Harris Corp.

Harris Corporation

Harris Corporation, headquartered in Melbourne Florida USA, is a technology company, defense contractor and information technology services provider that produces wireless equipment, tactical radios, electronic systems, night vision equipment and both terrestrial and space borne antennas for use in the government, defense and commercial sectors. They specialize in surveillance solutions, microwave weaponry and electronic warfare.

The company’s history dates back to 1895, when the Harris brothers founded The Harris Automatic Press Company. The company evolved from a microwave and semi-conductor manufacturing company to a leader in Defense, Space & Intelligence Systems and information provider.

Today, Harris is one of the only companies concentrated exclusively on developing the trusted solutions that solve the toughest technology challenges faced by businesses and governments around the world. Its innovative solutions are delivered through three business segments: Communication Systems, Electronic Systems, and Space and Intelligence Systems.

1025 W. NASA Boulevard

Melbourne FL 32919

Harris Corp. Communications Systems Division was manufacturing Earth Station Antennas for the satellite communications market after the acquisition of Radio Mechanical Structures, Inc. (RMS) in 1977. RMS founders bought the antenna division back and formed Vertex Communications, Corp.  Skybrokers has provided and installed Harris/ RSI/Vertex Earth Station Antennas on the globe. We support clients with antenna parts and documentation that refer to these antenna brands.

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About Harris Corp.


About Harris Corporation

Harris Corporation, headquartered in Melbourne Florida USA, is a technology company, defense contractor and information technology services provider that produces wireless equipment, tactical radios, electronic systems, night vision equipment and both terrestrial and space borne antennas for use in the government, defense and commercial sectors. They specialize in surveillance solutions, microwave weaponry and electronic warfare.

The company has approximately 7 billion USD of annual revenue and is the largest private-sector employer in Brevard County, Florida. The company was the parent of Intersil (Harris Semiconductor). Most of the wireless start-ups in South Brevard County were founded and are staffed by former Harris Corporation engineers and technicians. The company's Digital Telephone Systems (DTS) division was sold to Teltronics. In 2016, Defense News named Harris one of the top hundred federal contractors.

Business segments

Harris Corporation was organized into six business units:

Communication Systems
The Harris Communication Systems segment serves markets in tactical and airborne radios, night vision technology and defense and public safety networks.

CapRock Communications
Harris CapRock Communications provides managed communications services in remote and harsh locations for energy, maritime and government customers. It uses a combination of a dozen teleports on six continents and links from more than 60 satellites to connect remote customers. CapRock signed a 5-year deal in 2012 with Royal Caribbean International to improve satellite broadband connectivity across their entire fleet of cruise liners.

Government Communications Systems
Harris Government Communications Systems produces communications and information networks for military and government customers as well as provides the technology base for products for commercial customers. GCS also conducts advanced research, develops prototypes and provides technical services.

Critical Networks
The Harris Critical Networks segment provides managed services for air traffic management, energy and maritime communications and ground network operation and sustainment as well as Information Technology and engineering services.

Electronic Systems
The Harris Electronic Systems segment provides products and services in electronic warfare, avionics, wireless technology, C4I, undersea systems and aero structures.
Electronic Systems (ES) division provides the "ALQ-214" radio frequency jamming equipment for the U.S. Navy's F/A-18 Hornet aircraft. The ALQ-214 was originally developed by Exelis, a provider of components in the avionics package and targeting systems for the U.S. Navy's F/A-18 and EA-18 Growlers.

Space and Intelligence Systems
The Harris Space and Intelligence Systems segment provides capabilities in Earth observation, weather, geospatial monitoring, space protection and intelligence, including sensors and payloads, ground processing and information analytics.

In 2015 Harris reorganized its business segments to increase its operational efficiency. The company sold its Government Communication Systems division to private equity fund Veritas Capital and in 2017 the company sold its Caprock division to SpeedCast Satellite service provider.

Harris is now organized into three business segments; Communications Systems, Electronic Systems and Space & Intelligence Systems.

History and merges

The Harris Automatic Press Company was founded in 1895 by Alfred and Charles Harris. The brothers ran a jewelry store in Niles, Ohio, while they tinkered with a variety of new gadgets. Their first truly successful invention was an automatic sheet feeder that eliminated the laborious job of hand-feeding printing presses.

Ironically, the sheet feeder was too advanced for the printing presses of the day, so the brothers developed a new printing press that was better able to accommodate it. The press was revolutionary, delivering 10 times what a pressman could feed by hand. In fact, the press was so much faster than anything available that the brothers had to understate its capabilities in order to get potential customers to believe them.

On December 23rd, 1895, the Harris Automatic Press Company was incorporated. The company spent the next 60 years developing lithographic processes and printing presses before acquiring typesetting company Intertype Corporation.

In 1957 Harris acquired Gates Radio, a producer of broadcast transmitters and associated electronics gear, but kept the Gates brand name alive by putting the Gates sticker on the back of numerous transmitters that were labeled Harris on the front panels. In the 90’s the company had grown into one of the world's largest and most successful manufacturers of printing equipment under a new name - Harris-Seybold. In the same year, Harris-Seybold merged with Intertype Corporation, a world leader in typesetting equipment. The acquisition of Gates Radio brought Harris in to the radio equipment industry, specifically broadcasting transmitters and microwave equipment as an extension of the media industry. Even with the acquisition of Gates Radio, the focus of the company remained on the printing press.

