L3Harris Stands Up Group to Speed Military Tech Development

It’s the latest reorganization by CEO Chris Kubasik to help to win Pentagon business.

L3Harris Technologies has created an internal cell to create technologies to meet urgent national threats.

Called the Agile Development Group, the unit of 2,500 engineers is working to get these new technologies to the battlefield quicker, Dave Duggan, the president of the group, said in an interview.

“We are responding to the call from our customers to do things differently,” Duggan said. “We have to take more risks in a smarter way, and get capabilities developed and out to the warfighter faster.”

Created amid a larger reorganization in January, the group was publicly unveiled on Tuesday. Duggan said it is working on more than three dozen projects in various stages, from early development to production, in areas involving advanced sensor technologies, mission systems, unmanned systems, and weapons.

Funded by an internal investment fund, the group is working to integrate technologies being developed by the company’s various divisions, Duggan said.

“We can actually bring new higher-level, systems-of-systems-type capabilities, higher-level, next-generation capabilities to deal with the near-peer threats, faster,” said Sean Stackley, president of L3Harris’ Integrated Mission Systems division. “It's a combination of the technology that we have to offer, integrated, delivering it faster.”

“The ADG is a catalyst for growth within the company,” Duggan said.

The Pentagon in recent years has been pushing companies to field new weapons faster as it competes and, in some cases, plays catch-up to Chinese weapons developments.

The new group is the latest effort by L3Harris CEO Chris Kubasik to speed up weapons development. Before L3 Technologies and Harris merged in 2019, Kubasik, then the CEO of L3, made a series of organization changes to position the company to move faster in its pursuits of Pentagon business.

More recently, L3Harris formed a strategic partnership with Shield Capital, a venture capital firm that focuses its investments in startups that have technology that is beneficial to both the commercial and national security sectors.

“Now what that gives us is visibility, insight into promising technologies at the very front end, and then we investigate those to determine: is that a good alignment for our businesses,” Stackley said.