Lockheed Martin to base hypersonics programs in Alabama, add 272 jobs

Lockheed Martin to base hypersonics programs in Alabama, add 272 jobs
An illustration depicts a missile traveling at hypersonic speed, which means at least five times the speed of sound. Lockheed Martin's hypersonics programs will be based in the Alabama cities of Huntsville and Courtland, the company announced today. (contributed)

Lockheed Martin today announced plans to make North Alabama its flagship location for work on hypersonics programs, with plans to open a new production facility and hire nearly 275 people, including engineers.

Lockheed Martin breaks ground and brings jobs to Courtland for a new hypersonics production facility. (Lockheed Martin)

At a groundbreaking ceremony, Lockheed Martin said it will add two buildings at its Courtland facility for the assembly, integration and testing of hypersonics programs. The company said it will locate the management and engineering workforce for these programs in Huntsville.

The move means 72 new jobs in Courtland and 200 new positions in Huntsville over the next three years. Additional job growth is expected.

“The decision to bring hypersonic manufacturing to this region would not have been possible without the support of the State of Alabama, our local partners including Lawrence and Madison counties, the cities of Courtland and Huntsville and Tennessee Valley Authority as well as those elected representatives in Congress,” said Scott Keller, vice president and general manager for Strategic and Missile Defense for Lockheed Martin.

“On behalf of Lockheed Martin, we are honored to expand our presence in northern Alabama and watch as the next cohort of innovators take advanced defense technology to levels we once thought were impossible,” Keller said.

During an official ceremony in Courtland, Marillyn Hewson, chairman, president and CEO for Lockheed Martin, was joined by Sen. Richard Shelby, Gov. Kay Ivey and Rick Ambrose, executive vice president of Space for Lockheed Martin, among others.

Officials representing the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army and U.S. Navy were on hand in Courtland to mark the occasion at the site of the next hypersonic production facility.

Lockheed Martin’s Ambrose will host an event later today in Huntsville to celebrate the increased workforce expansion as part of this effort.

Public officials join Lockheed Martin executives in a ceremonial groundbreaking for the company’s new production facility in Courtland. (contributed)

Long-lasting ties

Lockheed Martin’s strong partnership with the state of Alabama dates back several decades and includes research and development on rockets and space launch vehicles, tactical missiles, space exploration, and air and missile defense targets.

The company employs more than 2,000 people in Alabama. Earlier this year, it announced an expansion at its missile production facility in Pike County.

“Lockheed Martin has a longstanding relationship with the state of Alabama, and I am proud to see that strengthen even more as they make our state the flagship location for their hypersonic programs,” Ivey said.

“Both Courtland and Huntsville will gain new jobs, which is always welcome news. I am proud and confident that Alabamians will help advance Lockheed Martin’s goals as we begin working toward the advancements of the future,” she said.

Lockheed Martin is an industry leader in the development, testing and fielding of hypersonic systems. Hypersonic strike capabilities have been identified by the U.S. government as a critical capability that must be addressed in support of the U.S. National Security Strategy.

Lockheed Martin has established partnerships with the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency on key programs to meet the needs of this critical mission.

This story originally appeared on the Alabama Department of Commerce’s Made in Alabama website.

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