Gov. Martin O'Malley

Gov. Martin O'Malley, with Howard County Executiver Ken Ulman to his side, speaks at FLIR in Elkridge. The company builds integrated force protection and surveillance systems, one of many Maryland businesses that could be impacted by the sequester cuts. (Baltimore Sun photo, Baltimore Sun / February 26, 2013)

FLIR Systems' government-contracting arm is more than doubling its space in Howard County as it prepares to start assembling threat-detection devices.

Gov. Martin O'Malley visited the company in late February to discuss concerns about the employment effect of the federal government's sequestration budget cuts. Now, FLIR says, it feels more confident about expansion because funding for its programs is less uncertain.

"With budgets beginning to get resolved, it makes decision-making for us in the future somewhat easier," said David Cullin, chief technology officer of FLIR Government Systems, FLIR's government-contracting division.

FLIR, based in Oregon, is moving within Elkridge from a 35,000-square-foot facility to an 80,000-square-foot location. The company has planned a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday.

The Elkridge location employs just over 70 people, including FLIR contractors. Cullin said the company expects to hire more as work on Defense Department chemical, biological and nuclear hazard detection kits for service members shifts from engineering to production. That's expected later this year, with full production probably starting next year, Cullin said.

  • Text BUSINESS to 70701 to get Baltimore Sun Business text alerts
  • Text NEWS to 70701 to get Baltimore Sun local news text alerts