L3Harris Flight Simulator
L3Harris Flight Simulator

L3Harris Technologies

What It Is: Reportedly the sixth-largest defense company in the U.S. and a top 10 defense company globally, L3Harris produces a wide range of avionics and electronic systems for business, commercial, and military aircraft, including broadband-communications and air-traffic-management systems.  

How It Grew: Alfred Harris established the Harris Automatic Press Company in Niles, Ohio, in 1895 after inventing a faster printing press. The company evolved into electronic communications in the early 20th century and stayed on the cutting edge of innovation through the space race, relocating to Melbourne, Florida, near Kennedy Space Center, in the 1970s. It became a leader in miniaturized-electronic-tracking and pulse-code technology, then branched off into global communications, information technology, and defense logistics as the space industry cooled around the turn of the century. 

L3 Technologies began in 1997 as a spinoff of the 1994 merger of Lockheed Corporation and Martin Marietta. Named for the three initials of founders Frank Lanza (former executive at Loral Corporation), Robert La Penta (former executive at Lockheed Martin), and Leman Brothers, L-3 Communications initially focused on defense systems and avionics technologies developed by the Loral Corporation, which was acquired by Lockheed Martin in 1996. In its first 19 years, L-3 bought more than 100 companies, and it changed its name to L3 Technologies in 2016 to acknowledge its wider scope of capabilities.

The Harris Corporation and L3 Technologies merger closed on June 29, 2019, creating a $34 billion (market capitalization) global defense and aerospace technology company. CNBC called it the “largest defense industry merger ever.”

What It Offers:

Avionics. L3Harris produces cockpit displays and instruments; lightning detection, traffic collision avoidance, and terrain-awareness systems; and cockpit voice and data recorders for business aircraft. The company’s EFD-750 Back-up Cockpit Display, which gained FAA Level A certification in October 2019, has been selected as standard equipment on Pilatus PC-12 turboprop and PC-24 light jet aircraft.

Communications. The company provides satellite communications terminals, secure communications systems, wideband data links, specialty antennas and radomes, and information assurance and cybersecurity solutions.

Commercial pilot and maintenance simulation training. L3Harris produces high-fidelity full-motion flight simulators and virtual maintenance trainers at its Crawley, U.K., location and operates flight training academies around the world. 

Fast Facts:

Founded: 1895 (Harris Corporation)

HQ: Melbourne, Florida

Employees: approximately 50,000

Annual revenues: $17 billion

President and CEO: William Brown 

Website: L3harris.com