Diagnostic/Retrieval Systems, Inc (DRS) was founded in 1968 by Leonard Newman (whose son, Mark Newman, was the CEO until Jan-2012) and David Gross, two engineers working for Loral Corporation. The two were working on signal processing techniques for anti-submarine warfare. When Loral chose to pursue other technology, Newman and Gross founded DRS to continue their research, which ultimately led to development of the AN/SQR-17 passive submarine detection system, a product still used today.
DRS went public in 1981 and acquired its first company in 1984. By 1994, DRS set a goal to become a mid-tier defense contractor, defined by $500M in sales – notwithstanding that DRS at the time had only $58M in sales. Six years later, at the turn of the century, DRS reached the $391M sales level, and in 2004 surpassed the $1B sales mark.
DRS was acquired by the Italian conglomerate Finmeccanica S.p.A. (now Leonardo) in 2008.