Maintenance Support Device (MSD) V4

Leonardo DRS Turns 50

A Half Century of Great People and Technology

ARLINGTON, VA, APRIL 1, 2019  ̶  Leonardo DRS, Inc. announced today the company’s 50th anniversary of its founding on April 1, 1969. From its humble beginnings in a small office space above an appliance store in Mount Vernon, New York, to a top mid-tier global defense company.

Through its half century of service to military and commercial customers, Leonardo DRS and its parent company, global defense giant Leonardo, have developed advanced technology that has transformed how troops operate in the air, on the ground and at sea. 

The company’s first major production contract was an advanced passive sonar which quickly drew the attention of U.S. Navy leaders by lighting up displays with indicators of prowling submarines.  The AN/SQR-17 technology, developed by company co-founders David Gross and Leonard Newman, led to the first major passive sonar contract in U.S. history, from which the company grew. That heritage of innovation continues today with the ability to deliver high-quality products and services around the world.

“Our people are extraordinarily talented and believe in the higher purpose of their work,” said William J. Lynn, CEO of Leonardo DRS.  “The company has a fantastic reputation and a great legacy of innovation with some of the best technology in the world in high demand with our warfighter customers -- when you add all of that up it gives me great confidence that for Leonardo DRS the best is yet to come,” he said.

Leonardo DRS has been a leader in Naval communication and power control systems; diesel, gas and hybrid electric propulsion systems; and build to print electronics.  The company has had content on every U.S. Navy ship since World War II.

On land, Leonardo DRS is a leader in combat networking with its Mounted Family of Computer Systems that give operators the most advanced situation awareness.  The company provides the only combat-proven anti-armor protection system available to U.S. and allied nations protecting U.S. tanks today. 

Keeping ground troops safe but lethal has been a cornerstone of the company’s innovation in the electro-optical and infrared business. By pioneering infrared detectors, advanced sensor suites and robust targeting systems, Leonardo DRS has built a reputation for providing innovative electro-optical and infrared systems, with a continuous aim to push the limits of its cutting-edge technology.

The company’s advanced Quantum Cascade Laser technology saves lives by protecting combat helicopters from heat-seeking missiles, through rapid cancer and disease identification, as well as numerous other leading-edge medical research and industrial uses.

In the air, Leonardo DRS provides fourth- and fifth-generation air combat pilot training systems, utilizing high-fidelity Live, Virtual and Constructive simulation with Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation and Electronic Warfare threat simulators.

Into the Future

The innovations continue from vehicle-based command posts that operate on power generated from the vehicle, to advanced man-portable electronic warfare capabilities, or protection from new and emerging threats from the air with counter-UAS technologies.

“Leonardo DRS has the most talented people in the defense industry in our core areas of expertise,” according to Lynn.  “Our people create some of the finest technology in the world for our customers in the Armed Forces.  And we have the secret sauce that makes it all special which is our unique ability to react quickly to opportunities.” Lynn said.

“Leonardo DRS has survived and thrived for 50 years by remaining true to our core values of innovation and paying attention to our customer needs,” Lynn said.  “We believe it will enable us to achieve even more in the next 50 years."

To see more about our 50 years of innovation, visit:


About Leonardo DRS

Celebrating 50 years of innovation excellence, Leonardo DRS is a prime contractor, supplier of integrated products, and provides services and support to military forces, intelligence agencies and defense contractors worldwide. The company specializes in naval and maritime systems, ground combat mission command and network computing, global satellite communications and network infrastructure, avionics systems, and intelligence and security solutions. Additionally, the company builds power systems and electro-optical/infrared systems for a wide range of commercial customers. Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, Leonardo DRS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Leonardo S.p.A. See the full range of capabilities at and on Twitter @LeonardoDRSnews.

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