War profiteer of the month: L3 Technologies
Update August 2019: In June 2019 L3 Technologies and the Harris Corporation announced a merger deal that created a new arms company, the sixth biggest in the USA and 10th biggest globally.
L3 Technologies is one of the world’s biggest arms companies, ranking 8th in the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) annual list of the top 100 arms companies. The company was founded in 1997, and by 2017 the companies revenues were over $9.5 billion. In 2016 the company employed 38,000 people.
L3 Technologies specialises in high tech systems for command and control, communications, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, as well as avionics and aerospace products, and training/ They supply the US military, US Homeland Security, and other US government agencies. The company was formed from elements of the Lockheed Martin corporation that had previously been part of another company called Loral Corporation, and was originally named “L-3 Communications”. The company has gone on to acquire many other arms companies, including companies producing specialist defence electronics, night vision goggles, flight simulators, and underwater power systems for unmanned underwater vehicles, and now has a wide portfolio of different weapons and military technology.
One example of technology the company has developed and markets heavily is the Manned-Unmanned Teaming (MUMT) system, which allows a range of different military vehicles to share communications, providing “the tactical advantage [commanders] need in a war fighting environment”. The system integrates a range of drones, sensors, and other technology so “the entire formation can see the battle as it unfolds and it can make real-time decisions… that’s going to be enable us to be more capable in our war fighting capability.” The L3 website includes a video of representatives from the company marketing the system at the Farnborough airshow in 2018.
Other equipment the company markets on it’s website and at arms fairs include:
The Advanced Low-cost Munitions Ordnance (ALaMO) guided projectile for military ships to use to attack moving targets,
Electro-Optical Sighting Systems (EOSS) a targeting system for cruiser and destroyer ships,
High-energy laser beam directors, a laser weapon capable of targeting moving objects on the water or in the air,
Hawkeye III, a communications system for military use in emergency situations, designed to be very quick and easy to setup and configure.
L3 publishes details of some of their contracts and sales. Recent examples include:
a multi-million dollar contract to supply a Canadian government agency with night vision binoculars,
a $391 million dollar order of night vision goggles from the US military,
a $97m contract to produce Umanned Aerial Vehicle Receive (UR) technology for US Apache helicopters, allowing the manned and unmanned vehicles to share video and other data,
In July 2017, the US military contracted L3 Technologies to supply a range of mortar detonation fuses,
BAE Systems will use the L3 HMPT-500 automatic transmission in the “next generation” Paladin artillery.
L3 regularly attends arms fairs around the world – in 2018, the company has displayed – or is expected to - at Euronaval 2018 (Paris 23-26th October), Bahrain Airshow (14-16th November 2018), EDEX (Egypt, 3-5th December), Eurosatory 2018 (Paris, 11-15th June), Fidae 2018 (Chile, 3-5th April), and a number of others.