DRS Technologies has zeroed in on its target -- to be the fastest growing defense company in the world. It offers mission-critical products and services that support military forces, intelligence agencies, and prime contractors, with leading market positions in air combat training systems, combat display workstations, electronic sensors, environmental controls, flight recorders, rugged computers, communications systems, thermal imaging devices, and logistics support services. Most of its revenue is derived from the US government, primarily the US Department of Defense, but it also serves foreign allies. DRS is a subsidiary of Italy's Finmeccanica and functions as part of its Defense and Security Electronics division.
Defense and Security Electronics is the largest of Finmeccanica's divisions in terms of revenue. With DRS firmly in the fold, this division contributed positively toward Finmeccanica's improvements in revenues in fiscal 2010 compared to the prior year in large part due to the US's ongoing military presence in areas such as Iraq and Afghanistan. The US defense market often awards contracts to DRS for products and services that help with force readiness. With deep pockets and a big name, Finmeccanica in turn helps to extend DRS's reach overseas to serve international allied forces. Finmeccanica typically ranks within the top 10 global players in aerospace/defense and security.
DRS's business is divided into several operating groups each with a specific focus. Its Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition (RSTA) group provides electro-optical infrared imaging technology and components for applications on land, in the air, or on the water. Its Tactical Systems group provides logistics support, subsystem integration, and connectivity technologies that help military forces preparing for complex missions.
Its Power and Environmental Systems group supplies environmental controls and power generation, conversion, and distribution systems not only for various military uses but for the energy industry, with applications in utility power generation, mobile power and environmental control, and electric motors and generators. Meanwhile, its C3 & Aviation group makes airborne flight recorders, radar and surveillance systems for land and sea, fixed and mobile towers used in border and perimeter security, and rugged servers for networking on the move.
Additionally, the company's Maryland-based subsidiary DRS Defense Solutions consists of a number of business units that develop advanced electronic systems. In 2010 DRS Defense Solutions acquired privately-held Consulting & Engineering for Next Generation Networks (CenGen). The company provides hardware and software for networking and communications, including secure mobile wireless networks. It also specializes in developing voice, streaming video, and data sharing applications in disruptive bandwidth constrained environments. The deal enables DRS to accelerate growth in the battlefield communications market.
Many of DRS's significant business wins come from indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts awarded by the US Army. In 2011 its C3 & Aviation group was selected to participate in the Integrated Base Defense System (IBDS) Force Protection Omnibus contract to provide force protection and early warning systems to warfighters. It carries a ceiling of $997 million and allows for task orders to be done in a period of three years (with options for additional years). This contract comes on the heels of another major US Army IDIQ contract awarded earlier in the year for DRS's RSTA group to produce lightweight laser rangefinders for weapon systems. Valued at about $514 million, the five-year contract calls for a minimum delivery of 150 and a maximum of 32,000 rifle-mounted micro-laser rangefinders. – less