephard, Dana Mehnert president of L3Harris’ Communications Systems, formally of Harris, segment said that the merger had strengthened the company’s position in the communications market both in the air and on the ground.

The merger has resulted in Harris going from a $7 billion company to a $17 billion company under the L3Harris merger.

The company is already looking at how to combine the two product portfolios to enhance its offerings for example Mehnert said they had already begun integrating the small SATCOM terminals, from the L3 portfolio, with the tactical radios, from Harris.

‘We have taken the control capability, the keypad display unit that we had with the tactical radios and integrated it with SATCOM terminals now so that the soldier can use the same man-machine-interface that they are very used to with the Harris radios but now use it to control the L3 SATCOM terminal,’ he explained in one example.

On plans for new products to come out of the merged companies Mehnert said that ‘absolutely there will be new products and capabilities that will come out of [the division] in the areas of soldier systems.’

Highlighting L3’s commitment to the Enhanced Night Vision Goggle Binocular (ENVG-B) programme in the US Mehnert said the company is now completing the qualification of the first 40 units in September 2019 with deliveries to the army to commence soon.

L3Harris will be integrating those with its tactical radios in use by the US Army as well as laser rangefinder.

Mehnert said that while integrating those capabilities might not be a new product per se they 'certainly will be a new capability'.

The company is also looking at enhancing L3’s communications waveform, known as Chameleon, for ground-air interoperability in a denied environment.

On the company’s presence in Europe the UK will continue to be the company’s largest hub and L3Harris is soon to move to a new site in Farnborough in the south of England from its smaller facility in Basingstoke.

Before the merger Harris had just 300 staff located in the UK, this had increased significantly as it now incorporates L3’s 3,000 staff members also.

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