Westwood has designed and built electrical distribution and control equipment since 1968, including many different types of power and signal switchboards. L-3 Westwood equipment has been installed on the full range of naval vessels - from nuclear powered aircraft carriers to destroyer escorts, submarines and special-purpose small boats. L-3 Westwood has extensive experience and a large library of design information in this area. The company also designs and builds signal switchboards for all types of applications.
HIGH DATA RATE COMMUNICATIONS
We are a technology leader in high data rate, covert, jam-resistant microwave communications used in military and other national agency reconnaissance and surveillance applications. Our product line covers a full range of tactical and strategic secure point-to-point and relay data transmission systems, products and support services that conform to military and intelligence specifications. Our systems and products are capable of providing battlefield commanders with real-time, secure surveillance and targeting information and were used extensively by U.S. armed forces in the war operations in Bosnia and Kosovo, and are being used for Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
Our current family of strategic and tactical data links or CDL (Common Data Link) systems are considered DoD standards for data link hardware. Our primary focus is spread spectrum secure communication links technology, which involves transmitting a data signal with a high-rate noise signal making it difficult to detect by others, and then re-capturing the signal and removing the noise. Our data links use point-to-point and point-to-multipoint architectures.
We provide these secure high bandwidth products to the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Army and various U.S. Government agencies, many through long-term programs. The scope of these programs include air-to-ground, air-to-air, ground-to-air and satellite communications such as the U-2 Support Program, GUARDRAIL, ASTOR and major UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) programs, such as Predator, Global Hawk and Fire Scout.
We remain the industry leader in the mobile airborne satellite terminal product market, delivering mobile satellite communication services to many airborne platforms. These services provide real-time connectivity between the battlefield and non-local exploiters of ISR data.
Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) systems, secure communications systems, aircraft modernization, training and government services, guidance and navigation, sensors, scanners, fuzes, data links, propulsion systems, simulators, avionics, electro optics, satellite communications, electrical power equipment, encryption, signal intelligence, antennas and microwave components.
We intend to grow our sales, improve our profitability and build on our position as a leading supplier of systems, products and services to the major contractors in the aerospace and defense industry, as well as the U.S. Government. We also intend to continue to leverage our expertise and products into selected new commercial and civil business areas where we can adapt our existing products and technologies. Our strategy to achieve these objectives includes:
Expand Merchant Supplier Relationships. We have developed strong relationships with the DoD, several other U.S. Government agencies and all of the major U.S. defense prime contractors, enabling us to identify new business opportunities and anticipate customer needs. As an independent supplier, we anticipate that our growth will be driven by expanding our share of existing programs and by participating in new programs. We identify opportunities where we are able to use our strong relationships to increase our business presence and allow customers to reduce their costs. We also expect to benefit from continued outsourcing of subsystems, components and products by prime contractors, which positions us to be a supplier to multiple bidders on prime contract bids.
Support Customer Requirements. A significant portion of our sales is derived from strategic, long-term programs and from programs for which we have been the incumbent supplier, and in many cases acted as the sole provider over many years. Our customer satisfaction and excellent performance record are evidenced by our receipt of performance-based award fees exceeding 90% of the available award fees on average during the year ended December 31, 2003. We believe that prime contractors will increasingly award long-term, outsourcing contracts to the best-of-breed merchant suppliers they believe to be most capable on the basis of quality, responsiveness, design, engineering and program management support as well as cost. We intend to continue to align our research and development, manufacturing and new business efforts to complement our customers' requirements and provide state-of-the-art products.