In 1959, Harris acquired microwave technology company PRD Electronics of Brooklyn, New York and in 1960 they merged with Radiation, Inc. of Melbourne, Florida, a developer of antenna, integrated circuit and modem technology used in the space race.

The company's transformation to a pure electronics business began in 1967, when they merged with Radiation, Inc., developer of antennas, integrated circuit and space and military technology located in Melbourne, Florida, USA.

Radiation was a premier developer of Earth Station Antennas and modem technology and miniaturized electronic tracking and pulse code technologies for America's fledgling space program. Its products were used on the nation's first communication and weather satellites, by the military for various missile systems, and were instrumental in the first manned space flights and the Apollo missions to the Moon.

In 1969, Harris Corporation acquired RF Communications and Farinon, furthering its microwave assets. The printing operations were sold off in 1983 and are nowadays known as GSS Printing Equipment. GSS Printing Equipment later acquired Lanier Worldwide, which itself was spun off from Harris Corporation in the late 1990’s.

In 1974, the company officially changed its name to Harris Corporation and moved its headquarters from Cleveland, Ohio, to Melbourne, Florida. In the 20 years that followed, Harris sold its printing business and significantly expanded its electronic product offerings and market reach.

In 1977 Harris Corp. purchased Radio Mechanical Structures, Inc. (RMS), a company that designed and manufactured Earth Station Antennas. RMS was founded in 1973, by Rex Vardeman and A. Don Branum and was located in Kilgore Texas. With the acquisition RMS would form Harris Satellite Communications as a division of Harris Corp. Later on, in 1984, Vardeman, Branum, and other key employees purchased Harris Antenna Operations and formed Vertex Communications, Corp., that was merged with RSI and sold to General Dynamics in 2004.

In 1979, Harris formed a semiconductor joint venture Matra Harris Semiconductors (MHS), from which Harris withdrew in 1989. After further changes MHS was taken over by Atmel.

In 1988, Harris acquired GE’s semiconductor business, which at that time also incorporated the Intersil and RCA semiconductor businesses. These were combined with Harris' existing semiconductor businesses, which were then spun off in August 1999 as an independent company, under the Intersil name. Intersil Corporation evolved and in early 2000, they went public in what was then the largest semiconductor IPO in US history.

In 1996, Harris Corporation formed a joint venture with Shenzhen Telecom Company to produce and sell Harris’ digital microwave radios and integrate them with other systems.

In November 1998, Harris sold its commercial and standard military logic (semiconductor) product lines to Texas Instruments, which included the HC/HCT, CD4000, AC/ACT, and FCT product families. Harris retained production of the Radiation Hardened versions of these products.

In 2010 Harris acquired the in 1981 established, CapRock Communications that provided its customers with secure, highly-reliable managed communication services including broadband Internet access, voice over IP, networking and real-time video delivered to harsh and remote locations around the world. CapRock managed network solutions included multiband, portable and fixed satellite communications services supported by its teleports and network operations centers around the world. Under the terms of the agreement, Harris purchased privately held CapRock for 525 million USD in cash.

In January 2011 Harris re-opened its Calgary, Alberta avionics operation, Harris Canada, Inc. The expanded facilities  Operations include among others the support of the work to be completed under the company's six-year, 273 million CAD services contract with the Government of Canada for the CF-18 Avionics Optimized Weapon System Support (OWSS) program.
Also in 2011 the company acquired Schlumberger Global Communications Services (GCS) Division for a 398 million USD cash deal. Schlumberger provided global communication services for a wide range of customers primarily in the oil and gas industries.

On December 2012, Harris Corporation sold its broadcast equipment operations to the Gores Group that operates as Harris Broadcast. Harris received 225 million USD for the transaction, exactly half of what it paid seven years earlier for Leitch Technology, its final acquisition for the Broadcast division.

In July 2015, Harris Corporation sold its healthcare division (Harris Healthcare Solutions) to NantHealth, a subsidiary of NantWorks a company founded and led by Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong. NantWorks is a convergence of next generation machine vision, object and voice recognition technologies, ultra-low power semiconductors, supercomputing, and advanced networks for the purpose of bringing the digital revolution to healthcare, commerce, and digital entertainment to an entirely new level.

Also in 2015, the company acquired Exelis, transforming Harris into a company with greater scale, capabilities, core franchises and more balanced business portfolio. The combined company had a broad portfolio of advanced, technology-based solutions to solve government and commercial customers' mission critical challenges.

In January 2017, Harris sold off its government IT services division to Veritas Capital, former owner of CPI, for 690 million USD and completed the sale of its Caprock business to Australia-based Speedcast International, Ltd, specialized in Satellite communications, for 425 million USD.  The combined entities create a global and diversified leader in remote communications and network services for Speedcast that is owed by AsiaSat Satellite Operator since 2007. With the acquisition of Harris’ Caprock businesses, Speedcast will service thousands of vessels, hundreds of rigs and platforms, and enterprise and government customers around the world with a wide portfolio of communications and IT services, and an industry-leading global support network.

On October 14th, 2018 Harris Corporation and L3 Technologies agreed to merge both companies to create a global defense technology leader, focused on developing differentiated and mission critical solutions for customers around the world. The combined company, L3 Harris Technologies will be the 6th largest defense company in the USA and a top 10 defense company globally, with 48,000 employees, having customers in over 100 countries and generating a net revenue of approximately 16 billion USD.

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