DRS Technologies is not well known outside military circles, but the company has been quietly growing as a military supplier. It began as niche supplier of sonar signal processing technology to the U.S. Navy. Today it is a $3 billion provider of a wide range of high-tech defense electronic products, systems and military support services. The company describes its key areas as “command and control, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, power management, battlefield digitization, advanced communications and networks, military vehicle diagnostics, troop sustainment, and technical support” and it brags it is “a leading provider of thermal imaging devices, combat display workstations, electronic sensor systems, power systems, rugged computer systems, air combat training systems, mission recorders, deployable flight incident recorders, environmental and telecommunication systems, aircraft loaders, military trailers and shelters, and integrated logistics support services.”
DRS, which gets 93 percent of its revenue from the Defense Department and has a federal contract backlog worth more than $3 billion, has attracted the attention of larger military suppliers. In May 2008 the Italian arms maker Finmeccanica announced plans to acquire DRS for $5.2 billion. The deal is awaiting approval by U.S. regulators.