Paris Air Show

L-3 still on the prowl as it enters the security arena

 - December 13, 2006, 11:46 AM

L-3 Communications chairman Frank Lanza arrived at the Paris Air Show mere days after proposing the biggest business deal of his tenure with the company, the $2 billion acquisition of defense contractor Titan Corp.  

Titan develops national security solutions primarily for the U.S. government, including information and communications systems for the Department of Defense, U.S. intelligence agencies and the Department of Homeland Security. Although Titan and its 12,000 employees do not operate directly in the aerospace sphere, the technology L-3 would gain from the takeover could be applied to this area, particularly airport security, Lanza said.

“We don’t overlap with Titan in any specific areas, but we can apply the technologies being pioneered there to other homeland security areas,” Lanza said.

In recent years, L-3 has been on a buying spree, snapping up smaller businesses seemingly as fast as the company can get deals done. Today, L-3 consists of more than 60 separate divisions.

L-3’s Security and Detection Systems division is deploying networked explosives detection systems at airports throughout the U.S. The total value of these deployments is about $10 million, not counting additional future deployments.

The group is also exploring new types of scanning technologies to replace current x-ray machines used at airports. The next-generation devices would provide much higher on-screen resolution, use “smart” processing capability to point out to users what the computer considers a potential threat in a bag or on a person and provide 3-D views of the contents of luggage.