L3 Technologies, Inc.  (LLL)
Other Ticker:  
    Sector  Capital Goods    Industry Aerospace & Defense
   Industry Aerospace & Defense
   Sector  Capital Goods

L3 Technologies, Inc.

Business Description

We are a leading supplier of a broad range of products used in a substantial number of aerospace and defense platforms. We also are a major supplier of subsystems on many platforms, including those for secure communication networks, mobile satellite communications, information security systems, shipboard communications, naval power systems, fuzes and safety and arming devices for missiles and munitions, microwave assemblies for radars and missiles, telemetry and instrumentation and airport security systems. We also are a prime system contractor for aircraft modernization and maintenance, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) collection platforms, simulation and training, and government systems support services. Our businesses employ proprietary technologies and capabilities, and we believe our businesses have leading positions in their respective primary markets. Our customers include the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and its prime contractors, certain U.S. Government intelligence agencies, major aerospace and defense contractors, foreign governments, commercial customers and certain other U.S. federal, state and local government agencies.

We have four reportable segments: (1) Secure Communications & ISR; (2) Training, Simulation & Support Services; (3) Aviation Products & Aircraft Modernization; and (4) Specialized Products.

Major Customers

Direct and indirect sales to the DoD provided approximately 69.3% of our sales. Approximately 61.2% of our sales to the DoD were directly to the customer, and approximately 38.8% of our sales to the DoD were indirect to its prime contractors and subcontractors.

Our U.S. Government sales are predominantly derived from contracts with agencies of, and prime contractors to, the U.S. Government. Various U.S. Government agencies and contracting entities exercise independent and individual purchasing decisions, subject to annual appropriations by the U.S. Congress.

Research and Development

We conduct research and development activities that consist of projects involving basic research, applied research, development, and systems and other concept studies. We employ scientific, engineering and other personnel to improve our existing product-lines and develop new products and technologies. We employed approximately 19,100 engineers, a substantial portion of whom hold advanced degrees.

Raw Materials

In manufacturing our products, we use our own production capabilities as well as a diverse base of third party suppliers and subcontractors. Although aspects of certain of our businesses require relatively scarce raw materials, we have not experienced difficulty in our ability to procure raw materials, components, sub-assemblies and other supplies required in our manufacturing processes.


We encounter intense competition in all of our businesses. We believe that we are a significant supplier for many of the products that we manufacture and services we provide in our DoD, government and commercial businesses.

Defense and Government Business

In some instances, we are the incumbent supplier or have been the sole provider for many years for certain programs. We refer to such contracts as "sole-source" contracts. In such cases, there may be other suppliers who have the capability to compete for the programs involved, but they can only enter or reenter the market if the customer chooses to reopen or re-compete the particular program to competition.

We believe that the U.S. defense industry structure contains three tiers of defense contractors. The first tier is dominated by five large prime system contractors: The Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Raytheon Company and General Dynamics Corporation, all of whom compete for major platform programs. The second tier defense contractors are generally smaller products and niche subsystems contractors and is comprised of traditional aerospace and defense companies, as well as the non-core aerospace and defense businesses of certain larger industrial conglomerates.

Some of the defense contractors in the second tier also compete for platform programs. We believe the second tier includes L-3, Honeywell International Inc., Rockwell Collins Inc., Harris Corporation, ITT Industries, Inc., the North American operations of BAE Systems PLC, Alliant Techsystems Inc., United Technologies Corporation, Computer Science Corporation, Science Applications International Corporation, and United Defense Industries Inc. The third tier, represents the vendor base and supply chain for niche products and is comprised of numerous smaller publicly and privately owned aerospace and defense contractors.

We believe we are the aerospace and defense supplier with the broadest and most diverse product portfolio. We supply our products and services to all of the five prime system contractors and in several cases directly to the end customers. We primarily compete with third tier contractors and certain of the second tier contractors. However, we also compete directly with the large prime system contractors for certain products and subsystems where they have vertically integrated businesses, and in the areas of aircraft modernization and maintenance, ISR, simulation and training, and government services, where L-3 is a system supplier. We are larger than all of the third tier contractors and believe we have greater resources than all of them.

We believe that most of our businesses enjoy the number one or number two competitive position in their respective market niches. We believe that the primary competitive factors for our businesses are technology, research and development capabilities, quality, cost, market position and past performance. In addition, our ability to compete for non "sole source" contracts often requires us to "team" with one or more of the prime system contractors that bid and compete for major platform programs.

Furthermore, our ability to "team" with a prime system contractor is often dependent upon the outcome of a competitive process for subcontracts awarded by the prime contractors. We believe that we will continue to be a successful participant in the business areas in which we compete, based upon the quality and cost competitiveness of our products and services.

Commercial Activities

In these markets, we compete with various companies, several of which are listed below:

• Rockwell Collins, Inc.;

• Honeywell International Inc.;

• Globecomm Systems, Inc.;

• Smiths Industries; and

• ViaSat, Inc.;

• Airspan Networks, Inc.

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