Lockheed Shipbuilding and Construction Company
Lockheed Shipbuilding Company, Seattle, Washington, was a part of the Marine Systems Group of Lockheed Corporation. The Advanced Marine Systems organization, with operations in Santa Clara and San Diego, California, is also a part of the Lockheed Marine Systems Group. Lockheed Shipbuilding Company is the designer of the Whidbey Island Class dock landing ships, and is the builder of the first three ships of this class. The company that became Lockheed Shipbuilding Company, has been building ships in Seattle since 1898, when the company - then called Puget Sound Bridge and Dredging Company - built the 140 foot GOVERNOR PINGREE. That first ship was a flat bottomed stern-wheeler built for use in the Yukon gold trade. In 1959, the Lockheed Corporation purchased the Seattle shipyard, and since then, built 44 ships of various types for the US Navy, US Coast Guard, and commercial customers.
The shipbuilding industry has suffered more than a decade-long decline. Increased international competition and a long-term glut of shipbuilding capacity has led to shipyard closures around the world. Slow to adopt new technologies used by international competitors, large US shipbuilders in the 1980's became increasingly dependent on Navy contracts. With defense department cut-backs in the 90's, the industry has shrunk even further. Seattle's largest builder, Lockheed, permanently closed in 1987.
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