L3 and Harris completed their merger in July 2019, making the combined entity one of the ten largest arms companies in the world. In 2020, the merged company had arms sales of $14.2 billion, out of total sales of $18.2b, making it the 10th largest arms company in the world, according to the SIPRI Arms Industry Database.
L3-Harris produce a wide range of electronics and communications systems, including avionics, command and control, and electronic warfare systems. It produces equipment and technology for all of the land, sea, air, space, and cyber domains.
In the field of avionics, L3-Harris’ systems are integral to several US combat aircraft including the F-22, F/A-18 and F-35 (company website). It also manufactures bomb-release mechanisms for the F-35 combat aircraft and Reaper drone (company website).
Amongst many other areas of work, L3-Harris is active in electronic warfare and battlefield management, manufactures night-vision equipment for soldiers and is involved in space-based war capability: L3-Harris’s capabilities “provide the foundation for space domain control, protecting assets and preserving strategic advantages… L3Harris has served the space superiority mission for more than 30 years.” (company website).
EDO-MBM and Turkey’s drone development
L3-Harris’s UK subsidiary, EDO-MBM in Brighton, produces bomb release mechanisms for UAVs. In recent years, substantial evidence has emerged that EDO-MBM’s Hornet bomb racks, or an almost identical copy, are used in Turkey’s Bayraktar TB-2 drones, which have been used in conflicts in Turkey itself, Azerbaijan, Ethiopia, and Libya. The company received numerous export licences to Turkey for technology related to the bomb racks between 2014-20. The successful weaponization of the TB-2 drone took place during 2015-16. The Bayraktar is in high demand worldwide, in particular in Africa, but is also drawing strong interest in Europe.