June 13, 2004 – California-based NS Microwave, a unit of the Allied Defense Group, has been awarded a $3 million contract to develop a classified surveillance system for an "agency of the United States government."
A press release from Allied Defense on June 10 said that additional details about the contract or its location could not be revealed "due to its classified nature," but that the project would commence "immediately." NS Microwave is a producer of sophisticated surveillance and microwave link systems -- from concealed video transmitters, helicopter systems, and long-range surveillance cameras. It is deeply involved in the technical side of the so-called "homeland security" domestic surveillance measures enacted by the US government after September 11, and has profited from several recent, lucrative government contracts.
In September 2003, according to a company release at the time, Allied Defense was awarded a similar "black contract," another term for a classified contract, by an undisclosed agency of the US government, a multi-year $15 million order for surveillance hardware and "associated equipment." A $1.6 million purchase order based on this contract was also announced by Allied in the same press release.
The company itself maintains that domestic surveillance is a major part of its profit-making activities, and its recent performance has also indicated a dependence on state funding through government contracts.
In the first quarter of 2003, for example, NS Microwave incurred losses of up to 56%, according to the Washington Business Review, due to delays in funding for the Department of Homeland Security. Once an additional budget for â€˜homeland securityâ€™ was passed at the federal level, Allied Defense CEO John Meyer Jr. was quoted as saying that the company had begun to receive increasing numbers of government orders, "and we anticipate additional orders from other government agencies for similar surveillance equipment in the immediate future."
With additional taxpayersâ€™ funds thus going to support its activities, Meyer commented that the companyâ€™s performance the first quarter of 2004 suggested a "return to a more â€˜normalâ€™ year for Allied."