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DRS HEADS FOR MID-TIER PLAYER STATUS

22 Jul 02. “The completion of our acquisition of the Eaton’s Naval Controls Division for $92m in cash puts DRS on track for elevation to the mid-tier defense manufactures”, said Mark Newman DRS chairman, president and chief executive officer, during the Farnborough Airshow. Eaton gives DRS access to important international naval contracts such as the Northrop Grumman/Rolls-Royce WR21 DD(X) electric propulsion system, also being utilised on the Royal Navy’s Type 45.

The growth of DRS has been spectacular. When Newman and his team took over in May 1994 revenues were $60m, in 2000 they were $300m and in 2002 $517m with $650m expected by year-end march 2003.

BATTLESPACE asked Newman what areas he would be building the company in the coming years. “Our rise to a mid-tier player gives us great flexibility to compete for contracts in new areas and to grow our existing business. We like the UAV market and with our recent acquisition of Meggitt’s U.S. operations we can now supply our customers with turnkey solutions for UAV systems and operations. We also intend to build on our strong market segments in rugged computers, Electro-Optics and Communications. In addition we are building strong supplier relationships with the major contractors.”

DRS is establishing itself in overseas markets and building its overseas operations in the U.K. in particular where its segment run by Peter Hurst has expanded sales of naval consoles by 50%.

“DRS is here to stay and we aim to establish ourselves as a substantial player in the U.S. and overseas defense markets,” Newman told BATTLESPACE

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