LONDON --- For more than two decades the US defence industry has been dominated by five “prime” contractors, companies with the technological and financial firepower to deliver key programmes for the Pentagon.
Now there is a sixth. This month’s proposed merger between L3 and Harris Corp creates a genuine challenger to the big five: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics and Raytheon.
“It’s about chasing the cycle in the US and the ability to bid for major programmes. Everybody always wants to move up the food chain,” said Robert Thomson, aerospace partner at consultants Roland Berger.
A combined L3 and Harris, the new company is to be called L3 Harris Technologies, will become a formidable competitor in military communications and defence electronics, with estimated net revenues in 2018 of $16bn.
This is still some way behind the revenues of the top five but close enough to warrant a place among prime contractors. (end of excerpt)
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