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Harris Communication Systems segment to be based here

Harris Corp. on Friday said it will base its new Communication Systems segment in Rochester.

The Florida-based company also plans to keep its corporate headquarters and two of its newly formed segments in the Sunshine State. A fourth segment is to be based in Herndon, Va.

The Communication Systems segment combines the former Harris RF Communications and Exelis Night Vision and Communications Solutions businesses, the company said. It provides tactical and airborne radios, night vision technology, and defense and public safety networks.

Harris has operated in Rochester for more than 55 years and has some 4,000 employees in New York, the company said.

The decisions follow Harris’ recent acquisition of Exelis Inc. and subsequent reorganization of the merged companies into four market-focused segments. Harris announced in late May its completion of the Exelis acquisition in a $4.75 billion cash-and-stock deal.

The company on July 1 said Chris Young will lead the Communications Systems segment. Young had been president of Exelis’ Rochester-based Geospatial Systems.

Harris will maintain corporate headquarters in Melbourne, Fla., where it has been based since 1978. The company has some 6,000 Florida employees. Florida is the primary hub for the company’s $1 billion research and development activity.
The company also will base the Electronic Systems segment as well as the Space and Intelligence Systems segments in Palm Bay, Fla. The businesses combine multiple operations from Harris and Exelis.

Electronic Systems’ portfolio includes electronic warfare, avionics, wireless technology, undersea systems and aerostructures. Space and Intelligence Systems provides complete earth observation, weather, geospatial, space protection and intelligence products from advanced sensors and payloads, as well as ground processing and information analytics.

The company’s new Critical Networks segment will be based in Virginia. It combines elements of Harris and Exelis businesses and provides managed services supporting air traffic management, energy and maritime communications, and ground network operation and sustainment, as well as information technology and engineering services. Harris has roughly 3,000 employees in Virginia.

“With the acquisition behind us and our organizational model aligned with the markets we serve, the Harris team is committed to continuing to bring the most innovative, mission-critical technologies to our customers,” said William Brown, chairman and CEO, in a statement.

Harris has some $8 billion in annual revenue and roughly 23,000 employees.

The combined company has a large local presence. Harris RF Communications ranked 11th on the 2015 RBJ 75 list of the region’s largest employers with 2,100 local workers; Exelis ranked 22th with 1,230 staffers here.

(c) 2015 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email [email protected]


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