The Pentagon on Tuesday gave another big vote of confidence to a Central New York company that makes electronic warfare systems to counter enemy drones.
Defense Department officials announced the U.S. Air Force has awarded a $57.5 million contract to SRC Inc. of Cicero to provide systems that detect, identify and defeat enemy drones.
The contract is the latest in a series of investments in the SRC counter-drone technology by the Army, Navy and Air Force over the past two years. Together, the contracts are worth more than $150 million.
SRC officials say the growing counter-drone business is a major reason why the company has hired more than 200 employees this fiscal year, part of a broader expansion plan to hire 1,000 new employees over the next five years.
SRC spokeswoman Lisa Mondello said Tuesday the company currently has about 100 job openings in all areas, including manufacturing jobs in Central New York. The openings are listed on the company website. The technical jobs pay $60,000 per year and up, depending on experience.
The not-for-profit research and development firm now employs about 800 people at its corporate headquarters and manufacturing plant in Central New York, and about 1,250 worldwide. SRC spun off from Syracuse University in the 1970s.
The new contract with the Air Force is for electronic warfare systems, radar systems and day/night cameras that will help meet an urgent requirement to detect and defeat drones.
Drones are increasingly being used on the battlefield by other nations and insurgent groups such as the Islamic State, which deployed drones in recent battles in Iraq and Syria.
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Rep. John Katko, R-Camillus, praised the Air Force decision to use SRC’s technology. Both members of Congress advocated for the company with the Defense Department.