L3 EOTech AND THE USSOCOM SAFETY OF USE MESSAGE

There’s a lot hubbub surrounding the September 2015 USSOCOM Safety of Use Message  identifying L3-EOTech Enhanced Combat Optical Sights (ECOS) SU- 231/PEQ, NSN: 1240-01-533-0941, SU-231A/PEQ, NSN: 1240-01-587-9345, SU-231D/PEQ, NSN: 1240-01-591-7601, SU-253/PEQ, NSN: 1240-01-566-2844, and SU-264/PEQ, NSN: 1240-01-590-7763.

One of the problems that I have with breaking this news is that it leads readers to conclusions that are simply not support by facts, and I’ll get to the SEC filling shortly. 

From reading the Safety of Use Message, the problems appear to have been associated with the SU-231 and SU-231A. NSW Crane, out of an abundance of caution, communicated their findings to the SOF community and requested caution across the entire ECOS inventory. There was no disclosure of test protocols and sample sizes so there’s no way to draw a reasonable conclusion  about the overall impact.

The elimination of temperature range performance in the owners manual is not a nefarious act. It is a responsible action taken by a responsible company to eliminate any impressions of misrepresentation. This action appears to have been taken within a reasonable time of the company becoming aware of the problem. So, I wouldn’t view that as a confession or anything other than a responsible action. All that aside, a company is legally allowed to change specifications without providing notice.

With regards to the SEC filling, and you wouldn’t know this unless you’ve actually filed 10Ks and 10Qs,  the SEC, FASB and GAAP requires that any exposure to current or future operations must be disclosed. In all cases, the exposure is presented in the worst possible light. This is done in the interest of a principal called Conservatism. SEC attorneys  excel at finding the most damning language possible to avoid stockholder lawsuits or SEC enforcement actions. L3 Communications has annual gross revenues in the $12 billion to $13 billion range. Hence a $23 million exposure, although material from financial reporting standards, represents postage money! Also keep in mind that the $23 million exposure is under the worst possible conditions. The actual exposure may be substantially less.

All of this is to say that as members of the broadcast media we should probably stop drawing conclusions that are simply unsupported. Please tells us about the deficiencies encountered, but please don’t paint images that are simply unwarranted.  L3 EOTech doesn’t deserve that – it’s like the HK extravaganza not too long ago.

There’s simply nothing nefarious going on with L3 EOTech and the company is addressing the problem responsibly.

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