Danbury Mission Technologies Enters $136M, Five-Year Contract with U.S. Army

Danbury Mission Technologies Enters $136M, Five-Year Contract with U.S. Army Main Photo

15 Dec 2023


DANBURY — Danbury Mission Technologies, headquartered on Wooster Heights Road, has entered into a new multi-million-dollar contract with the U.S. Army to develop and deliver laser detecting systems for military ground vehicles.

ARKA Group, L.P., which includes Danbury Mission Technologies, recently announced its new five-year $136 million contract, stating the systems are planned for installation “on multiple U.S. Army ground vehicles” as part of the military branch’s Detroit arsenal.

Under the new contract, Danbury Mission Technologies “will also provide test hardware and support services,” the announcement stated.

The company developed a laser detecting system called the AN/VVR-4, which ARKA’s leaders say “provides the highest level of battlefield awareness and survivability.” The company described its system as the first of its kind.

“We are proud to provide these critical systems to protect our warfighters in the field, so they can safely complete their missions and return home to their families,” Dave Imbrogno, ARKA vice president of Defense Systems, said in a written statement.

The company said its AN/VVR-4 Laser Detecting Set allows for advanced warning, informing a military vehicle commander which laser-aided threat is targeting their vehicle and the direction the threat originated from. This “allows for immediate evasive action — keeping the crew safely out of harm’s way,” the company stated.

According to ARKA’s website, the company develops defense systems “installed across a wide range of military platforms” that include aircraft and ground vehicles “providing our nation and its allies with critical warfighting advantages.” Those defense systems include laser threat warning systems, which the company said, “provide unparalleled situational awareness to the presence of laser-aided threats on the battlefield.” 

The company also has a lengthy history of developing high-precision optics for ground, air and space missions, including the Hubble Space Telescope’s mirror-based optical system more than 30 years ago. The optical systems the company developed were used in other National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, missions, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory and the Spitzer IR Space Telescope.

The company, which has operated out of Danbury since 1967, also developed and built Hexagon spy satellites during the Cold War.

According to ARKA, the Danbury facility was established to enable those Hexagon space-imaging missions, “which overflew the Soviet Union, gathering intelligence on their capabilities to inform U.S. policy and defense decisions.”

At the time, the division, Danbury Optical Systems, was part of Perkin-Elmer Corporation. The division has had other corporate owners, including United Technologies, BF Goodrich and Raytheon. It became ARKA Group in 2022.

ARKA now has more than 550 employees at its Danbury location.

The company said its Danbury team is “inventing and manufacturing the future of national security space and defense.”

In addition to developing space based optics system, the company over the past four decades has designed and manufactured laser detecting sets for helicopter and military ground vehicles with more than 10,000 systems installed across the globe, according to ARKA. 


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