We invest in research and development (R&D) according to a long-term plan based on estimated market needs. Our R&D efforts focus on anticipating operational needs of our customers, achieving reduced time to market and increasing affordability. We emphasize improving existing systems and products and developing new ones using emerging or existing technologies.
We perform R&D projects to produce new systems for the IMOD and other customers. These projects give us the opportunity to develop and test emerging technologies. We developed new tools for fast prototyping for both the design and development process. This permits the operational team members to effectively specify requirements and to automatically transfer them into software code. Examples of our ongoing defense-related R&D projects include those for night operation capabilities, laser systems, display systems, helmet mounted systems, other avionics systems, aerial, land and sea-based unmanned vehicles and robotics, space based cameras, ISR systems, C4I systems, electric tank turret drive systems, unmanned turret systems, communication systems and homeland security systems. Examples of our R&D in commercial areas include projects relating to commercial aviation and commercial night vision products for automobiles. We employ thousands of software and hardware development and systems engineers engaged in advance programs for airborne, ground and naval defense, homeland security and space applications. In addition, most of our program and business line managers have engineering backgrounds. More than 50% of our total workforce is engaged in research, development and engineering.