Whittaker Electronics Systems of Simi Valley was recently awarded a $1.6-million contract to provide communications equipment for Apache attack helicopters used by the United Arab Emirates.
The Wideband Secure Voice and Data Encryption systems will allow pilots to communicate in code with their ground crew. Whittaker Electronics, a division of Whittaker Corp. in Simi Valley, has manufactured about 300 similar communication systems for the U.S. government since the early 1980s.
"There's a market for these secure communication devices in the Middle East. We can expand our business in that region," said James Schultz, the parent corporation's director of business development for the corporation.
Whittaker Electronic Systems designs and develops radar, electronic warfare, communications and electronic defense systems for the domestic and international markets.
"The defense industry is not the market it used to be, but for a niche business like ours we feel we can grow at a reasonable rate the next four to five years," said Schultz. "In the whole context of the company, a $1.6-million contract is modest, but it shows we are on a growth track."
Earlier this summer, Whittaker was awarded a $7.1-million contract by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to produce simulators to train pilots and other military specialists in evading or countering enemy radar and missiles.
Separately, Whittaker received approval from the Santa Clarita City Council last week on its mixed-use development plan for 996 acres it owns in the Los Angeles County community.
The proposed Porta Bella project would contain more than 2,900 homes, as well as commercial, office and business park sites, adjacent to a planned town center.
The land was formerly used by a discontinued technology unit of Whittaker. A portion of the site is presently leased to the city of Santa Clarita for use as a Metrolink commuter rail station.
Whittaker Corp., a diversified technology company, reported net income of $10.1 million on sales of $126.4 million in 1994, compared to a profit of $7.3 million on sales of $115.4 million in 1993.