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