Lockheed Martin Essay

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Lockheed Martin  is a multinational company established in 1995 through  the merger  of the Lockheed Corporation  with  Martin-Marietta.  The  Lockheed Corporation and  the  Martin  Company  were  originally incorporated in California in 1912. Martin-Marietta  was founded  in 1961 through  the  merger of the Martin Company with the American-Marietta Corporation.

Lockheed Martin,  along with its subsidiaries, is a leading aerospace and defense company and has held the number one position as the world’s largest defense contractor by revenue since 1995. More than half of Lockheed  Martin’s revenue  since  1998 was earned through   contracts   with  the  United  States  Department  of Defense and other  U.S. federal government agencies. The company operates in four principal segments: Aeronautics, Electronic Systems, Information Systems and Global Services, and Space Systems.

The Aeronautics segment provides military aircraft, air mobility, global communications, and surveillance systems. Some products of this segment include the F-2 defense fighter created primarily for the Japan Air Self-defense Force (JASDF); the F-35 joint strike fighter; the F-16 multirole fighter that is currently operated by nations  such as the United  Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Bahrain, Venezuela, Belgium, Denmark,  the  Netherlands, Norway, Israel, Egypt, Korea, Turkey, Greece, Jordan, Italy, Chile, Oman, and Thailand; the F-22 for intelligence gathering, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions; P-3 maritime  patrol  aircraft for submarine detection;  U-2 high-altitude  reconnaissance  aircraft; C-130J Super Hercules tactical transport aircraft; and the T-50 advanced military jet trainer. The aeronautics segment  also provides  transport  management solutions for air, sea, and land traffic in the United States and  internationally.  This includes  air traffic control, airport  management,  aviation  management,  navigation, and vessel traffic management.

Lockheed Martin’s Electronic Systems division offers  missiles  and   missile  defense   systems  that include weapon fire control  systems; air-air missiles, ant armor  missiles, fire support, precision strike, and strategic systems integration.

The company’s Information   Systems and  Global Services segment provides services mainly to the federal government. There are six critical areas in which services are provided: Business Process Management; E-Government; Enterprise  Architecture;  Homeland Security; Information  Assurance; and Systems Development  and Integration.  Although  a major military contractor, Lockheed Martin also provides civil government  agencies such as the U.S. Postal Service with automated  sorting  systems that  enable the  efficient handling  and  delivery of mail  to  over  134 million addresses across the United States. Lockheed Martin is also the largest U.S.-based material  handling systems company.

Lockheed Martin’s Space Systems segment  capabilities include ground systems; launch systems; space operations; space payloads; spacecraft, which include government  and commercial  satellites; and training and services that include astronaut  and mission control training and permission testing.

Controversy

Unfortunately,  Lockheed  Martin  has also been  the subject  of several controversies.  In  2007 a jury in Albuquerque, New Mexico, awarded a security analyst approximately  $5 million after he had been wrongfully dismissed from the company. In 2000 the company agreed to pay $13 million to the U.S. government after  it  was discovered  that  Lockheed  Martin  had passed top-secret  technology to a Hong Kong–based company, AsiaSat (Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company  Limited),  in  which  the  Chinese  government  is a major shareholder.  Another  disappointing moment for Lockheed Martin came when NASA lost its $250-million Mars climate-orbiter in September 2003. The Lockheed Martin–built spacecraft was reportedly   incorrectly   programmed  with  Imperial units instead of SI units. The company accepted partial blame for contributing to the fundamental  cause of the crash.

In spite of these turbulent moments  the company has generally reported  a profit  since the  merger  in 1995 with the exception of 2001 and 2002, when losses were approximately  $520 million  and  $1.05 billion, respectively. However, since its merger  in 1995, the company has been among the first 100 of the Fortune 500 companies in the United States and has recorded a profit of $2.53 billion in 2007, with a rank of 57 on the Fortune 500 companies listing. In 2005 the company owned over 2,300 patents, and in August 2006, Lockheed Martin  won a multibillion-dollar  contract to build the space shuttle  Orion, which will replace NASA’s space shuttles. This new space shuttle is expected to make its inaugural flight by 2014.

Bibliography:      

  1. Damian Grammaticus,   “Lockheed Fined Over Secrets Breach,” BBC News, June 15, 2000, news.bbc.co.uk(citedMarch 2009);
  2. Merle,“LockheedWinsContract to Build NASA’s New Spaceship,” Washington Post, September 1, 2006, www.washingtonpost.com (cited March 2009);
  3. Sorid, “Lockheed Martin Accepts Blame for Root Cause of Craft’s Loss,” Space.com, November 10, 1999, www.space.com (cited March 2009);
  4. Thornburgy, “A Security Analyst Wins Big in Court,” Time, February 14, 2007, www.time.com (cited March 2009).

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