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Harris Corporation to merge with L3 Technologies

October 14, 2018 06:10 PM

Harris Corporation, which employs thousands in Western New York, has announced a merger with fellow defense technology company L3 Technologies.

According to a press release on Harris' website, the new company, L3 Harris Technologies, Inc., will be the sixth largest defense company in the United States and one of the ten largest in the world. The merger is expected to close sometime in the middle of 2019. 

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Although headquartered in Melbourne, Florida, Harris has a large presence in the Western New York region and has in recent years continued to expand. In April, for example, Harris was looking to hire more than 50 engineers for its Rochester location. It is not yet known how the merger will affect the Rochester-area operations of the company.

Two weeks ago it signed a deal to make processors for the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and it's involved in creating the Webb Space Telescope.  

Combining it with L3 would create a $34 billion business, the sixth biggest defense contractor in the world.

Such a company would be able to go after bigger and bigger defense contracts just as the Trump administration increases spending on defense.

If it does, industry watchers say it's likely the new company will need to hire more employees, probably high skilled engineers to work there.

"Harris has a tremendous representation here between engineering and manufacturing. So there is no doubt in my mind that this will be a net positive for Rochester employment," said Doug Hendee of Brighton Securities. "As this company grows and continues to expand into different areas they're going to need more engineers, better engineers, they're going to need more manufacturing they're going to win deals and there. This is positive for Rochester in a net."

The deal is being called a merger of equals but Harris is the bigger company, it's name will stay on  the combined new business, which will be called L3 Harris Technologies.

Senator Charles Schumer says he spoke to the Harris Corporation CEO William Brown on Sunday regarding the merger and he does not believe the merger will affect jobs in the Rochester area.

"I spoke with Harris Corp. CEO Bill Brown today, and received assurances that not one job would be cut in Rochester as a result of the company’s merger with L3 Technologies. In fact, I am optimistic that the merger could likely expand Harris’ world-class workforce in Rochester over the next several years,” said Senator Charles Schumer. “Harris Corp. has proven time and time again that they are committed to Rochester as their home base to make superior radios, geospatial, and intelligence systems for the U.S. military and our allies across the world, and I look forward to continue working hand-in-hand with this first-rate company to strengthen the Rochester economy.”

Currently, Harris Corp. has over 3,700 employees working out of Communications Systems and Space and Intelligence Systems facilities in Rochester.

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