The Journal Gazette
Saturday, September 18, 2021 1:00 am

Aerospace contractor hiring 100

Expansion allows L3Harris to take on missile defense work

SHERRY SLATER | The Journal Gazette

A global aerospace and defense contractor has expanded its local campus and is in the midst of filling 100 newly created high-tech jobs, a spokeswoman said Friday.

L3Harris Technologies has added about 45,000 square feet to its operations at Lima and Cook roads. That brings the total to about 150,000 square feet, with room to expand, spokeswoman Kristin Jones said during a phone interview.

She was unable to specify how much of $50 million invested on various upgrades over the past two years was spent on the Fort Wayne campus.

The core of L3Harris's local work has been on weather satellites for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The new classified facility provides space for the company's missile defense satellite programs. It will support engineering, integration, testing and program management, officials said.

Ed Zoiss, president of Space and Airborne Systems for L3Harris, said the Defense Department's need for advanced satellites is urgent.

“Our customers face rapidly evolving threats now, not in years,” he said in a statement. “We've increased our investment and expanded our capacity prior to receiving program awards so we can help them address threats without hesitancy.”

The investment comes after the company won two significant contracts.

The Space Development Agency in October awarded L3Harris its tracking layer prototype program to develop and integrate a satellite system. The $193 million contract runs through 2025.

The agreement says L3Harris will deliver four space vehicles for launch within 24 months. The company also “will develop wide field-of-view mission payloads, various space communication and network solutions, and inter-satellite optical links on the vehicles.”

The Missile Defense Agency in January awarded L3Harris a prototype contract to develop the Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor.

The $121 million contract calls for L3Harris to build space flight hardware for the Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor program.

“The program's objective is to detect and track traditional and emerging missile threats using infrared sensors and advanced processing capability,” a news release said.

L3Harris is also expanding its Palm Bay, Florida, production site to increase satellite production capacity.

“Our expertise in electro-optical/infrared technology and our fresh approach to the problem set garnered the trust of the Space Development Agency and the Missile Defense Agency,” Zoiss said.

Jones, the spokeswoman, said the new positions being created in Fort Wayne include systems engineering and software engineering. Officials hope to have the 100 jobs filled by Dec. 31. She was unable to share a salary range for the new positions or say how many of them have been filled.

L3Harris Technologies provides advanced defense and commercial technologies across air, land, sea, space and cyber domains. The Melbourne, Florida, company has about $18 billion in annual revenue and 47,000 employees, with customers in 130 countries.

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