Exelis Inc.


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Exelis Inc., was a global aerospace, defense, information and services company[1] created in October 2011 as a result of the spinoff of ITT Corporation's defense business into an independent, publicly traded company.[2] The company was headquartered in Tysons Corner, Virginia, USA and was led by CEO and President David F. Melcher. The Washington Post highlighted Exelis as a top company in the Washington, D.C. region in 2011.[3] It was acquired by the Harris Corporation for $4.75 billion in 2015.

Exelis Inc.
PredecessorITT Corporation's defense business
FoundedOctober 2011 (2011-10)
Tysons Corner, Virginia, U.S.
(McLean mailing address)
Key people
David F. Melcher (President and CEO)
Revenue2,230,000,000 United States dollar (2014) Edit this on Wikidata
OwnerHarris Corporation
Number of employees
  • Aerostructures
  • Electronic Systems
  • Geospatial Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Mission Systems
  • Night Vision and Communications Solutions


For more detailed company history prior to October 31, 2011, see ITT Corporation

Exelis Inc. was one of three major companies that made up ITT Corporation, a company that provided numerous communications, defense and water services. ITT was founded as the small communications company Puerto Rico Telephone Company by brothers Sosthenes and Hernan Behn. Through a series of business and patent acquisitions, the company grew and was renamed International Telephone and Telegraph in 1920.[4] ITT continued to grow before appointing Harold Geneen as CEO in 1959. Until his retirement from the position in 1977, Geneen was responsible for growing the company from a medium-sized business earning $765 million in 1961 to an international conglomerate making $17 billion in sales in 1970. The company acquired more than 350 companies during Geneen's tenure; at one point the acquisition rate reached one deal per week. Ownership extended over such notable companies as Continental Baking, maker of Wonder Bread and the Twinkie, Sheraton Hotels and Avis Rent-A-Car.[4] For a brief period in the mid-1960s, ITT was in talks to acquire the ABC television and radio networks in the US, but that deal fell through under regulatory scrutiny.

Following Geneen's retirement, ITT went through a restructuring phase under CEO Rand Araskog and was split into three companies in 1995: ITT Corporation (formerly ITT Industries), ITT Sheraton, and The Hartford, an insurance company.[4]

2011 Spin-OffEdit

On January 12, 2011, the ITT Corporation Board of Directors approved a plan to split the firm. On October 31, 2011, ITT Corporation spun off its defense and water technology businesses to form three separate, publicly traded companies:[4]

  • Exelis Inc., a global aerospace, defense, information and services company headquartered in Tysons Corner, Virginia.
  • Xylem Inc., a water technology firm.
  • ITT Corporation, a manufacturing firm.

From the spin off to Nov. 1, 2013, Exelis was known as ITT Exelis to help ease the transition of the company's brand.[5] Exelis employed approximately 19,000 people and generated $5.5 billion in sales in 2012.[1]

2015 PurchaseEdit

In February 2015, Exelis announced that plans had been approved for the sale of the company through a cash/stock purchase to competitor Harris Corporation. The purchase price of 4.75 billion dollars was reported as being one of the highest such defense company purchases, since the Lockheed/Martin merger. When finalized in June 2015, the purchase was expected to make Harris/Exelis one of the top 10 defense contractors in the United States.[6][7]

Company structureEdit

Exelis had six businesses that specialize in different technologies and services.


Located in Salt Lake City, Utah the Exelis Aerostructures business is a designer and manufacturer of lightweight composite aerospace structures, subassemblies and components.

Major Products:
Exelis Aerostructures is a subcontractor for the Boeing 7-series family of aircraft, including composite air-frame substructures for the 787 Dreamliner, the Airbus A380 aircraft as well as the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter. For defense programs, they provide complete structural assemblies, flight critical components as well as primary and secondary structural elements for platforms such as the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, the Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion Heavy Lift Helicopter, the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III and the Lockheed Martin Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM).[8] Exelis also produces the Bear Claw line of down-hole drillable plugs used in oil and gas well completions.[9]

Electronic SystemsEdit

Headquartered in Clifton, New Jersey, with a major division in Salt Lake City, Utah, the electronics systems division of the company offers a variety of electronic warfare and surveillance technologies, including air traffic control technology for both military and domestic use, radar and sonar systems, antennas and signal-jamming devices to disarm improvised explosive devices (IED).

Major Products:

  • ALQ-214 IDECM (Integrated Electronic Countermeasures)[10]

Geospatial SystemsEdit

With facilities located in Clifton, New Jersey and Rochester, New York, the geospatial systems division manufactures and provides GPS technology (Clifton), surveillance systems (Rochester) and data encryption services, as well as remote sensing and navigation technology. The company also included facilities in Ft. Wayne that designed and manufactured instruments for weather tracking system..

