UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


Lockheed Martin Begins Terminal High Altitude Area Defense Missile Manufacturing in Troy, Alabama

DALLAS, TX, May 26th, 2004 -- Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] began manufacturing the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile today at its Pike County Operations facility in Troy, AL. The facility will perform final integration, assembly and testing of the THAAD missile, which is an integral part of the THAAD weapon system and the United States' network of layered defenses against ballistic missile attack.

THAAD is designed to defend U.S. troops, allied forces, population centers and critical infrastructure against short- to medium-range ballistic missiles. THAAD comprises a command and control/battle management system, missiles, launchers and radar. The THAAD missile uses hit-to-kill technology to destroy targets, and is the only weapon system that engages threat ballistic missiles at both endo- and exo-atmospheric altitudes. A key element of the nation's Ballistic Missile Defense System, THAAD is a Missile Defense Agency program, with the program office located in Huntsville, AL.

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions and Rep. Terry Everett were on hand for a ceremony marking the start of missile production. Sen. Sessions said, "It is important to appreciate the need for the THAAD system. We need a capability to defend our troops, and this missile will be a critical part of that effort."

Rep. Everett said, "Two years ago, I was here to break ground on this facility. The THAAD system is of enormous importance to this nation. The lives of Americans are depending on the work done here in Pike County, Alabama."

"After four years of rigorous design, development and testing, the THAAD team is eager to begin flight testing the missiles that will be produced in this plant," said Tom McGrath, THAAD vice president and program manager for Lockheed Martin. "We are pleased to be manufacturing the THAAD missile in this state-of-the-art facility in Troy, just two years after ground-breaking."

Flight-testing of THAAD begins in late 2004 and continues through early 2009, with low-rate production to support an initial operating capability expected to begin in 2007. In the current Development Program phase, THAAD missile production will employ about 25 people at the Troy facility. As the program progresses and the production rate grows, employment could rise to as many as 150 people.

In August 2002, Lockheed Martin began construction of the 46,000-square-foot, $12 million facility specifically for THAAD missile integration, assembly and test operations. The company used its lean production and Six Sigma techniques to assure the facility design was optimized for the THAAD missile effort. The first THAAD missile manufactured in Troy will be a "pathfinder" missile, used to demonstrate and validate test processes and procedures. Immediately following the pathfinder missile, the first of 16 developmental flight test missiles will be manufactured.

The THAAD program selected Lockheed Martin's Pike County Operations for missile production due to its outstanding performance in building quality products, as well as its attention to cost-control and manufacturing detail on several other Department of Defense programs currently being produced at the location.

The Pike County Operations encompass 3,863 acres, 336,000 square feet of building space and employs more than 280 personnel. Employees at the plant perform final assembly, test and storage of missiles, including the Hellfire II and Longbow Hellfire tactical missiles, the Javelin and the Predator antitank missiles. Pike County Operations also will build the new Joint Common Missile (JCM), slated to ultimately replace the Hellfire II, Longbow and Maverick missiles, and will also produce the Non Line-of-Sight - Launch System (NLOS-LS) Loitering Attack Missile (LAM). In addition, the facility builds the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) and is Lockheed Martin's Center of Excellence for Strike Weapons.

"The THAAD program's degree of sophistication will take Pike County Operations to the next level in world-class missile assembly," said Jody Glazner, the general manager of the Troy facility. "Our employees are highly trained, highly motivated and fully capable of building a missile our forces can count on in those defining moments on the battlefield."

Lockheed Martin has had a successful business relationship with the state of Alabama for the past 10 years. As a result of strong state and local partnership over the years, Lockheed Martin's Pike County Operations has amassed a string of national, state and industry awards for excellence in production, quality, security, environmental protection and workplace safety. The Troy facility has been honored with Industry Week's "America's Best Plants" award, the Defense Investigative Service Cogswell Award and the 2002 Alabama "Manufacturer of the Year" award.

Additionally, the facility received the prestigious Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing Award in 2002, which "recognizes organizations that use world-class manufacturing strategies and practices to achieve world-class results." Pike County Operations is among a small number of facilities recognized with this award.

Lockheed Martin is a world leader in systems integration and the development of air and missile defense systems and technologies, including the first operational hit-to-kill missile defense system. It also has considerable experience in missile design and production, infrared seekers, command and control/battle management, and communications, precision pointing and tracking optics, as well as radar and signal processing. The company makes significant contributions to all major U.S. missile defense systems and participates in several global missile defense partnerships.

Craig Vanbebber, 972-603-1615
e-mail craig.vanbebber@lmco.com

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list