Corporate history of L-3 Communications Integrated Systems Waco Aircraft Modification Center

The Waco aerospace giant L-3 Integrated Systems has been known by several names in its 20 years of operations. Originally, the facility was built in 1984 to serve as a one-hangar overflow facility for the Richardson, Texas-based Electrospace Systems, Inc. (ESI) , which had been leasing space at Dallas' Love Field for aircraft modification. But with Love Field space-constrained and the company needing more hangar space, ESI looked for a site with air access and the potential of hangars.

Electrospace Systems couldn't find a location with available hangars, but it did find the former Connally Air Force Base in Waco, now Texas State Technical College. The college had available land and ESI agreed to lease land and build its own hangar capable of housing a 747-sized aircraft. That building, known as Hangar 7400, was the first of what has become a large complex at the TSTC Airport.

ESI eventually was acquired by the Chrysler Corporation in 1987, and in 1989, the Waco facility became known as Chrysler Technologies Airborne Systems, Inc., or CTAS. Where during the ESI days, many of the engineers who worked programs at Waco commuted from the Richardson or Love Field, all the employees who supported aircraft programs were assigned to the Waco site when CTAS was formed in 1989. It would be 1996 when, during a major merger and acquisition movement in the defense industry, Chrysler sold its defense assets to Raytheon Company, which eventually renamed the unit Raytheon Aircraft Integration Systems. Waco was paired with another Raytheon unit in Greenville, Texas and in March of 2002, that unit was sold to the growing defense company L-3 Communications.

In the more than 20 years of operations, the Waco facility has modified hundreds of aircraft of many different types. From the nation's most advanced command-and-control aircraft to luxurious widebody jets for international heads-of-state, the L-3 facility in Waco has produced aircraft recognized throughout the world.

The company employs more than 1,600 people, and also hosts several hundred other government and contractor employees who regularly work at the facility and live in the area. L-3 Communications (NYSE: LLL) is a Fortune 500 company and member of the S&P 500.

L-3 Waco Timeline
1984 - Construction begins on company's first hangar at Texas State Technical College Airport
1985 - First aircraft arrives and Electrospace Systems, Inc. (ESI) begins Waco operations
1987 - Electrospace Systems, Inc. sold to Chrysler Corporation
1989 - Waco operation re-named Chrysler Technologies Airborne Systems, Inc. (CTAS)
1996 - Raytheon purchases defense assets of Chrysler, including CTAS
2002 - Raytheon Aircraft Integration Systems sold to L-3 Communications, renamed L-3 Communications Integrated Systems
2009 - L-3 establishes Platform Integration division and headquarters it in Waco

 


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This presentation consists of L-3 Communications Corporation general capabilities information that does not contain controlled technical data as defined within the International Traffic in Arms (ITAR) Part 120.10 or Export Administration Regulations (EAR) Part 734.7-11

 

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