Major Products and Solutions:

Information SystemsEdit

The information systems division is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. The division specializes in creating secure information and electronics systems for specific and often challenging environments, including defense and intelligence missions, the Census Bureau, homeland security, air traffic control and space missions.

Mission SystemsEdit

Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado., Mission systems provides facilities, engineering, logistics and security support for U.S. military bases domestically and abroad.

Night Vision & Communications SolutionsEdit

Located in Ft. Wayne, Indiana and Roanoke, Virginia, Exelis Night Vision & Communications Solutions (NVCS)[11] provides products and services for secure voice and data communications, battlefield situational awareness, and night vision systems in the global defense, security, and battlefield management sectors.

Major Products
  • SINCGARS – Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System, military communications system.[12]
  • GNOMAD (Global Network On the Move – Active Distribution), satellite military data communications system[13]

Exelis Action CorpsEdit

Exelis Action Corps is the company's volunteer-service program designed to create large-scale, team and individual volunteer activities and projects to support and engage service members, veterans and their families in local communities. Activities can range from providing interviewing coaching to a military service member, to painting a house for a disabled veteran, to tutoring the children of a service member serving abroad.


Board of DirectorsEdit

  • Ralph W. Hake
Chairman of the Board
  • David F. Melcher
Chief Executive Officer
  • John J. Hamre
  • Paul J. Kern
  • Herman E. Bulls
  • Patrick Moore
  • Mark L. Reuss
  • Billie I. Williamson
  • R. David Yost

Management TeamEdit

  • David F. Melcher
  • Peter J. Milligan
Chief Financial Officer
  • Ann D. Davidson
Chief Legal Officer
  • A. John Procopio
Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Robert E. Durbin
Strategy and Government Relations
  • Mike Blair
Vice President of Aerostructures
  • Richard D. Sorelle
President of Electronic Systems
  • Christopher D. Young
President of Geospatial Systems
  • Pamela A. Drew
President of Information Systems
  • Kenneth W. Hunzeker
President of Mission Systems
  • David J. Albritton
Chief Communications Officer
  • Nicholas E. Bobay
President of Night Vision & Communications Systems
  • Vincent Thomas
Vice President of Operations


Azerbaijan-U.S. ICT Forum, December 3, 2013

Customers currently include:

The company also has clients in more than 50 countries in Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, as well as Australia.[14]


  1. ^ a b "Exelis board approves $0.1033 per share dividend for the fourth quarter of 2013". Exelisinc.com. 2013-10-09. Retrieved 2015-10-12.
  2. ^ Hubler, David (2011-10-14). "ITT unveils ITT Exelis in latest corporate spinoff". Washington Technology. Retrieved 2015-10-12.
  3. ^ "ITT Exelis - The Washington Post". Apps.washingtonpost.com. Archived from the original on 2014-01-04. Retrieved 2015-10-12.
  4. ^ a b c d "Exelis - History of Exelis". Exelisinc.com. Retrieved 2015-10-12.
  5. ^ "Exelis reports second-quarter 2013 financial results; reaffirms full-year guidance". Exelisinc.com. 2013-01-08. Retrieved 2015-10-12.
  6. ^ "Harris Corporation to Buy Defense Contractor Exelis for $4.7 Billion". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-10-12.
  7. ^ "Second Course Of Last Supper? Harris To Buy Exelis « Breaking Defense - Defense industry news, analysis and commentary". Breakingdefense.com. 2015-02-06. Retrieved 2015-10-12.
  8. ^ "Exelis - Aerostructures". Exelisinc.com. Retrieved 2015-10-12.
  9. ^ "Exelis - Bear Claw Down-hole Tools". Exelisinc.com. Retrieved 2015-10-12.
  10. ^ Tomkins, Richard (21 August 2015). "Navy orders more RF-jammers for its F/A-18s". United Press International. upi.com. Retrieved: 28 August 2015.
  11. ^ "Exelis - Night Vision and Communications Solutions". Exelisinc.com. Retrieved 2015-10-12.
  12. ^ Erwin, Sandra I. (February 2007). "Delays in 'joint tactical radio' program cast doubts on future". nationaldefensemagazine. Archived from the original on 2016-01-03. Retrieved 2015-10-12.
  13. ^ "Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System". Exelis Inc. Archived from the original on 2015-10-09. Retrieved 2015-10-12.
  14. ^ "Our Customers Are Central to Everything We Do". Archived from the original on August 6, 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2012.

External linksEdit

  • Official website