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L3Harris to buy stake in laser comms firm Mynaric

Mynaric's Condor Mk3 optical communications terminal enables satellites to share data with each other. (Mynaric)

US defence contractor L3Harris Technologies plans to acquire a 7.2% stake in German laser communications equipment provider Mynaric for about EUR11.2 million (USD11.4 million) as part of a collaboration agreement between the two companies, according to a joint announcement on 6 July.

Under the agreement, L3Harris and Mynaric, which work together in the air domain, will expand their co-operation to other domains, including land, sea, and space. Mynaric will become a “preferred provider” of laser communications products, and L3Harris will gain access to some of Mynaric's test assets.

Partnering with Mynaric will “rapidly address our customers' needs for high-bandwidth and secure connectivity”, said Daniel Gittsovich, L3Harris vice-president for corporate strategy and development.

The existing collaboration between the two companies involves Mynaric's Hawk optical communications terminal, which is mounted on aircraft to share data with other aircraft or the ground. Mynaric's other products include the Condor family of optical communications terminals, which enable satellites to share data with each other.

L3Harris is buying the 7.2% stake directly from Mynaric and expects to close the purchase within the next few days, according to a Mynaric spokesperson. L3Harris indicated it might make further investments in Mynaric at some point.

The announcement came about three months after L3Harris unveiled its new Agile Development Group (ADG), which seeks to rapidly develop new capabilities to address new near-peer threats. The ADG, which has about 2,500 employees, is working with US venture capital firm Shield Capital to invest in startups in artificial intelligence, autonomy, cyber security, and space sensing.

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