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Lockheed Martin is breaking barriers in hypersonic technology, adding to its world-class portfolio another milestone with the grand opening of an advanced production facility in Courtland, Alabama, focused on hypersonic strike production. Capitalizing on critical digital factory capabilities to deliver this technology, the corporation is working closely with the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to deliver new 21st-century warfare capabilities.
"Lockheed Martin has manufactured defense systems in Courtland since 1994, providing increasingly sophisticated capabilities to protect our nation, allies, and security partners," said Sarah Hiza, vice president and general manager of Strategic and Missile Defense Systems at Lockheed Martin Space. "Our long-time partnerships with Alabama, the Department of Defense, and academic researchers have paved the way to develop the most advanced hypersonic strike capabilities using the best-of-the-best digital technologies from across our enterprise."
Driving Advanced Production Through Digital Readiness
The facility represents Lockheed Martin's commitment to establishing northern Alabama as the base of the company's hypersonic strike programs. The 65,000-square-foot Hypersonic Missile Assembly Building 4 (MAB 4) is built on the digital foundation that Lockheed Martin has prioritized through mission-driven transformation efforts across the enterprise to meet customer needs with speed and agility while bolstering U.S. manufacturing capability.
The second Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) production facility onsite, this location integrates critical digital transformation advancements such as robotic thermal protection application capabilities, smart torque tools and mixed-reality capabilities for training and virtual inspections. The machines in this facility also will connect to the company's Intelligent Factory Framework early next year, which digitally links production facilities and assets across the Lockheed Martin enterprise to help enable unprecedented insights into the health, status and optimization of operations.
The Courtland site houses one of four transformational manufacturing facilities Lockheed Martin is opening in the United States within one year.
Delivering Hypersonic Strike Production
Lockheed Martin continues to make significant investments in the development and manufacturing of hypersonic systems to counter rapidly emerging threats from near-peer adversaries. The programs produced at this site support several U.S. military branches and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, including CPS, Long Range Hypersonic Weapon and the Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon.
"Hypersonic strike capabilities are critical to combat evolving threats, giving our warfighters the tools they need to complete complex missions," said Jay Pitman, vice president of Air Dominance and Strike Weapons at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "The talented teams who work at these new advanced strike production facilities are delivering essential missile and hypersonic vehicle technologies in support of the U.S. National Defense Strategy."
Developing the Northern Alabama Workforce
Lockheed Martin has had a presence in northern Alabama for over five decades. Within the last two years, Lockheed Martin has added a total of 117,000 square feet at the Courtland facility. The opening of MAB4 will bring an estimated 70 jobs to the area, adding to the approximately 2,600 employees already based in the state.
To support continued growth, Lockheed Martin is committed to developing a strong talent pipeline through initiatives like the Lockheed Martin-created AMTAP program, a training program that allows participants to develop manufacturing skills in electronic, mechanical, electromechanical and optical areas. Additionally, the company has actively engaged with the Aerospace States Association Alabama Chapter to host engagement opportunities with students and small businesses.
In 2020, the company donated more than $300,000 to Alabama charities, provided nearly 15,000 PPE items to frontline workers and delivered hundreds of meals to healthcare workers.