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BATTLESPACE’s Editor visits Melbourne, Florida, the hub of Harris’ activities.

On arrival in Melbourne it became dramatically clear that Harris Corporation is a major force in Florida and in Melbourne in particular. Harris’s Corporate Headquarters and related buildings, take up a huge area of Melbourne and is the hub of Harris’ business.

“In 1998 the management of Harris undertook a wholesale appraisal of the company’s activities in order to jettison its non-communications equipment businesses so that it could reposition itself as a pure-play communications company . Significant changes were made which resulted in a slimming down of the corporation and the sale of its semiconductor and office equipment businesses. Sales dropped from $4bn to $2bn in 1999 with the loss of several thousand jobs due to the spin-off of the two businsses. The result is a focused corporation of five divisions which provides assured communications solutions 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Bob Henry president, Harris Government Communications Systems Division (GCSD)) told BATTLESPACE

These changes have transformed the activities of the Harris Corporation into an international communications equipment company focused on providing product, system, and service solutions for commercial and government customers. The company’s five operating divisions serve markets for microwave, broadcast, network support, secure tactical radio, and government communications systems. With more than 10,000 employees, including 4,000 engineers and scientists, Harris is a technology powerhouse. BATTLESPACE was invited to Harris to discuss its Government Communications segment which covers the bulk of its military activities.

“Access to the government division’s technology is available to all our other operating divisions. In many cases we rely on cross-fertilization of ideas, systems and products to win major Government contracts,” Henry said.

Harris relies on its technology to stay ahead of its competition, an impressive ‘patents wall’ demonstrated the 1700 plus patents achieved by the company from its humble beginnings as a printing press manufacturer started by the Harris brothers in 1895 in Ohio.

Before we discuss the Government Communications Systems Division in detail it is worth covering Harris’ other activities.

Harris is the largest supplier of microwave radio systems in North America and a global leader in broadband wireless access. Harris delivers wireless solutions to cellular, PCS, and private telecom networks. Its product line, the broadest in the industry, includes microwave and millimeter wave systems for point-to-point and point- to-multipoint architectures. This Division had sales of $288.9m and a loss of $17.4m in Fiscal 2002.

Harris is the leader in digital and analog solutions for television and radio broadcasting and has been at the forefront of the U.S. digital television (DTV) rollout, supplying the majority of the digital transmitters and encoders. Harris also is leading the broadcasting revolution in digital radio and has made major acquisitions in Europe to ride the digital wave worldwide. This Division had sales of $355.1m and profits of $37.2m in Fiscal 2002.

Harris Network Support Division (NSD) delivers solutions to public and private communications service providers around the world. These solutions focus on providing next level line test systems, network management systems, test sets, and tools that meet the increasingly complex needs of operations, maintenance, and installation professionals in deregulated telecommunications markets worldwide. This Division had sales of $57.2m and a loss of $10.3m in Fiscal 2002.

Harris is a leading worldwide supplier of tactical radio communication products, systems and networks to military and government organizations, and a pro

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