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New York, NY – August 9, 2021 – Although the effects of the coronavirus pandemic were far reaching, the security defense industry proved to be resilient enough to weather this storm. As a matter of fact, Defense News estimates that the top 100 defense companies raked in a combined $551 billion in 2020 representing a 5% increase compared to the prior year. Going forward, it appears that this trend is likely to continue as illustrated by President Biden’s $715 billion defense budget proposal, a $10 billion increase from the previous allocation as he shifts focus from the Middle East to emerging threats from China. For companies like Liberty Defense Holdings Ltd (TSXV:SCAN) (OTCQB:LDDFF), Evolv Technologies Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:EVLV), ShotSpotter (NASDAQ:SSTI), OSI Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:OSIS) and Honeywell International Inc (NASDAQ:HON) this signals a promising opportunity which if well capitalized on could further strengthen these companies’ position in the industry.
The Defense Industry Appears Pandemic-Proof
With more variants of the coronavirus being discovered it’s becoming all too clear that it’s going to be a long while before things get back to ‘normal’. Since the defense industry appears to be insulated from these effects, it is not surprising that companies like Liberty Defense (TSXV:SCAN) (OTCQB:LDDFF) which provides multi-technology security solutions for concealed weapons and threat detection in high volume foot traffic areas look poised to continue delivering significant shareholder value.
Recently Liberty Defense revealed that it had entered into a collaboration agreement with Micro-X Ltd, a pioneer of medical and security imaging products using cold cathode X-ray sources to apply x-ray nanotech to weapons detection. In addition to this, Liberty has been hitting major corporate milestones including signing a major deal with the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The deal, which was announced on July 12, 2021, will provide Liberty Defense with $1 million in funding courtesy of the Israel-US Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation under a program that is sponsored jointly by the DHS and the Israel Ministry of Public Security (MOPS).
“Over the past several months, Liberty has announced continued progress on the development of our flagship HEXWAVE walk through portal and the acquisition of aviation specific threat detection technology for passenger screening,” said Liberty Defense CEO Bill Frain. “The development of HQ with Levitection will add to our portfolio to thwart the potential for terrorist acts in high traffic areas. This includes taking a layered approach to security which HQ will provide.”
Evolv Technologies Holdings Inc has also been strengthening its position in the defense industry going by recent developments. The company recently went public through a SPAC, resulting in a pro forma total enterprise value of approximately $1.3 billion. Evolv investors include Bill Gates, DCVC, Motorola Solutions, Finback Investment Partners, General Catalyst, Lux Capital, SineWave Ventures and STANLEY Ventures.
Collaboration and innovation Appear to be Key Growth Drivers in Defense Industry
One emerging theme in the defense industry that appears to be a key driver of growth is collaboration. For instance, ShotSpotter (NASDAQ:SSTI) just partnered with Anti-Trafficking International (ATI) to deploy its ShotSpotter Investigate solution for a one-year pilot with ATI’s National Human Trafficking Intelligence Center (NHTIC). ShotSpotter Investigate will be used as the central digital case folder for the NHTIC to streamline efforts to capture, analyze, connect and provide reporting and real-time intelligence to involved agencies across the US.
Another collaboration that fits into this theme is Honeywell International Inc (NASDAQ:HON) and ASM Global, a world’s leading producer of entertainment experiences. The company will work with the ASM Global venue network to deploy a variety of technologies that support smarter, safer and more sustainable venues to improve the overall guest experience.The six-year agreement will support the digitization of the global venue network’s operations to establish new standards related to indoor air quality, safety and regulatory compliance for its VenueShield LIVE proprietary program for venue reopenings and operations.
Meanwhile, security and inspection systems provider OSI Systems’ (NASDAQ:OSIS) security division was one of three vendors awarded an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract by the US Customs and Border Protection for multi-energy portal x-ray systems. The contract, which has a potential value of up to $480 million, contains a five-year ordering period for systems and up to 10 years for potential maintenance support.
In short, the defense industry seems well positioned to continue growing in spite of the uncertainty in the broader economy which bodes well for companies like Liberty Defense Holdings.
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