Defense giant L3Harris plans to hire 100 people in Colorado Springs during the next year for work on a $1.2 billion, 10-year contract it won in February to modernize the way Space Force keeps track of activities and objects in space.
Most the openings are for software and systems engineers, but the company is also seeking security specialists and optical and radar experts, said Colin Mitchell, who heads the company’s Colorado Springs operations and is general manager of its space domain awareness operations. L3Harris has posted 53 openings on its website; many require employees to get security clearance.
The $23 million initial contract awarded by Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center replaces an earlier system engineering and sustainment integration contract L3Harris and its predecessor companies have held since 2002. A four-month transition to the new contract started March 1 and ends Nov. 30, but Space Force has 10 single-year options totaling $1.2 billion to extend the work.
“As space becomes a more contested environment and more countries launch into space every day, keeping track of objects in space has become an important mission area,” Mitchell said. “The competition for this contract is a big deal, and we are thrilled to win it. We are happy to keep the work and our 600-person team in Colorado Springs.”
Under the new contract, L3Harris will expand the military’s network of space sensors beyond a network of telescopes in New Mexico, Hawaii and the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia to include military space command and surveillance centers in Colorado, California and Virginia. The company will use government and commercial sensors to give Space Force better space situation awareness by giving it a more complete picture of the more than 26,000 objects in space larger than 1 centimeter (0.4 inches).
L3Harris has nearly two dozen subcontractors working on the contract, including the local offices of Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Parsons as well as Colorado Springs-based Boecore, Braxton Technologies and Infinity Systems Engineering. Overall, L3Harris employs about 850 in Colorado Springs; the Florida-based company was formed in June by the merger of L3 Technologies and Harris Corp.
The contract "is an important win for Colorado Springs. This is an outstanding team of industry leaders, both large and small businesses, bringing necessary technology and capability to our nation's defense," said Kathy Boe, CEO of Boecore and chair of the Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC.