Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Military electro-optics business appears steady

Posted by John McHale

Earlier this month at the SPIE Defense Security and Sensing conference and exhibition in Orlando, Fla., when I asked attendees and exhibitors there about the military market I got the same answers I received form those at military electronics and military avionics events -- business is steady or improving.

This event followed on the Obama administration's announcement that they plan to kill the U.S. Air Force F-22 and Airborne Laser programs -- both of which contain significant electro-optics investment.

One gentleman from L-3 Communications told me "Even if they cancel one weapons system there are others that will get more funding to pick up the slack."

Folks at Physical Optics Corp. and Sarnoff say business has never been better. Dilas officials from Tucson, Aria., say their military laser business continues to grow at strong rate.

It should be noted that many of the exhibitors there say their business is still mostly custom as opposed to off-the-shelf. The custom designs are typically more of a long-term investment from the customer as opposed to products ordered off-the-shelf out of a catalog.

Let's hope this steady growth for military avionics, electronics, and electro-optics technology continues to be isolated from the rest of the economy.

The technology investment is needed -- world events prove that every day.

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