Here’s what a new manufacturing facility for military communications equipment will bring to Utah | Panda Anku

An L3Harris employee works at the new Salt Lake City facility. The L3Harris facility in Salt Lake City will serve as the company’s hub for the development of communications technologies aimed at protecting the safety of citizens and those who fight for that safety. (L3Harris)

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SALT LAKE CITY – Based in the Salt Lake Valley for over 65 years, L3Harris works hard to develop cutting-edge communications technologies vital to the country’s security.

On Thursday, those years of work culminated in the opening of a new 380,000-square-foot manufacturing and operations facility that “adds a full dimension to our business that we didn’t really have before,” said Brendan O’Connell, president of L3Harris.

The facility, located at 540 N. 2200 West in Salt Lake City, will serve as the company’s hub for the development of cutting-edge communications technologies designed to protect the security of citizens and those who fight for that security by providing their technology to the U.S. military provide and international defense customers.

L3Harris is the industry leader in the development of advanced communications systems used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, airborne, satellite and ground-based tactical networks, and command and control, including for the US Secretary of Defense and the President of the United States.

The opening of this facility, O’Connell said, will enable L3Harris “not only to design and manufacture core products and integrated systems and networks, but allows us to further expand our capabilities in support of the warfighter.”

The 380,000-square-foot building will allow L3Harris to consolidate operations previously spread across a sprawling campus and multiple facilities into a single building.

The L3Harris manufacturing and operations facility is pictured in Salt Lake City.
The L3Harris manufacturing and operations facility is pictured in Salt Lake City. (Photo: L3Harris)

It will also allow them to respond to the changing demands of defense communications faster than before.

“We designed it to be very modular, so we’ll be more agile (and) competitive over time,” O’Connell said.

The building also serves as a reminder of Utah’s growing population and economy. “We have over 1,000 employees here today, but it’s really set to grow to 3,000[employees],” O’Connell said.

In addition, the building can be expanded to over 400,000 square feet to meet the demands of changing needs and new technologies.

Rep. John Curtis, Sen. Mitt Romney, L3Harris President Brendan O'Connell and Rep. Chris Stewart Thursday cut the ribbon for L3Harris' new manufacturing and operations facility in Salt Lake City.
Rep. John Curtis, Sen. Mitt Romney, L3Harris President Brendan O’Connell and Rep. Chris Stewart Thursday cut the ribbon for L3Harris’ new manufacturing and operations facility in Salt Lake City. (Photo: Logan Stefanich, KSL.com)

“People hear a military plane and they say, ‘That’s the sound of freedom,'” said Senator Mitt Romney, speaking of the technologies being developed at L3Harris during Thursday’s ribbon-cutting event.

“Well, this is part of the spirit of freedom. This allows our fighting men and women, our Airmen and others around the world to be safe and able to carry out the missions assigned to them by the Commander Chief,” said Romney, R-Utah.

In addition to serving as a national hub for defense communications, the facility has significant economic implications for the Salt Lake Valley and Utah as a whole.

Utah Republican Assemblyman John Curtis said the impact of an organization like L3Harris moving into the community will be “dramatic.”

“The property tax on this building is going to educate our children and pave our streets and do so many things in this community,” Curtis said.


There are reasons for us to have a strong defense. Not because we want to go to war, but because we want to protect ourselves from having to go to war.

—Utah Sen. Mitt Romney


Rep. Chris Stewart echoed Curtis’ views, adding that L3Harris is positioning Utah as a national player in defense communications.

“All of this builds on this idea that Utah has a huge role to play when it comes to national defense and infrastructure,” said Stewart, R-Utah, adding that this will provide more opportunities for young Utah grads to pursue careers in want to make Beehive State.

“It gives young people an opportunity to say, ‘I don’t have to go to California, I don’t have to go to Houston. I can have a good job here in Utah,” he said.

L3Harris currently employs nearly 3,500 people in the Salt Lake City area, with room to grow.

“There are reasons for us to have a strong defense,” Romney said. “Not because we want to go to war, but because we want to protect ourselves from having to go to war.”

The latest military stories in Utah

Logan Stefanich is a reporter for KSL.com covering the communities, education, economy and military of southern Utah.

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