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Illuminating the US NAVY


Founded in October 1775, the US NAVY is the largest navy in the world. The military branch has over 490 ships (290 of which are deployable combat vessels), more than 3,700 operational aircraft vehicles, and an additional 90 in the planning, purchasing, or building stages.

Customer Needs

The US NAVY was looking for an industrial grade string light solution to illuminate different types of ships in the fleet. The units, known as “friendship lights,” are utilized as a sign of goodwill on vessels that are entering foreign ports, as well as during the holiday season.

The lights need to be able to withstand all types of weather, including thunderstorms, blizzards, and high winds. Moreover, they needed to be a customizable length to account for the varied size of the ships.


Ericson Manufacturing was awarded a $1 million Indefinite Delivery Contract (IDC), and will produce industrial military-grade string lights over the next 5 years. The lights meet OSHA, NEC, & Mil-Spec requirements, and come standard with a watertight NEMA plug, connector, and lamp guards all manufactured in the USA. Designed for applications that require rapid set-up and teardown, the lighting solutions will enable the US NAVY to easily mount the units to quickly ready the vessel for international harbors.

Ericson’s first batch was subjected to a robust inspection courtesy of the Defense Management Contract Agency (DCMA). The units passed the audit with flying colors and are travelling to the USS Zumwalt, the lead guided missile destroyer in the fleet, and many other naval ships.

Ericson has established a strong and long-lasting relationship with the US NAVY dating back to World War I. It is proud to support varied missions with durable power and lighting solutions.

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