Hauppauge defense contractor hopes aid will keep it on LI

Hauppauge-based Advanced Acoustic Concepts LLC has been granted Hauppauge-based Advanced Acoustic Concepts LLC has been granted about $212,900 in tax breaks over seven years by Suffolk County's industrial development agency. (April 25, 2013) Photo Credit: James Carbone

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Executives of a defense contractor in Hauppauge hope government aid will help convince their bosses not to move to Pennsylvania.

Advanced Acoustic Concepts LLC is seeking help from Suffolk County and New York State to reduce expenses. The county's industrial development agency Thursday approved about $212,900 in tax breaks over seven years.

"We want to maintain our headquarters and staff here . . . but they call the shots," said Scott Williams, special projects coordinator at Advanced Acoustic, referring to the conglomerates that own it.

"They have an office in Pennsylvania that's very cost effective for us to be in," he told the IDA. "Relocating operations will not only have an adverse effect on the Long Island employees, it will also be a detriment to the U.S. Navy, as we will surely lose many talented people."

Advanced Acoustic develops computer software used in the P-8 Poseidon aircraft from Boeing, a helicopter training simulator and other defense equipment.

The company employs 76 people at 425 Oser Ave. They earn, on average, $108,000 per year, records show.

The business was started in a local garage in 1989 by engineers from another defense contractor. It was purchased in 2010 by DRS Sonar Systems LLC, which in turn is owned by two European conglomerates: Finmeccanica of Italy and Thales Group of France.

With the lease expiring on the Hauppauge office in June, the new owners have lobbied for a move to Fayette County, south of Pittsburgh.

Williams said that in return for tax breaks and utility bill reductions, Advanced Acoustic would renew the lease for seven years and spend $300,000 on an expanded research and development laboratory. It also would hire three additional workers.

He expressed optimism that Advanced Acoustic's owners "will allow us to move forward and to be able to stay here."

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