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L-3 Communications

Headquarters: 600 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10016
(212) 697-1111
Employees: 64,600
CEO: Michael Strianese
Stock Symbol: LLL

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L-3 Communications is a leading defense contractor specializing in Command, Control and Communications, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, Government Services, Aircraft Modernization and Maintenance (AM&M) and has the broadest base of Specialized Products in the industry. L-3 is also a major provider of homeland defense products and services for a variety of emerging markets.

Customers include the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, selected U.S. Government intelligence agencies, aerospace prime contractors and commercial telecommunications and wireless customers.

L-3 has operations throughout the U.S. and offices worldwide.

L-3 reported record revenues of $13.96 billion in 2007 and net income of $756 million.


In 1997, Frank Lanza and Robert LaPenta decided to form a business that could serve as a leading mezzanine company in the defense electronics and communications industry. They had each spent decades in the defense industry, serving as part of the executive team responsible for the phenomenal growth of Loral Corporation. At the same time, there were massive changes in the industry, resulting from dramatic declines in the U.S. defense budgets since the mid-1980s.

Depite consolidation in the industry, there is opportunity. First, budgetary challenges are altering the way the Department of Defense(DoD) spends its resources. Rather than investing in new programs, the DoD is focusing its resources on enhancing its military readiness, joint operations, and on multiple mission capabilities. Those requirements increase the need to incorporate advanced electronics to improve military equipment performance and to extend the life expectancy of existing and future platforms. Second, defense/aerospace prime contractors are becoming increasingly competitive in their efforts to get more defense dollars. As a result, they are growing reluctant to purchase products, components and sub-systems from one another to support their platforms. In addition, the need for cost-consciousness in purchasing these products and the growing use of off-the-shelf products is making it more attractive to rely on mezzanine companies as suppliers.

As a result, Lanza and LaPenta, in conjunction with Lehman Brothers and Lockheed Martin decided to form a mezzanine company - L-3 Communications - that would be the supplier of choice for prime contractors. In establishing the company, several advanced electronics businesses were purchased that were part of the Lockheed Martin, Loral Corporation merger that occurred in 1996. Also purchased from Lockheed Martin was a division located in Camden, NJ that had been part of GE.

Updated December 31, 2008


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